Mumbai may be about to suffer a blow to its reputation as the diamond capital of India.
More than 50 large diamond companies in the city, reportedly representing over 70 percent of the diamond trade in Mumbai, have decided to move to Surat, the world’s biggest diamond cutting and polishing center.
A meeting of the diamond firms was held last week in the offices of a DTC Sightholder at Bandra Diamond Bourse (BDB) where diamantaires endorsed the construction of a diamond market in the Surat’sVesu or Dumas area by the end of this year, according to The Times of India.
In the last few months, many small and medium diamond traders operating at Mumbai’s Opera House started moving to Surat after some big diamond companies relocated to the BDB since they could not afford the rents being demanded.
Surat Diamond Association (SDA) President Dinesh Navadia was among the few industry leaders who were present at the meeting in Mumbai. He said around 60 percent of the space in the diamond market in Surat would be reserved for small and medium-size diamantaires. The diamantiares have decided to form a private limited company for the diamond market project.
Navadia said, “In the absence of an international airport in Surat, diamond companies are planning to tie up with logistics companies to ship the export consignment to Mumbai in cargo planes. The SuratHira Bourse (SHB) will be given a bigger role in the import and export of diamonds.”
Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council Chairman Vipul Shah told TOI, “Nothing is impossible, but it is a long process of migrating the diamond industry from Mumbai to Surat. One can’t ignore the importance of Mumbai as the financial capital of the country. Surat is practically a diamond manufacturing centre, but the non-existence of an international airport could be a big hurdle.”