Diamond Industry of SuratThe word 'Diamond' brings sparkle in every woman's eyes. These precious stones are best weapons to woo a woman, be it proposing for a wedding or gifting on anniversaries. Today diamond epitomizes prosperity, endurance, dignity and peerless quality.
Talking about diamonds and that's when the city of Surat comes to your mind. This city has been a home to world's biggest diamond industry since early 1960's. Surat is the largest market of diamond polishing, cutting and crafting in the whole world. Surat has left its mark of excellence in all the three departments of the business— manufacturing, importing and the export of processed diamonds.Surat produces insignificant amount of diamonds, however due to the availability of low waged workers and presence of the international market, Surat prevails the diamond polishing industry.
History Behind Surat Diamond IndustryDiamonds are believed to have been recognized and mined in India first, at the spots where considerably alluvial stone deposits could be found many centuries ago along the rivers Penner, Godavari and Krishna. However, the diamond industry started when a local business man in Surat had brought a boat full of diamond cutters from East Africa to commence the city's diamond polishing industry in 1901.
The diamond cutting and polishing industry started way back in the 1960s when some entrepreneurs belonging to the Patel community of Saurashtra started importing rough diamonds and exporting polished diamonds. This industry grew gradually until 1980s after which there was rapid growth. This rapid growth was the result of the proximity of Surat to Mumbai which helps in importing the unfinished diamonds and exporting the polished diamonds. Also the Patels from Saurashtra and the Jains from north Gujrat venturing together helped the diamond industry of Surat prosper. The economic reforms in 1991 added to the enlargement of this industry.
Statistics of Surat Diamond IndustryIn 2005, Surat was reported to have cut 92% of the entire world's diamond pieces and earned India $15 billion in exports. India imports for polishing about $11 billion worth of rough diamonds annually, with 80% coming from diamond mining companies and the rest from Antwerp.
The city contributes to more than 80% of the Indian annual export amounting to Rs 70,000 crore. Every 9 out of 10 diamonds you get to see in the stores in the big cities all over the world is cut and polished in India and 75 % of the credit about the diamonds' shine goes to the Surat Diamond industry. Over 1.5 million people are engaged in the diamond & diamond jewellery industry of Surat and they have made the city, the heart of nation's diamond polishing industry.
The growth in the Indian exports can be highly attributed to the gem and jewellery industry of India. The Industry valued at US$ 43 billion in the financial year 2011-12, is one of the leading growth sectors of India’s export led economy and leading foreign exchange earner accounting for 14% of the total Indian exports during the last financial year. Diamonds account for 54% of the total gem and jewellery export basket of the industry and India is world’s leading exporter of Cut and Polished Diamonds. Surat and many other cities and towns like with Navsari, Amreli, Bhavnagar are popular worldwide as big diamond manufacturing/processing centers whereas Mumbai serves as the diamond trading hub.
Future of Diamond IndustryThe industry surely had to face problems like lack of technical expertise in the manpower but with improving skills of the laborers, the Surat diamond jewelry industry is now getting orders of larger and pricier stones. The irresistibly advantageous market processing the diamond jewellery is getting bigger day by day. The state is also aiming to develop the laborers as jewellery makers in the true sense with an overall development.
Arrangements are being made by the state and Surat Diamond Association for training, research, marketing and recognizing new potentials for the diamond industry. Also, the jewellery park of Surat is trying to bring down major diamond manufacturers of Surat under a single roof. Bulk of the work has now become computerized. The number of diamond consumers are increasing day by day and so is the demand. Currently, the industry is growing at a phenomenal rate and with various government efforts and incentives coupled with private sector initiatives, Indian gems and jewellery sector is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of around 13% during 2011 - 2013.
There is an upcoming Jewellery Park for the Gem & Jewellery entrepreneurs which has all state-of-the-art facilities providing international level infrastructure of highest quality standards. Diamantaires is the world's biggest diamond cutting and polishing center in Surat which has been giving sleepless nights to the diamond manufacturers in Israel and Antwerp.