12,000 diamond merchants, keen to be a part of the SDB have signed up for membership of the soon to be built Surat Diamond Bourse on a 100-acre or 15 million square feet area for trading, offices and admin facilities. Construction work is expected to begin soon on the 2000 acre Surat Dream City,to emulate the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City).
“The SDB will be run by a 31-member committee comprising leading diamond polishing and trading players. The company will be headed by Vallabhbhai Lakhani of Kiran Exports. Other leading diamantaires who are part of the committee include Govindbhai Dholakia from Shree Krishna Exports, Laljibhai Patel of Dharmanandan Diamonds and Sevantibhai Shah of Venus Jewel,” said Mathurbhai Savani, Saurashtra Jaldhara Trust.
He further added, “We are aiming to make SDB a world-class facility. All kinds of infrastructure will be provided to the diamantaires. Around 10,000 offices will be there and the project will take three years to complete.”
The SDB is registered with the government who are in the process of finalising the land for the exchange, Dinesh Navadiya, president of the Surat Diamond Association (SDA), said recently “The new bourse will facilitate diamond trade in Surat (and) will take almost two years to complete,” he said. “The total investment will be around Rs 2,000 crore. Apart from global players, we have received 10,000 applications from the diamond trade from all over India.” Surat is a global hub for the trade in polished diamonds with the turnover pegged at Rs 1.5 lakh crore.
Chandrakant Sanghavi, Gujarat regional director of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), explained that membership of the exchange does not mean Mumbai diamond traders who operate out of the Bharat Diamond Bourse have to move to Surat. “It is not mandatory. Whoever wants to shift to Surat can do it according to his own will. The exchange will help small and medium diamond units more, (those) who do not have the capability to set up shops in BDB,” said Sanghavi. “It has become difficult particularly for small diamantaires to operate from Mumbai. Even some of the employees are unwilling to work from Mumbai as the cost of living has skyrocketed. Moreover, Surat is the hub of polished diamonds, therefore there is a ready ecosystem available for us to function,” said Sanghavi.
The SDB, which is touted to be bigger than Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai, is expected to create jobs for more than 20,000 to 30,000 people. SDB will make Surat the trading hub of polished diamonds whose turnover is pegged at Rs 1.5 lakh crore. The trading offices of all the big diamond companies will be based at the SDB and that assorting of the rough diamonds will be done in Mumbai. Close to 15,000 diamond traders, merchants and manufacturers are keen to set up shops in the proposed SDB.