‘Indian Diamond Industry is Forever’ – Andrei Zhiltsov, Russian Consul General

The show indicates a lot of promise for the Indian diamond fraternity as well as the business ties between India and Russia.
Andrei Zhilstov and  Evgeny Agureev cutting the inaugural ribbon for the 2nd Edition of Bharat Diamond Week in Mumbai
Andrei Zhilstov and Evgeny Agureev cutting the inaugural ribbon for the 2nd Edition of Bharat Diamond Week in Mumbai

The 2nd Edition of Bharat Diamond Week was inaugurated by Andrei Zhilstov, Russian Consul General and Evgeny Agureev, Director of the United Selling Organization of ALROSA. The show also had in presence Mehul Shah, Convener, Bharat Diamond Week, Anoop Mehta, President Bharat Diamond Bourse, Colin Shah, Vice Chairman GJEPC, Mahendra Gandhi, President, MDMA, Jay Parikh, Committee Member BDB and Ashok Gajera, Director, Laxmi Diamonds and Russell Mehta, MD, Rosy Blue amongst other members of the diamond trade.

The show that began as a platform to promote the Indian cut and polished diamond industry, especially the SMEs and MSMEs that otherwise don’t get enough recognition in big jewellery shows was a success when it took place the first time in April 2018. The second edition has also been placed at a timely manner because of the impending festive season as well as the Hong Kong show that did not prove fruitful for many cut and polished diamond exhibitors owing to the typhoon.

“BDB has 5000 members and 2700 offices. 80 per cent of diamonds are being cut and polished here. The time has come for getting world exhibitors and buyers to have their presence here, for enabling them to network here. In 2019, the show will happen during April 1 – 3 and October 14 – 16,’ said Anoop Mehta.

‘Russia will open up their consumer industry to our jewellery and we will be using their rough diamonds in turn. India is the world largest hub and Alrosa is a mining giant. I’m looking forward to a very fruitful business,’ added Mehta.

‘This is a great effort for the natural diamond industry and I like to stress on the word natural. Alrosa is determined to sell only natural diamonds. Our relationship with India is better than before. 52 percent of our sales is contributed by India. We give complete support to BDB and Indian diamond industry,’ said Evgeny Agureev.

‘It is a great honour for me to be here in the very centre of the global diamond industry. Now India is the largest cutting and polishing industry and when it comes to diamonds, India’s history is deep. Today Russia is the largest producer of diamonds and our countries have always been close friends. We have lots in common and the recent meeting of our leaders also focused on strategic partnership including diamond business. Alrosa recently opened its office here in Mumbai and KGK opened its facility in Russia. This is a good sign. More Indian companies can open doors in Russia. Bharat Diamond Bourse is forever.. Indian diamond industry is forever,’ said Andrei Zhilstov.

Mehul Shah who presented the vote of thanks quoted Russian writer Leo Tolstoy’s, ‘All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town’ and drew an analogy with diamonds. He said, ‘It is high time we invite the world to our BDB township. When they enter they are no more a stranger.’

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