"We believe in a business policy that none of our clients should incur a loss" - Late Arunbhai Mehta, Rosy Blue Group #Throwback

As industry mourns the loss of Arunbhai Mehta, who was this industry's confidant in many ways, Diamond World does a replug of an exclusive interview with him in 2007, on the occasion of him winning the Life-time Achievement Award many years ago
"We believe in a business policy that none of our clients should incur a loss" - Late Arunbhai Mehta, Rosy Blue Group #Throwback

What is your age, sir ? How were you attracted to this business ?

As I was born at Patan (N. Gujarat) in January 1940, now I am 67. Apart from our parents, there were four members in the family- three brothers – myself, Harshadbhai and Dilipbhai – and one sister.

After studying upto SSC, I joined a college for higher studies. My father, Ramniklalji Mehta was doing some diamond business. His friends advised him to induct me into this business. This changed the course of my life. Subsequently I got some training in the Ratanchand Laxmichand & Company’s diamond units in Surat and Navsari. For a few months I went to Pondicherry where in my uncle’s firm I got some training for accounts and import business.

When and How did you launch your own diamond business?

Even today I remember well that in 1958 I purchased one diamond for Rs. 25 and sold it at Rs. 27! This was my first brush with this business. Subsequently, I started purchasing –polished gemstones from some units and selling them in the market. This gave me enough experience about assortment and marketing.

When did you start manufacturing activity ?

My maternal uncle Bhanuchandra Bhansali was doing some business in rough diamonds with his son-in-law. He decided to set-up a partnership with me for a diamond cutting unit in Mumbai. This is how we started in 1960 our company – B. Arunkumar & Company and set- up its first tiny manufacturing unit in Mumbai. Initial business activity was quite limited. This is evident from the fact that we purchased rough worth about Rs. 25,000-30,000, cut and polished it and sold the same in the market. This yielded small profit, but added to our confidence.

When did you start business in Antwerp ?

In 1970 Dilipbhai went to Belgium to settle down there. He set-up the Rosy Blue firm there.

When did your firm become a DTC-Sightholder ?

Our firm became a DTC Sightholder in 1969. Thus we started getting rough stones from this all important direct source.

Do you get rough from other producers too ?

There are five major producers of rough in the world at present. Rosy Blue is getting rough from all of them.

When did you start jewellery manufacturing business ?

We turned our attention to this activity around 1985. At present jewellery accounts for the major share of Rosy Blue business.

What is the philosophy of the Rosy Blue Group ?

It has been the philosophy of our group to spend regularly a part of our earnings on education, healthcare and charitable objectives. All members of the Rosy Blue Group share this humanitarian view.

What have been the important milestones in the progress of your Group ?

In 1969 our group obtained DTC’s approval as its Sighthoder. This was a noteworthy event in the Group’s history. Another equally memorable milestone was the opening of its Antwerp office in 1973. On the whole the company’s progress has been smooth without any upsets. This is a matter of happiness for us.

What about Rosy Blue’s business policy ?

We believe in a business policy that none of our clients should incur a loss. Ours is a family business. As the time passes, senior members step aside encouraging the younger generation to take up more responsibilities.

What are your dreams after achieving such outstanding success ?

After achieving this much growth over the last four decades, one does not foresee similar growth prospects in the coming years as no new large diamond mines are coming up. So, while continuing our present activities we are exploring possibilities of diversification into some other areas as well. We are encouraging the younger generation to get the necessary education needed for such other activities. We feel that India provides the best place for such other activities as well.

While prices of Rough continue rising, polished prices seem to be dragging behind. What are the reasons ?

The main reason for this situation is that diamond producers had earlier started the policy of restocking and stepping up supplies to market. All these supplies were cut and polished within a relatively shorter time as the manufacturing capacity had been greatly enlarged during the earlier years. However there has been no corresponding improvement in offtake at the retail level. This has led to considerable accumulations of stock in the pipeline. Once the pipeline gets cleared, prices of polished diamonds are bound to rise like those of all other goods.

Apart from diamond and jewellery business, which are the subjects of your interest ?

My other subject of choice is reading.

What is your message to the contemporary diamond industry ?

Those who are already established in the business should make room for the new generation in time. Those who are contemplating to enter this business for the first time may do well to remember, capital requirements have gone up considerably in this business. Besides, teamwork is quite necessary for success.

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