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Mumbai activities will be resumed by the chairman of Surat Diamond Bourse

<p>The proprietors of Kiran Gems and Diamonds, one of the biggest diamond enterprises in India, have decided to temporarily relocate to Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) in Mumbai, only one month after the formal opening of the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB). According to SDB officials, this arrangement is just temporary, and the decision was made with the expectation that the Surat market would open for business later this year.</p>
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<p>Vallabh Lakhani, who also chairs SDB, is the chairman of Kiran Gems and Diamonds. He was the driving force behind the construction of what is now regarded as the biggest office annex in the world, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially opened on December 17, 2023.</p>
<p>Only 150–175 of the 4,500 offices that the bourse is intended to hold are now functioning, according to a source close to the development.</p>
<p>“The promoters of Kiran Gems and Diamonds have started their full-fledged activities here in accordance with their pledge to establish their operations at SDB. It is now the committee’s duty to make sure that everything runs well for them. In light of this, the Diamond Bourse Committee recommends that Kiran Gems and Diamonds go on with their business in Mumbai as well,” the proprietors of Kiran Gems and Diamonds received a letter from SDB on January 19th. The letter’s copy has been viewed by HT.</p>
<p>Today, Kiran Gems & Diamonds reopened its Mumbai office. The members of the SDB committee proposed doing this. We have asked Kiran Gems and Diamonds to temporarily maintain operations in their Mumbai office due to the size of their activities. By May 10, the bourse will be operational and 80% of the 982 offices undergoing interior renovation will be finished. Then, they may withdraw from the Mumbai operations,” SDB media spokesman Dinesh Navadiya said.</p>
<p>SDB and BDB have been engaged in fierce rivalry; the latter provides facilities for foreign purchasers but is limited in capacity. In addition, the office spaces cost more than SDB. Trains go from Surat to Mumbai, carrying diamonds, in around four hours.</p>
<p>Surat is home to 10,000 diamond offices spread over the well-established hubs of Varachha, Mahidhapura, and Katargam. These locations are at least 30 kilometers away from SDB and have inadequate public transportation.</p>
<p>“Discretion is essential in the diamond industry to protect customer confidentiality and shield it from rivals’ prying eyes. Many diamond barons in Surat have large corporate offices that are similar in size and facilities to five-star hotels. These business giants choose to operate from their long-standing locations even if they have booked spaces at the SDB, according to an unnamed industry expert.</p>
<p>Lakhani started the drive on June 27, 2023, to persuade diamond firms to move from Mumbai to Surat. He wrote to these corporations suggesting that their Mumbai headquarters be closed and that they relocate to Surat. A year’s worth of maintenance was given for free to anyone who made the transfer as a friendly inducement. Companies who chose this shift were also guaranteed substantial visibility, with their names placed conspicuously next to the SDB welcome area.</p>
<p>Two months ago, Kiran Gems & Diamonds closed its Mumbai office and relocated the majority of its staff to Surat. In Surat, the firm constructed a housing society consisting of 1,200 apartments specifically for its workforce. Lakhani did not reply calls sent to his phone.</p>