Jewels of Excellence: 10 Trailblazers Honoured at IIJS Signature’s Hall of Fame

In a glittering celebration of excellence, the gem and jewellery industry bestowed its highest honour upon ten luminaries at the prestigious IIJS Signature Show, as they were inducted into the coveted Hall of Fame category. The event served as a platform to recognise the outstanding contributions of these trailblazers who have left an indelible mark on the industry.

This momentous occasion not only celebrated the achievements of these 10 luminaries but also highlighted the collective spirit of the gem and jewellery community.

Shri Piyush Goyal Honoured With the Hall of Fame – Business Leader of the Year Award by GJEPC

At the inauguration ceremony of IIJS Signature at Jio World, GJEPC honoured Shri Piyush Goyal, the Hon’ble Minister for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution & Textiles, Government of India, with the Hall of Fame – Business Leader of The Year Award. While presenting the award to Shri Goyal, Mr. Vipul Shah,
Chairman, GJEPC, stated, “We express our profound gratitude and admiration by conferring you with the “Hall of Fame – Leader Of The Year award. Your exceptional leadership, notably as the Minister of Commerce & Industry, your solid support to the sector, your persistence and commitment in leading the industry to scale remarkable heights is noteworthy. For several years, you have played a pivotal role in steering the growth, advancement and most importantly, transformation of our industry.

“Your adept handling of complex issues like excise has garnered admiration from the Government, jewellers, and the public. Your proactive and meticulous approach in resolving GST challenges and steering initiatives like the India-UAE CEPA, enhancing gold jewellery exports, stands as a testament to your vision, especially amid challenging
times. The implementation of Mandatory Hallmarking Scheme for Gold Jewellery and coining the HUID, a unique feature in the world, marked a pivotal moment for the industry, benefiting both customers and businesses alike. Your leadership and personal involvement in revolutionising the SEEPZ Mumbai through Mega CFC and Nest 1 & 2 demonstrates your dedication to growth and operational excellence. Digitising certificates and licenses from DGFT to exporter has streamlined processes, while your initiative like ONDC for exports via e-commerce has broadened the industry’s global reach. The grant of Rs.242 crore to IIT Madras for Lab-Grown Diamonds (LGD) research underscores your commitment to sustainable industry development, reinforcing India’s global prominence as a leading gem and jewellery sourcing destination for the world for years come.”

Graciously receiving the award and genuinely moved by the unexpected honour, Shri Piyush Goyal expressed his humility during his keynote address at IIJS Signature, stating that it was his inaugural event of the year.

He acknowledged the unstinted support of the Honorable Prime Minister, who serves as a vocal advocate and brand ambassador for the industry. Shri Goyal highlighted the government’s steadfast commitment to exploring avenues for India’s global expansion, emphasizing their dedicated efforts to ensure the success of this pivotal sector.

Govindbhai Laljibhai Dholakia

Mr. Govindbhai Laljibhai Dholakia, the Founder-Chairman of Shree Ramkrishna Exports Pvt. Ltd. (SRK), a leading diamond company, embodies the philosophy, “I Am Nothing, But I Can Do Anything.” Renowned for his visionary leadership, Dholakia has steered the Mumbai headquartered company with over 6,000 employees, equipped with cutting-edge ‘green’ facilities in Surat.

SRK is a recipient of several awards, including the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award in Philanthropy’ in 2023 by Hurun India and EdelGive Foundation; the ‘Outstanding contribution to the diamond industry’ at House of Lords (London) in 2023; and the ‘Most Respected Family Business of the Year 2022’ by Hurun Report. In 2017, he received the “Leadership Award” by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in the year 2017.

A philanthropist at heart, Mr. Dholakia set up the SRK Knowledge Foundation (SRKKF), that has so far provided financial aid for educational scholarships & medical exigencies, to over 30 lakh beneficiaries. Drawing from his wealth of experiences, Mr. Dholakia is a sought-after guest speaker at prestigious institutes like IIM, IIT, ISRO, IIS and more.

Mr. Dholakia’s autobiography, “Diamonds are Forever, So are Morals,” chronicles his journey, encapsulating the trials and triumphs of nearly 50 years.

Shailesh Sangani

A celebrated stalwart in the gems and jewellery industry, Mr. Shailesh Sangani, the Founder of Priority Jewels is powered by foresight, intellectual acuity and a strong vision. An outstanding champion of new learning and reforms, he is regarded as one of the most acclaimed

and influential pioneers of the industry. Mr. Sangani was the Convener of National Exhibitions at GJEPC.

Sangani has stayed relevant through a period of industry transformation by tackling the most formidable challenges with grit and determination. A testament to his ‘never say die’ attitude is the holding of the highly successful Virtual IIJS Shows during the stringent Covid-related lockdowns! As a result, he is acknowledged as an industry advisor and mentor to many entrepreneurs and companies. Sangani, who has led several path-breaking initiatives in the jewellery industry, drives the strategic direction of Priority Jewels.

With a track record of leading groundbreaking initiatives in the jewellery industry, Mr. Sangani is at the helm, steering the strategic direction of Priority Jewels.

Joy Alukkas

Under the visionary leadership of Mr. Joy Alukkas, the world’s favourite jeweller has evolved into a vast retail chain with over 150 showrooms spanning across 11 countries worldwide. Enjoying the trust and patronage of over 100 nationalities, Joyalukkas has become the preferred destination for jewellery shopping.

Since its establishment in 1987, the Joyalukkas Group has demonstrated rapid global expansion, solidifying its position as one of the most trusted brands in India, UK, USA, Singapore, Malaysia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, KSA, Bahrain, and Oman. The expansive retail chain is committed to further extending its presence in additional countries worldwide, driven by its vision to ‘Ornament the World’.

K Srinivasan

In 1984, Mr. K. Srinivasan, a young entrepreneur, embarked on his journey in the jewellery industry, taking small steps by learning the fine art of manufacturing jewellery. Today, the Emerald Jewel Industry India is the world’s largest jewellery manufacturers.

The company boasts a design bank with over 6 lakh jewellery patterns, producing collections in gold, platinum, silver, and diamond-studded varieties, contributing to over 4% of all jewellery made in India. Utilising more than 20 cutting-edge manufacturing technologies, Emerald Jewel Industry crafts sought-after jewels, appealing to millions of customers. The success achieved stands as a testament to Mr. Srinivasan’s determination.

Pramod Kumar Agrawal (Derewala)

Mr. Pramod Kumar Agrawal (Derewala) is a distinguished figure in the Indian gems and jewellery industry. Currently serving as a Member on the Board of Trade in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, he plays a pivotal role in shaping trade policies. Additionally, he serves as the Vice President of CIBJO, showcasing his global influence.

As the National Chairman of the National Gem & Jewellery Council of India (NGJCI), Mr. Agrawal oversees the domestic gems and jewellery trade in India. His involvement extends to the Governing Board of the Malviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT), a prestigious institute under the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Mr. Agrawal served as the Chairman of GJEPC. During his tenure, his visionary leadership led to the establishment of Common Facility Centres nationwide, and the creation of a world-class laboratory in Jaipur. Noteworthy initiatives include the impactful Cluster Mapping Project and the establishment of a hostel for the Indian Institute of Gems & Jewellery (IIGJ).

Nirupa Bhatt

Ms. Nirupa Bhatt is a globally recognised leader with over 35 years of experience in the gem and jewellery industry. During her two-decade tenure with “Rio Tinto,” she played a significant role in positioning India as a diamond jewellery vendor on the Indo Argyle Diamond Council platform, a successful venture with American retailers. Ms. Bhatt formulated the Business Excellence Model, showcasing India’s world-class capabilities to overseas retailers.

In her distinguished career, she successfully launched GIA India laboratories in Mumbai and Surat and led GIA education programs in the country. She actively engaged with industry and trade organisations like GJEPC, GJC, and IDCA – New York, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to industry growth. She has also served on various industry award juries and established the India chapter of WJA. Notably, she contributed to standardising GJEPC labs across India.

Currently, Nirupa consults with gem and jewellery businesses and offers coaching for Business and Leadership development.

Tehmasp Printer

Mr. Tehmasp Printer’s journey is a testament to his awe-inspiring career spanning over three decades. Known for his expertise in concept marketing, strategic management, and corporate governance, he has left an indelible mark on various industries. His illustrious affiliations with Tata Press, Blow Plast, along with the groundbreaking initiation into the gem and jewellery industry in 1999, where he introduced diamond grading practices to India, revolutionising an industry previously unfamiliar with global certification norms. From a modest beginning with just three employees and a revenue of $100,000 at IGI, the organisation has grown into a $70 million empire under his leadership. With 19 offices and a workforce of 700, IGI stands tall due to his dedication and steadfast commitment to excellence.

The recent acquisition by Blackstone, the largest private equity firm, and his ascent to the global CEO position further underscore his leadership skills.

Rajesh Kalyanaraman

Mr. Rajesh Kalyanaraman is widely acknowledged for his outstanding accomplishments and invaluable contributions to the gem and jewellery retail sector in both India and globally. The remarkable journey of Kalyan Jewellers, evolving from a single showroom in 1993 to establishing a widespread network of outlets across India and West Asia, serves as a testament to the dedication and visionary leadership exemplified by Mr. Rajesh Kalyanaraman.

The retail brand’s influential presence, spanning 21 states and Union Territories, with over 200 showrooms strategically located in major cities and adopting the innovative ‘My Kalyan’ hub-and-spoke model, ensures accessibility even in rural areas, showcasing Mr. Rajesh’s strategic acumen. As of June 30, 2020, the brand’s 30 showrooms in the GCC, including the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman, further highlight Kalyan Jewellers’ global impact on the industry.

Bijayananda Pattanayak

Mr. Bijayananda Pattanayak commenced his banking career in 1984 with the State Bank Group. Initially serving as a Relationship Banker for large corporates and export credit, he later assumed the role of branch head at the industrial estate branch.

In 1997, he transitioned to ABN AMRO Bank, where he held pivotal positions such as the Head of International Diamond & Jewellery Group, India, and the Head of International Diamond & Jewellery Group, Asia. Additionally, he was an esteemed member of the Global

Management Team. In 2010, the Managing Board of ABN AMRO Bank appointed him as the Country Executive for India.

Since July 2015, he has been at the helm of the Global Diamond & Jewellery Group in IndusInd Bank, holding a key position as a Core Executive Team Member within the Senior Management Team.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Discover the latest collections, news, and exclusive launches from us.