Legacy of Leadership

“Completing the GIA program not only provided valuable education but also allowed me to network with peers from similar backgrounds, which was incredibly enriching.”
Mohit Jethani of Jet Gems Fine Jewellery and GIA Graduate Diamonds

“What truly set the GIA program apart was its meticulously structured approach. Completing the program didn’t just equip me with knowledge; it transformed my mindset. I emerged not only prepared, but confident.”

Janak Jethani of Jet Gems Fine Jewellery and GIA Graduate Diamonds

Q1. Can you tell us about the journey of Jet Gems from its inception? And how and why did you both decide to join the business?

Mohit: Founded in 1981 by our father, Pradeep Jethani, who held a deep passion for jewelry, Jet Gems began its operations from Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar. Over time, he earned a reputation for attention to detail, commitment to quality, and a fusion of Western-inspired designs with Indian craftsmanship. This unique approach garnered attention and propelled our journey to fame. Witnessing the brand’s growth, particularly its expansion from Zaveri Bazaar to Bandra, including our flagship store on Turner Road, and more recently, our outlet in Dubai, fills me with pride. Despite initially not envisioning myself in the jewelry industry motivated me to join. My entry into the business naturally involved contributing to the creation of modern designs with international appeal, keeping alive the tradition started by my father.

Janak: Actually, my story shares many similarities with Mohit. Despite the slight age gap between Mohit and I, we’ve always been inseparable. Whether it’s playing football together several times a week or heading straight to our dad’s office after school, we’ve done everything as a team. I vividly recall handling my first solitaire when I was as an eight- or nine-year-old and exploring different gemstones with fascination. There was even a moment when I expressed my dislike for a ring design my father had created, prompting him to make alterations based on my feedback. However, when considering joining the family business, my dad made it clear that acquiring formal education through a GIA program is a must. This emphasis on education, coupled with practical experience such as handling shipments and observing design processes since our early teens, has been a fundamental part of our upbringing.

Q2. Walk us through why you both decided to pursue a GIA program. How was the experience and how does that knowledge help you in business today?

Mohit:  When I first entered the business, enrolling in the GIA program wasn’t my initial inclination. I considered whether the knowledge could be obtained from colleagues in the office, but eventually realized the value of formal education. That’s when I decided to give GIA a try, and I strongly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t yet. While the curriculum can be rigorous, especially for someone transitioning from a work environment, it covers everything necessary for the future. Despite challenges, the structured approach ensured no time was wasted. As someone accustomed to a less organized environment, the industry standard set by GIA instilled confidence in me. Completing the course not only provided valuable education but also allowed me to network with peers from similar backgrounds, which was incredibly enriching. It was great to see the future talents of our industry coming together to learn and grow on a GIA campus.

Janak: Honestly, studying at GIA was probably the most challenging educational endeavor I’ve ever undertaken.. Shortly after finishing my university, I joined GIA. The idea of returning to a structured learning environment seemed overwhelming—I wasn’t sure if I was ready to embrace the rigor of academic life again. The first two weeks tested my resolve, particularly with the theoretical components of the curriculum. While I recognized their importance for foundational understanding and advancing to the practical applications that intrigued me, the theoretical aspect of the program felt like a monumental task for me.

What truly set the GIA program apart was its structured approach. Completing the program didn’t just equip me with knowledge; it transformed my mindset. I emerged not only prepared, but confident. The depth and thoroughness of the instruction were simply unparalleled.

A notable aspect of my learning journey was the emphasis on detail. For instance, my prior exposure to diamond grading was somewhat limited, focusing mainly on higher-quality grades. GIA broadened my perspective, introducing me to a wider array of diamond inclusions and grades, such as SI1 and SI2, which were previously unknown to me. This exposure was invaluable, extending my understanding beyond the familiar. Learning to discern subtle color variations and understanding the impact of fluorescence on diamond appearance were revelations. Before this program, I was only vaguely aware of fluorescence in diamonds and had no idea a diamond could appear blue under certain lighting conditions.

As the course progressed, my eagerness to learn grew and these insights transformed my perception of diamonds, unveiling a complexity and depth I had not fully understood before.

Looking back, I now appreciate the professional structure of the GIA program as a significant advancement over the conventional approaches we relied on in our family business.

Mohit: I’ve come to see the theoretical part as essential, particularly for anyone who’s not already familiar with the industry. The knowledge gained there is what you pass on to your customers. Understanding and sharing the journey of where diamonds come from, and their historical significance is vital. It’s this kind of background that makes selling not just easier, but more meaningful.

Q 3. What according to you are top three design trends a jeweler needs to adapt today?

Mohit: Reflecting on my journey over the past decade in this industry, I’ve noticed significant shifts in trends, largely driven by the fluctuating prices of gold. This increase has directly impacted the affordability of jewelry for many consumers. In response to these changes, there’s been a clear move towards more affordable and lightweight jewelry. This shift has been made possible through the adoption of Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) techniques, allowing us to create designs that are both lightweight and durable.

In the bridal jewelry segment, I’ve observed a fascinating change. Where once brides preferred opulent, heavy sets for their big day there’s now a growing demand for versatility. Modern brides are looking for jewelry they can re-wear on different occasions, from family gatherings to friends’ weddings. They’re seeking elegance and bridal distinction without the weight and opting for layered necklaces over a single, heavy piece.

Additionally, there’s been an exciting increase in the use of semi-precious and precious-colored stones, with pastel-colored stones like sapphires becoming particularly popular. This trend towards embracing vibrant, even funky colors marks a significant shift towards global fashion trends, reflecting a broader acceptance of colorful expressions in jewelry here in India.

Q4. Could you share insights into the strategies, methodologies, or frameworks that Jet Gems employs to maintain and guarantee superior quality in both the materials used and the finished jewelry pieces?

Janak: When it comes to ensuring quality, I’ve come to realize that it’s all about paying attention to the finer details. For instance, the prongs on our rings or bangles. We ensure that they’re smooth enough that they won’t snag on skin or hair, causing discomfort. It’s those little annoyances that we aim to eliminate. We meticulously examine every aspect to ensure a seamless and pain-free experience for our customers.

We also invest in the development of our craftsmen, providing them with regular feedback and workshops to learn new techniques. By exposing them to different methods and approaches, we not only enhance their skills but also inspire them to innovate and improve our designs. This attention to craftsmanship might not always be visible to the untrained eye, but it’s what sets our jewelry apart.

We also make it a point to stay informed about the latest trends and techniques by attending exhibitions in countries renowned for their craftsmanship, such as Turkey and Italy. I believe that integrating these techniques into our work elevates the quality of our jewelry. For instance, we focus on hidden hinges to ensure flexibility and comfort in our choker-style necklaces, just like a well-fitted watch.

Q5. Imagine I’m a fresh GIA graduate and want to build a jewellery business with a strong focus to become a jeweler for Bollywood celebrities. Firstly, can I? Secondly, how do I go about this without any celebrity connections?

Mohit: Yes, it’s possible to succeed in the jewelry business, or any business for that matter. But, it requires a keen focus. First and foremost, being well-organized and adaptable is crucial. Challenges are inevitable, so being prepared to tackle them head-on is important. Anticipation is one thing, but reality often presents unexpected hurdles. This holds true across any industry, not just jewelry. Starting a new venture demands personal sacrifices and dedication. You’ll find yourself working harder than ever, often around the clock. Contrary to common belief, owning a business doesn’t equate to an easier workload—it often means the opposite.

Success in the jewelry industry hinges on a blend of creativity, constant attention to detail, and unwavering customer focus. Speaking of marketing, while traditional advertising methods still hold merit, the landscape has evolved. If someone is considering using Bollywood as a marketing angle today, the market presents more accessible opportunities. While we have had celebrities who were our customers, today collaborating with celebrity stylists can facilitate placement with specific celebrities.

Janak:  Instead of fixating solely on Bollywood, emphasizing the product’s quality is paramount. Let the excellence of your product speak for itself, and eventual recognition from Bollywood will naturally follow.

Q6. Any interesting Bollywood client stories you want to share with us?

Mohit: Growing up around the store, I’ve had the opportunity to witness firsthand some memorable encounters with celebrities. It’s been special to connect with them on a personal level, and I feel fortunate to have crossed paths with some truly wonderful individuals. While I won’t delve into specific details about which celebrities we’ve worked with, I can share that we’ve been privileged to create wedding jewelry for some prominent people and have also undertaken the restoration of heirloom pieces.

One notable project that stands out is our involvement in the wedding jewelry for both Kapoor sisters. This was during my father’s time, and it was fascinating to be part of such prestigious projects. For instance, during Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor’s wedding, we were tasked with restoring some of his family’s jewelry, including intricate kurta buttons adorned with their family crest. These experiences hold a special place for us, and while we don’t actively promote them, you can find mentions of our work on various media platforms. We’ve also had the opportunity to work on several royal pieces of jewelry, including brooches and sherwani buttons. Being involved in the restoration of these pieces, which are integral to our nation’s rich history, is incredibly rewarding. It’s a privilege to play a role in preserving our cultural heritage, and I take great pride in being entrusted with such significant projects.

Q7. How do you ensure that the gemstones you procure are from ethical sources? How do you communicate this to your clientele, whilst balancing finer aspects of storytelling and information-overload?

Janak: When it comes to sourcing, we take our due diligence very seriously. While the business aspect is well-known, I personally make it a point to thoroughly vet our suppliers. I’m relentless in asking questions and conducting site visits before committing to anything.

It’s imperative for us to have a detailed record of the origin of gemstones and other important factors. Some suppliers may find our rigorous process challenging, but until I’m satisfied with the answers, we won’t proceed. For instance, when it comes to diamonds, we ensure that our suppliers adhere to the Kimberley Process certification. If these details are not in place, we don’t hesitate to reject the inventory. While we have established relationships with our suppliers, we’re always open to meeting new potential partners. Grading, identification and origin reports from reputable laboratories like GIA are also key factors in our decision-making process.


Storytelling is another aspect that varies from salesperson to salesperson and client to client. However, transparency is at the core of our company values. I believe in educating the client, spending ample time to explain different certifications, origins of stones, and sharing stories before showcasing products. This approach is especially important with new clients who may have preconceived notions, whereas our established clients already trust our process implicitly.

Q8. Can you share two examples of how Jet Gems has integrated innovation and technology into its operations – one from a design & manufacturing POV and another from sales & marketing POV?

Mohit: One of the most significant transformations, particularly in jewelry manufacturing, is the emergence of innovative technologies like CAD/CAM. These advancements have completely reshaped the design and production processes, providing new opportunities for creativity and efficiency. With CAD/CAM, complex geometric designs that were once difficult to imagine and labor-intensive to create manually can now be effortlessly crafted using just a laptop and specialized software. While adapting to these technologies has necessitated retraining our craftsmen, the benefits to our business have been immense. Prototyping has become more streamlined, allowing us to preview designs before production and easily make any necessary adjustments. Moreover, the efficiency gains have enabled us to increase our inventory output in shorter time frames.

On the sales and marketing front, there have been significant global advancements with the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots. Although we are yet to integrate these technologies into our operations, their potential impact on the future of jewelry retailing is undeniable. Similarly, augmented reality (AR) has made notable strides, enabling customers to virtually try-on jewelry from the comfort of their homes. This technological innovation has the potential to transform the customer experience and revolutionize the way jewelry is purchased, especially for those who prefer a tactile shopping experience.

Q9. What do you do when you both disagree with each other? Or you both collectively disagree with your father?

Mohit: Disagreements are inevitable. We have had disagreements regarding leadership styles in the past. Each of us has our unique approach to work, and while there’s no right or wrong, unanimity in approach is crucial. Initially, we faced disagreements at a basic level, but they didn’t create any long-term issues as we swiftly found resolutions. Establishing clear roles and responsibilities became paramount to prevent future conflicts and promote growth. Even with defined roles, disagreements may still arise. Transparency in decision-making is key within a family business. Seeking input from experienced family members provides valuable perspectives and prevents tunnel vision.

Janak: I don’t view disagreements as inherently negative; they’re opportunities for communication and growth. Each disagreement presents multiple perspectives and solutions, fostering open dialogue. Disagreeing with the elder generation broadens our understanding and provides valuable insights from their experience. Experience is something earned over time, not bought. Finding a balance between differing viewpoints is crucial. In India, family businesses have a rich history, in fact some of the corporate giants today in India are family owned. While we strive to maintain autonomy in our respective departments, collaboration and communication remain paramount. Disagreements are natural, especially among competitive siblings like Mohit and me. However, we prioritize familial harmony, ensuring that decisions are made collectively and with mutual respect.

Q10. Can you share a roadmap of how both of you wish to preserve the cultural and traditional values of Jet Gems in the years to come?

Mohit: Jet Gems isn’t just about the jewelry; it’s about preserving Indian culture and heritage. Even though our initial inspirations stemmed from global brands like Harry Winston, we’ve always made a point to incorporate traditional Indian techniques into our designs. However, with the rise of technology, many craftsmen, not just in jewelry but also in other industries like textiles, are facing displacement. It’s disheartening to see skills that were once passed down from generation to generation being overlooked by the younger generation, who often prefer pursuing studies abroad. This presents a significant challenge, one that we’re determined to address. We continuously invest in retraining our artisans, ensuring they adapt to new technologies while preserving their traditional skills. This effort extends beyond just our workshop; it’s a national endeavor, especially in cities like Mumbai, where availability of skilled artisans has declined post-COVID. Seeing the global admiration for Indian jewelry fills me with confidence that we’re moving in the right direction. With proper organization and effort, I believe there’s ample opportunity to ensure the longevity of these traditions.

Janak: It’s essential to educate clients about laboratory-grown options, even if it’s not our focus. Ensuring consumers understand these developments is crucial. My father always emphasized that jewelry is a byproduct of the trust we offer. We’re committed to maintaining this trust.

Q11. What is your favorite gemstone and why?

Janak Jethani: Personally, I have a strong affinity for blue, particularly blue sapphire. However, it’s rare for me to encounter blue sapphires due to prevalent astrological beliefs and superstitions in India. Despite this, I’ve had the opportunity to hold many blue sapphires throughout my life, each displaying a unique shade that mesmerizes me, especially when illuminated by sunlight.

Mohit Jethani: Yeah, so I have a few favorite gemstones, such as rubies, sapphires, and opals. If I had to pick one, without a doubt, I would choose emeralds. There’s so much fascinating history behind emeralds. They’ve been cherished since 1500 B.C. If you delve into their journey throughout history, you’ll find that civilizations like the Aztecs revered emeralds almost like deities. Even today, the region of South America is renowned for producing some of the finest emeralds. What’s intriguing is that emeralds are rarer than diamonds, adding to their allure. Personally, I find emeralds incredibly captivating, and they hold a special place among my favorite gemstones.

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