Antwerp Brings Good News for Gems Industry

The Indian diamond industry is celebrating a significant achievement as five out of six newly elected board members of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) are of Indian origin. The election, which took place on Monday and Tuesday, has instilled a sense of optimism among Indian diamond traders and industry stakeholders.

Composition of the New Board

The AWDC board consists of 12 members: six elected representatives from the trade, one union representative, three local bourse representatives, one government representative, and one independent director. The six elected members are chosen from three categories based on company sales: over 100 million Euros, between 30 to 100 million Euros, and below 30 million Euros.

Elected Members by Category

In the highest sales category (over 100 million Euros), Ravi Bhansali, Managing Director of Rosy Blue, and Isi Mörsel from Dali Diamonds Company were elected. In the mid-range category (30 to 100 million Euros), Prakash Patel of Veediam and Hitesh Kakadiya of Sheetal Europe secured their positions. The lowest sales category (below 30 million Euros) saw Chirag Shah of Yashvi Diamonds and Samit Mehta of Snehdiam being elected.

New Voices, New Visions

Ravi Bhansali expressed his commitment to revitalize the struggling diamond industry in Antwerp, highlighting the need for fresh leadership. “We have a great appetite to rebuild the industry in Antwerp, which has faced challenges for almost a decade,” Bhansali stated. He emphasized the importance of innovative approaches to address the various issues plaguing the industry.

Prakash Patel echoed these sentiments, noting the global significance of the AWDC. “It is an honour to become a board member of such a key business body. We are focused on addressing the critical issues impacting the diamond industry,” Patel said.

Industry Reactions

The election results have been well-received by the diamond community, both in Antwerp and India. Dinesh Navadiya, Chairman of the Indian Diamond Institute (IDI), highlighted the importance of having Indian-origin members in influential positions. “This is a significant development for the global diamond industry. The new board members will tackle various industry challenges,” Navadiya commented.

Local diamond traders in Antwerp are optimistic about the future under the new leadership. “We are thrilled with the election outcome and look forward to positive changes,” an Antwerp-based trader remarked.

Governance and Terms

The AWDC has a structured governance system where the term of office for board members is four years, with a rotation policy ensuring half of the board is renewed every two years. Only the six members representing the trade are directly elected by an electorate. The other positions are filled through nominations by bourses and the Syndicate of the Belgian Diamond Industry, while the independent director is appointed by the board.

The election of five Indian-origin members to the AWDC board marks a pivotal moment for the diamond industry. With new leaders ready to address longstanding issues, there is renewed hope for the industry‘s future in Antwerp and beyond.

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