Well known Palanpuri diamantaire Vasantlalbhai Laxmichand Mehta, founder of the Blue Star Group and Arjav Diamonds, passed away in Mumbai on June 17. He was 82.
Vasantbhai came from Palanpur to Mumbai in 1947 and originally worked as a diamond trader in the city’s jewellery hub, Zaveri Bazaar. In 1966, he set up Blue Star, and over the next fifteen years, was joined in the business by his three sons Akshay, Anuj and Ashit. Together they expanded the company, setting up Arjav Diamonds in Antwerp in 1981, and steadily expanding global operations after that. Currently the third generation of the family has entered the business.
The developed his business around certain core values – most importantly that the employees always felt themselves as part of a larger family. Vasantbhai was also deeply interested in the development of his home town and the surrounding areas. Vasantbhai established the 'Jee Parivar' in memory of his mother. Over the years Jee Parivar has contributed towards various causes in the field of Health and Education in different parts of the country.
One of the most important contributions of the Jee Parivar was to the Palanpur Female Hospital for setting up of a full-fledged children’s hospital - the Jee Children’s Hospital – on the campus. This was opened in 1998. Later the Jee Parivar also constructed a new gynaecology hospital in place of the old one, which was opened in 2004.
In later years, Vasantbhai was less involved in the business and subsequently moved to Pondicherry where he was closely associated with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
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