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29 Jul 2014
Sevantibhai Shah shares lessons from his life experiences at Round Table meet

Sevantibhai Shah (on r) and Parag Shah

An attentive audience

Speaking at a Round Table meet held under The Inspiration Series initiative on July 26th in Mumbai veteran diamantaire Sevantibhai Shah of Venus Jewel stressed that one of the key factors behind success in business is “doing something different, something unique”.  He added that each that each entrepreneur has to find his own path. “What is your own value addition, you have to decide yourself”. Almost 60 people had gathered for the event.

The discussion had begun with moderator for the event, Parag Shah of K. Girdharlal, skilfully drawing out Sevantibhai on his journey in the industry, from the early days through the years of building up the business to the present as one of the top companies in India. “The three pillars of my life have been to live simply, be honest and my immense love for reading,” said the stalwart.

From the beginning, Sevantibhai explained, he was against superstition and blind faith. With the help of his wife he convinced his extended family to give up blind belief and was successful in making his house “free of rituals”.  He added, “I believe that God was not to be found in or through rituals but through good values and good practices.”

Tracing the history of his initial foray into large stone manufacture, of which Venus was a pioneer in India, Sevantibhai spoke of how he realised during visits to Antwerp that the greatest value was created in processing large sized diamonds. He spoke about how he bought the rough and through sheer perseverance learnt to manufacture the stones to international standards, going on to establish a credible reputation in the international market.

Though Venus had set up its own grading system, they have begun using established labs to grade their stones. “I realised that you need third party certification for your diamonds,” he said. 

An interesting aspect which was brought out was the high level of technology incorporated by Venus in every sphere. This was not limited to the manufacturing process but even in areas like creating earthquake resistant buildings, security against other natural and manmade disasters like fires etc. Sevantbhai gave the example of ordering a server from IBM. “The company’s staff was surprised that a mere diamond company wanted the kind of specifications we had asked for,” he said. “We have not seen a server of this capacity anywhere else in India.”

 “People come and ask me, when will business pick up again? When will the situation get better? I tell them that even today the business is good.  While overall industry figures show negative growth, our company has registered a 36% growth in the last financial year. So it’s up to each person and company how they handle the situation,” he concluded. 


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