Image: Surat Diamond Bourse

What’s in a (golden) name (plate)? Plenty, if you go by diamond traders who are set to switch loyalty from BKC to the Surat Diamond Bourse.

In January this year, the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) made a lucrative offer to Mumbai traders to shift base. They have now sweetened the deal further, offering them a golden name plate on the main board of the diamond trade centre in Surat. Sources say that several traders from the city have already bought offices at SDB and many more are expected to move to Surat after the office’s inauguration early next year.

The Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB), in January, offered the city traders a waiver of the maintenance charge for the first six months and promised to display their names in the reception area for lifetime. The Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) at Bandra-Kurla Complex had objected to the offer, and even the Shiv Sena, which was then heading the coalition government in the state, had opposed the SDB’s offer.

The SDB’s new circular, issued recently, comes after Maharashtra lost a series of big projects to Gujarat since the government of rebel Eknath Shinde’s Sena and the BJP took charge earlier this year. The new circular, issued on the letterhead of SDB Chairman Vallabhbhai S Lakhani (Patel) along with his signature, announced that the bourse’s building has received the occupancy certificate from the administration on November 7.

We are happily announcing that the work of Surat Diamond Bourse is fully complete, and it got permission from the government to operate the building from 07-11-2022…very soon, we will organise a grand opening ceremony in which SDB will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Shri Narendrabhai Modi… My request to all the members is that we all have to shift to SDB,” it added. The inauguration is expected after the Gujarat Assembly elections next month, sources say.

The trader’s name will be written in golden words on the main board of the Surat Diamond Bourse, including those who will complete their office furniture work and shift to SDB,” it stated. The earlier decided announcement is also included: “free maintenance for six months,” the circular stated, adding, that the committee is planning to not charge from the members for the following six months as well. “The first phase of members will get more profit due to this,” it added.

BDB committee member Kirit Bhansali says “The chair persons of both the BDB and the SDB have discussed this matter [about the circular] with each other. It is in everyone’s interest that both the bourses develop with all responsibilities. The diamond industry is booming right now. This is not the time to compete with each other. Instead, we should help and support each other.

SBD Chairman Vallabhbhai indicates that “Nobody should be annoyed with our latest circular. We are trying to start SDB so that it is in full swing soon, and there is nothing wrong with it. My wish is that everybody stays happy. Working out of Surat is comfortable instead of travelling three-four hours from Mumbai. It will reduce stress. Moreover, in Mumbai, people are not getting a flat in Rs 20 lakh, but in Surat, traders can easily get affordable stay and can do their business.

I wish no harm to anyone. The Mumbai diamond market and the BDB personally gave me many things. I started my career there and it’s an inspiration to us all. Those interested in SBD will come, and we are not forcing anyone,” he added.

BDB president Anup Mehta said, “We all have different strategies to work. This [SDB’s offer] is a marketing strategy, and we have no objection to it. But, we are against this message of asking people to close business in Mumbai and to shift to Surat. At last, traders will be where the business is.