When you think of Jaipur, you think of its forts, its bazaars and its jewellery. Rarely would you associate the city with a conglomerate spread over 17 countries. One such gem from the entrepreneurial mines of Jaipur city is the KGK group. Read on to find out more…
In the by-lanes of Jaipur, one often hears tales of success of enterprising jewellers who carved a niche for themselves. But no story is as interesting and inspiring as the one that startedin 1905 when the visionary Kesrimal Kothari and Ghisilal Kothari started trading gemstones between India and Burma. They prepared the ground for what the KGK group, which is named after them, would go on to achieve.
Four generations later,the humble trading business has transformed into a multinational company with operations spread across 17 countries. It employs 12000 people and has diversified into mining, real estate, infrastructure and retail among other things.
To gauge how far the group has come – picture this –KGK’s diamond operations have earned the coveted status of a De Beers Sightholder, an Alrosa Alliance member and a Rio Tinto select Diamantaire.Navratan Kothari, the group’s chairman, took the mantel of the company in the 60s and steered it where few traditional jewellers dare to take their businesses. He battled all odds to provide a strong foundation upon which the coming generations could build a successful and sustainable organisation. And like a true leader, he has prepared the next generation well to keep the legacy going.
The company has two more strong leaders: Sanjay Kothari, vice chairman, KGK Group and Sandeep Kothari, group managing director, KGK Group.
Sanjay Kothari’s based in Hong Kong and has guided the company for over 30 years. He started with the initiative of setting up a diamond manufacturing unit in Mumbai after which he went on to develop many verticals, including international sales and marketing, jewellery manufacturing, gemstone mining, jewellery retailing and real estate. He is the force behind the group’s revamped IT operations and corporate identity.
Sandeep Kothari, group managing director, KGK Group, joined the business in 1990 and led the way for diamond procurement and processing aspects of the business. From his base in Antwerp, he helped increase the sales of KGK’s polished diamond business in Europe and has built strong relationships with De Beers, Alrosa and Rio Tinto.
The current trends in the gems and jewellery industry in India suggest that it will continue to contribute about 7% to the country’s GDP. Globally too, India is placed in a leadership position where demand for Indian gems and jewellery products both in the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets are very strong. KGK is well positioned in both segments with manufacturing units and offices spread across Asia, Australia, North and South America, Europe and Africa.
Over the years, KGK has become a go-to name for end-to-end gems and jewellery needs. The group is present in the entire spectrum of mining, sourcing, manufacturing and distributing coloured stones, diamonds and jewellery. It is present across the value chain to ensure smooth operations and impeccable quality standards.
Even in the consumer-facing arm of the business, which created the fine jewellery brand Entice – KGK has struck a chord with international and Indian clients alike.
But the Kothari family legacy is not just about individual success. At the very core of it is the idea of giving back and doing something that makes a difference. As a result, the KGK group is continuously engaged in doing social good and one of its biggest initiatives is the Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Jaipur that treats a large number of patients each year. The group has also taken the initiative to conserve the rich heritage of Jaipur by restoring the Jal Mahal and revitalising the Maan Sagar Lake. Given how important education is to the growth of a nation, the conglomerate also supports educational endeavours.