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unEXPRESSed : Turning Values into Actions

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

92% of the World's Diamonds are cut and polished in India, mostly in the City of Surat in Gujarat. India Exports

Diamonds worth around Rs 2 lakh crores. From the initial viewpoint it might seem that what does the Diamond industry of India has anything to do with values and actions? But this is a success story of India and prabhu Shri Krishna through Bhagwad Geeta has suggested that

Translation:

"Wherever there is Lord Krishna, the master of yoga, and wherever there is Arjuna, the wielder of the bow, there will surely be prosperity, victory, wealth, and sound judgement. This is my firm conviction."

This shloka reflects the idea that when righteous values are upheld and acted upon, they lead to positive outcomes and success.

The credit of India in the world's Diamond market goes to the Jain Community as they are the pioneers and today have complete control over the Diamond Industry of India. The Jain community through its success across the Diamond industry is a perfect example of how right values put into action can bring success and prosperity.

Until the late 20th Century the Jews of Belgium (Antwerp) had complete control over the Diamond market of the world. They possessed the necessary skill workforce to cut and polish diamonds, they had the necessary back channels to mine raw diamonds from the mines of Africa, it had access to the richest world market and it also the trust of the elite of the world.

And after the Jewish holocaust during World War 2, around 65% of the Jewish population in Belgium was massacred by Hitler. And then they turned inwards and tightened their grip over the Diamond trade. But Diamonds mean richness and the Jain community wanted to enter this market. But the tight Jewish control made it difficult to enter this market. But the Jains found the grey area and it was something called Diamond Dust. The Jews didn’t indulge in small diamond trade and gave them away at dirt cheap costs. The Jains found this as an

opportunity and entered into these small diamond markets and over the last century established a skilled workforce that could cut and polish these small diamonds. They became so efficient at this polishing and cutting business that while the Jewish workforce charged around $1500 to cut 1 carat of diamond the workforce of Jains would charge

mere $15 per carat without compromising on the quality. Eventually when the social media and internet boom happened the majority of the middle class learnt about these small diamonds which they could afford. This suddenly opened a Pandora's box for the Jains whose business skyrocketed in no time. And today they control the World’s Diamond market.

And the Jains ability to stick to their values and bring them to actions is the major reason behind this. So what are these values? First the Jains have a strong sense of social bonding and always stay united. We very well know that ‘United we stand, divided we fall’. The Jains didn’t just read this quote but also brought it into reality. The Jains encouraged their fellow Jains to enter the Diamond market and helped them establish themselves at different levels

of the supply chain. The rich Jains funded the poor until the poor became self-sufficient. Picture yourself in a position where you need to take a loan to start a new business and the hefty interests you need to pay for the upcoming 10-15 years. The business’s half energy is wasted in repaying the loan. But Jains understood this and thus established an intra-community funding system with literally zero interest, packaged with technical guidance, moral support and other resources.

Secondly, the major factor that established a society is trust and the Jain have also mastered the art of Social Trust.

Imagine giving Diamonds worth Rs 50 lakh to a fellow member just on the basis of the verbal promise to pay on time. But it is a reality amongst the Jain community. The Jain Diamond merchants (Angadiyas) during the 20th Century carried diamonds worth crores to European markets and paid money to the Jain sellers upon coming back to India. But this was possible because if a Jain breaks this trust and cheats he and his family loses the community

support that is explained in the paragraph above.

Thirdly, the Jains have established a strong mindset to take risks, travel to places and establish themselves across the globe. In every neighborhood we will find a Jain doing small to big business utmost efficiently. This is because the community in the vicinity is strongly interconnected and is available for each other during adverse situations.

Jains form a mere 0.4% of the population of India but pay 24% of the total taxes of India. This highly remarkable success of Jains is majorly due to their ability of turning values into actions....


.... Runner Up: Rtr. Prasad Raje

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