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Diamond smoke over Vladivostok
Let's create a diamond exchange in Vladivostok ...
Trutnev from the Davos rostrum calls on foreign capitalists to work in the Far East. Well, for example, buy diamonds. We have diamonds in Yakutia, pinned to the Far East, whole kimberlite pipes. Enough to sell them to De Beers with raw materials. Let's create a diamond exchange in Vladivostok ...
He got to know everyone, made friends with everyone, invited everyone to parties and took out his cards from his business card holder as if they were covered with diamond dust. "Choron Diamond" was written on the card, and below is Sunil Gandhi.
The Indian Consulate in Vladivostok appeared in 1992, earlier than the American and Japanese ones. And we drank Indian tea, but we didn't understand the varieties of Chinese yet.
Sunil became so familiar to everyone that it seemed that being him was a business in itself. But then the then vice-governor Viktor Gorchakov, who was in charge of international activities, announced that on March 19, 2003, the Primorskiy Almaz cutting factory was opening in Vladivostok. Indian partners have invested half a million dollars in equipment, created a hundred jobs to turn small Yakut diamonds weighing less than a quarter of a carat (they were called "Indian") into jewelry.
After the presentation of the factory, the angels around Sunil became even taller and more beautiful, and he shone like the moon surrounded by stars. Things were going great. The staff grew from a hundred people to 150, and the Indians left, and the local residents began to work. It was planned to produce products per year for $ 30 million and the plans were exceeded (in Yakutsk, the first Indian cutting factory opened a few years earlier, but it was stuck at the 20 million mark). Sunil was asked if he would expand production in Primorye, and he added that he was ready to look for diamonds here too. Rings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets of "Primorsky Almaz" were made gracefully, in an unusual design, affordable and sold in their own store in Vladivostok and sent to South-East Asia.
- Sunil, why do you face such a trifle, you don't have enough money for big money? I teased him.
“My friend, Jews cut large diamonds, there are few of them, but there are many of us Indians, and you, Russians, are many — small ones are enough for everyone,” the wise Sunil answered.
Sunil was not happy for long how things were going in Primorye. As soon as it got promoted, it only paid 50 million rubles to the budget for its first year and a half, when in 2005 ALROSA found it easier and more profitable to wholesale its entire diamond harvest at once than to bargain with small clients. Sunil rushed to the regional administration for support. After all, an "investment pioneer". They assure that the then governor Sergei Darkin personally called the President of the Sakha Republic Vyacheslav Shtyrov, whose dad, by the way, served as a rear admiral in the Pacific Fleet's intelligence.
But intercession did not help. Sunil stopped the factory, his shop lasted until the 2008 crisis. And now he does business in South Africa in Bloemfontaine and visits Vladivostok. Sunil was welcoming but humble, and I was surprised to find his name on Bloomberg and his company Sunraj Diamond Export Ltd listed on the Mumbai Stock Exchange.
And what about the development of relations between India and Primorye? Sunil in his second year in his "Primorsky Diamond" has a turnover of $ 40 million. It was 2005. And for 11 months of 2015, the share of Primorye in trade with India pulls as much as $ 9 in exports and $ 21 in imports: some medicines, fruits, spices, tea ... the meat was brought in for processing.
So, the "diamond exchange" is correct, it is global, but the experience of Sunil Gandhi shows that sometimes a small enterprise gives more jobs, and a business - it depends not so much on "preferences" as on how global players behave in this market.