Gujarat: Bharat Diamond Bourse Set for Major Expansion, Signaling Major Blow To SDB

Gujarat: Bharat Diamond Bourse Set for Major Expansion, Signaling Major Blow To SDB

This news comes amidst the ongoing struggle of the Surat Diamond Bourse to establish itself.

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Wednesday, March 27, 2024, 07:39 PM IST
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Bharat Diamond | File Photo

In a move that could significantly impact the future of the diamond trade in India, the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) in Mumbai is poised for a major expansion, potentially adding 1,000 new diamond offices and related infrastructure. This comes as a major blow to the aspirations of the newly built Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB), touted as the world's largest office building.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has proposed a global Floor Space Index (FSI) of 4.0 for the BDB's location in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) G block. This allows for significantly increased construction and development, paving the way for modern high-rises catering to the evolving needs of the diamond industry.

Expansion Plans For Bharat Diamond Bourse

Industry sources reveal that the new FSI will allow the BDB to add a whopping 12 lakh square feet of built-up space, accommodating an additional 1,000 diamond offices. Currently, the BDB, spread over 8.1 hectares, houses 2,500 diamond traders, a customs house, banks, and other essential service providers for the gem and jewelry trade. Its existing complex boasts 26 nine-story towers with a total constructed area of 20 lakh square feet.

"Previously, the FSI in BKC stood at 1.5 for residential and 2.0 for commercial users," explained a source familiar with the development. "The proposed global FSI of 4.0 for the E and G blocks allows for an additional 12 lakh square feet, bringing the total BDB construction to a massive 32 lakh square feet."

Challenges For Surat Diamond Bourse Amid BDB's Expansion

This news comes amidst the ongoing struggle of the Surat Diamond Bourse to establish itself.  A majority of its offices remain vacant, and the industry's leading figure, Vallabh Lakhani, chairman of Kiran Gems, has resigned from his position at the SDB and relocated his office to the BDB. This high-profile exit has cast doubt on the prospects of smaller and medium-sized diamond companies setting up base at the Surat bourse.

Recently, the Surat Diamond Bourse elected Surat BJP Rajya Sabha MP Govind Dholakia, who is the founder chairman of Shree Ramkrishna Export (SRK) as the chairman. However, the SDB committee is caught in the legal quagmire from the Ahmedabad-based PSP Projects Private Limited, the company behind the construction of this mammoth structure at Khajod in Surat. The Surat commercial court has ordered Surat Diamond Bourse to deposit bank guarantee of Rs 125 crore after the PSP projects filed a lawsuit for the recovery of the outstanding Rs 500 crore.

Impact Of BDB Expansion

"The global FSI of 4.0 for the BDB is a game-changer for the entire diamond industry," said a prominent diamond company owner who wished to remain anonymous. "With an additional 1,000 offices, the BDB will boast a total of 3,500, solidifying its position as the world's largest diamond bourse. The established reputation and daily influx of 50,000 people make BDB the clear first choice for diamond traders."

“The upcoming expansion of the Mumbai BDB coupled with the struggles of the Surat Bourse could significantly reshape the landscape of India's diamond trade. While Surat aimed to become the global diamond hub, Mumbai's established infrastructure and the proposed expansion seem likely to maintain its dominance in the foreseeable future” said diamond analyst Aniruddha Lidbide.

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