Kirtilal K. Doshi, Founding Chairman of the Gemmological Institute of India (GII) and Chairman Emeritus, and a doyen in Gemmology who had a fruitful and purposeful life is no more. Doshi, son of Late Smt Diwaliben and Late Kalidasbhai S. Doshi, was born on 12th October 1922 and passed away peacefully in Mumbai on 20th November, 2023 at the age of 101 years.
He has been a visionary of the Indian gem and jewellery (GJ) industry and a leader of par excellence who dreamt great about GJ industry and contributed immensely for its growth in India. It is very difficult to include all his achievements in an article like this and therefore this effort is to include some of his contributions only and thus it is a bit GII centric.
As a child and as a young adult, he had been an avid reader and a scholar throughout his academic career. He graduated with Honors in Economics from the Elphinstone College, but discontinued his studies in 1942 to join India’s freedom struggle.
Soon after he joined his family business of gems, which at that time represented Valensa & Co. of Antwerp. In the late 1950’s and early 60’s, the Government of India sought his assistance in framing the import export policy for gemstones.
Kirtilalbhai Doshi was instrumental in the formation of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) in 1963 and played a key role in the preparation of the constitution of the GJEPC as well as the Bharat Diamond Bourse. He was elected as the Chairman of GJEPC in 1971 and it is well recorded that he has contributed immensely to its growth.
Doshi was a respected and admired personality in the global gem community. He was known for his passion, integrity, innovation and foresight. He was honored with several awards and recognitions, and to name a few: Lifetime Achievement Award by the GJEPC in 2012 and the Chairman Emeritus of GII and Shrenuj & Co Kirtilalbhai was a voracious reader and built a library of his own comprising over 2,000 books which he donated to various libraries across the country during his lifetime.
“What I have done for GII was to the best of my ability. What lies ahead is an enormous opportunity to take to the world. The new generation of business leaders in the gem and jewellery industry are dynamic and knowledgeable. They think beyond boundaries and have access to global resources. This is the time to take a giant leap and position GII at the helm. It has been my dream and your destiny that GII enjoys the zenith it deserves. I am sure that I will see this happen during my lifetime.” -Kirtilal K. Doshi