Kirtilal Doshi passed away peacefully!

Nov 23, 2023

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.

Kirtilalbhai was a man on a mission, and had a far sighted vision. He along with other visionaries like Late Rajendrabhai Shah, Late Himmatbhai Jhaveri, Late Padmakantbhai Jhaveri and Late Pravinbhai M. Nanavati met in 1965 and started the Gem and Jewelry Exporters Association.

Their vision also resulted in establishing the Gemmological Institute of India in 1971, with himself as the Chairman and Rajendrabhai as the Managing Trustee. They nurtured and guided the progress of GII. Under their tutelage, GII took up the mighty task of overcoming the traditionally restricted Indian markets and educate, enable and empower its students to accept a scientific approach to the working in the gemstones industry using the latest globally accepted best practices.

They were keen to inculcate values, demonstrate with skills and support with R&D with an aim of obtaining true values that made GII a well-recognised institute for testing gemstones and diamonds, developing the human resources to GJ industry and carry out R&D which is on par with global standards.

They visualized the need for using the best equipment and matching expertise. From its humble beginnings, GII grew in its strength and today boasts of all the latest gemstone instruments in the world and the best faculty and resources who have found success in the Indian gem industry.

When he was felicitated on 14th June 2019, he was reluctant to accept. But his love to G&J industry made him to accept the same. In his thanks giving speech, he expressed his unbridled love and affection for GII, of which a few lines are incorporated here.

“We realized that research and education in gemology was the most instrumental factor in creating a world-leading industry. This belief led to the creation of GII in 1971 and it is this fundamental belief that has kept us engaged in this 43 years long journey. We have nurtured GII with due care and respect. We have seen generations of students benefit from it and strengthen the Indian gem industry. GII is as close to my heart as is my family.” -Kirtilal K. Doshi.

On behalf of Board of Trustees and GII employees, we pray to Almighty to provide this great man’s soul moksha.

 

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