July 20, 2004
Dimexon-Eurostar Gives GIA India $1 Million Gift
Diamond manufacturing and trading group Dimexon Diamonds Ltd., Mumbai, and Eurostar Diamond Traders N.V., Antwerp, is one of the Gemological Institute of America's Founding Benefactors with a $1 million gift to GIA's Endowment for Education in India. GIA opened GIA India, a new education center in Mumbai, on July 14. Ensuring the Indian diamond industry's continued growth through increased educational opportunities was the driving force behind the gift, says Pankaj K. Mehta, chairman of Dimexon-Eurostar.
"The idea of the Indian school really touched our hearts," he says. "It's something we knew from the start we wanted to be associated with. [The school] gives something back to our country and the industry." India, the largest producer of polished diamonds in the world by volume, sends the second-greatest number of students to GIA for industry education. "India is looking forward to GIA coming here and is going to welcome it with open arms," says Kaushik K. Mehta, CEO of Dimexon-Eurostar. "We want to be a part of that."
"This latest gift to GIA's Endowment for Education in India is just one more example of a dedicated company's commitment not just to the Institute, but to India's booming diamond manufacturing and jewelry industry," says GIA President William E. Boyajian. "The educational value their contribution will provide, through scholarships and other opportunities, will benefit the Indian community and ensure even greater prosperity." Rosy Blue N.V., the diamond company that began in India and now has its headquarters in Antwerp, has also donated $1 million to the fund.
GIA named Deepak Bagai, who holds a master's degree in geology and has completed GIA training in diamonds and diamond grading, as director of GIA India. "There is a huge untapped market for gemological education in India," says Bagai. "There are limited career opportunities in some of the traditional fields/industries in India, but this field has plenty of openings, and a GIA education can help to open the door to a good job."
GIA Vice President of Education Brook Ellis describes the new education center as an important step in GIA's efforts to better serve India's demand for gemological education. "India's gem and jewelry industry is thriving and it is the world's largest, with an estimated one million employees. They want GIA's highly respected gemological education to enhance their industry and careers, and we are happy to help support their education needs," he says.
Located on the ninth floor at Maker Chambers VI, Nariman Point, in Mumbai's financial district, the new education center has two classrooms, each with a 23-student capacity, within its 2,509-sq.-ft. floor plan. Five-day Diamond Grading Extension classes are scheduled to start Aug. 16 and 23. The seven-week Graduate Diamonds diploma program is scheduled for Sept. 16 to Nov. 5. All classes at GIA India will be taught in English.
GIA India will be GIA's eleventh international location, and fourteenth overall. In 2004, GIA India will also offer the full GIA Distance Education curriculum, including Accredited Jewelry Professional, Diamonds and Diamond Grading, Colored Stones, and Gem Identification.