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One of our suppliers is Venus Jewel, a leading diamond company manufacturing in Surat with sales offices in Mumbai.

The company has for decades practices corporate social responsibility long before the title CSR was coined. Management and all staff eat the same food in the same cafeteria (very fine Jain Indian food too, I might add).

The Staff has a complex bonus system that starts with how they arrive at work (+points for no pollution and minus if you drive in your own car). Individual decisions such as “I think we should make this rough diamond into a 3.00ct pear shape” and another operator says, “no, it will finish as 2.95ct and a 2ct round would be worth more”.

After production, the one who makes a commitment gets bonus points if his decision is vindicated, or loses points if he is wrong. The end result is an engaged continually learning workforce earning top money. Surat has the highest household income in India, more even than the internet service cities.

The factory was the first of now many high-rise developments where the workers use ultra-modern computer networked equipment. A considerable amount of the technology employed has been developed and supplied by the R&D outfit, the Cut Group, that our founder Garry Holloway is a member of. This includes the software that enables Garry to ‘see’ every aspect of a diamond, measure its light performance and assess its beauty. Garry and his partners have made many modifications to diamond-cut designs used by Venus.

The building is built with an empty centre so that the cutters all have as much natural light as possible, plus it’s a place for corporate gatherings.