Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (Part II)

This series of posts is about members of my family who not only trail-blazed the industry, but also, continue to support BHANSALI as a fine jewelry company. We stand tall because BHANSALI is built on the shoulders of giants.
Today, I am sharing the story of my nana, maternal grandfather, Manhar Bhansali, who is celebrated as one of the visionaries of the modern diamond and jewelry industry industry.
Recently on a family group chat, my uncle and cousin spoke about some of my nana’s remarkable achievements.
One of the most impactful milestone was the creation of SEEPZ, a special jewelry manufacturing and export zone with liberal tax laws in Mumbai. My nana was tirelessly dedicated to its formation, and heated conversations, sleepless nights and family dinners with politicians were the norm in the Bhansali household. Creating SEEPZ was important to him because he saw how India could shape the entire gem and jewelry trade worldwide. He saw something that no one else did, and he was willing to dedicate himself to forging a new path.
It took years, but his company, Goldiam, was the very first with its own building in SEEPZ. Today, SEEPZ is the single largest export zone of diamond-studded jewelry to the United States. It is no wonder that in 2010, the New York Indian Diamond and Colored Stone Association awarded him with the “Pioneer of the Year” recognition.
After the group chat, I wondered where he found the fire to keep going despite large obstacles in his way. And then I realized that his persistence and perseverance in this industry is a Bhansali family value that has been passed on through the generations. In times like these, I am truly grateful to have inherited these traits.
This global pandemic has given me new obstacles of my own. Business activities dropped off a cliff and we had to find ways to pivot rapidly. However, in this state of chaos and change, I have found new and better ways to create, engage and service our clients.
At a time when conventional solutions and “how it’s always been done” no longer apply, I am faced with forging my own way forward. Thankfully, I can look to family like my nana and know that, though his circumstances may have been different, he was once in situations just like this as well. And that brings me comfort, and hope.