At the start of yet another new year, we find ourselves reflecting on the past and those stories that have helped shape our future. Here’s one such story that I’d like to bring to light. The inspiring story of Jagadish Kumar, a stunning individual, a pragmatic jeweller and the proud owner of Starlight Diamonds; whose efforts shine in the sparkling impression he leaves with everyone
Jagadish’s family moved from Rajasthan in the 1970s and established a gold finance business here in Bangalore. Being the eldest of two children, he had a memorable childhood while finishing his schooling in BMHS, his junior college at Krupanidhi, his graduation at Jain University and later his post-graduation in international business at St. Joseph’s College of Business Administration.
Facing a setback in class 10, he realised this was the chance for him to make a comeback and define his identity. In fact, this setback led him exactly to where he wanted to be. The only reason he decided to pursue his education in business was to explore new things, learn new industry practices and train himself to be a more practical person in order to start a business of his own. He stresses on how this course taught him different etiquettes, both business and cultural, that eventually routed him to his goals.
After his post-graduation, he joined hands with his friend to initiate a start-up. However, their ideologies didn’t match and he had to quit this initiative. Before making hasty decisions on what to do next, he allowed himself time to acknowledge his feelings of disappointment. In a few days he redirected that emotional energy toward progress and applied to 113 companies for a job, out of which one clicked.
As an employee of SME Rating Agency of India (SMERA), a ratings and research agency exclusively set up for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in India, he was trained to provide ratings which enable MSMEs and SMEs, to raise bank loans at competitive rates of interest. After his stint there, he made his way into the luxury market with a partnership with four of his peers. With trust issues creeping into the system, he walked out amicably and chose to stay unemployed for six months.
We’ve all been in Jagadish’s shoes at some point in our lives. When business ventures, careers, relationships or dreams don’t go as we planned and a change in course is unavoidable. However, the will to be different and create something new that adds value to the society is what pushed him to start his own line of customized jewellery in the luxury market.
In Sept 2017, at age 30, he started Starlight Diamonds. The demand for personalization was ramping up in almost every consumer category, from fast food to luxury, and he learnt that luxury brands can still retain their high-end image in a way that maximizes exclusivity on an individual level — not just at an expense level.
With this in mind he set up a factory and started curating jewellery that spoke volumes of the quality of the products and the brand value it had to offer.
So what does Starlight Diamonds do?
For the longest time, India has followed a traditional approach to making jewellery. We had and still have goldsmiths and craftsmen who create every piece by hand according to the customer’s likes and desires. The process is critical, tedious and time consuming. With new technology, the jewellery making scene has been revolutionized. Today we no longer melt gold and platinum with hand-held torches, however customization has taken a back seat with advancement in technology. In order to fix this, Starlight Diamonds has formulated a new process to meet the demands of the customer, create jewellery as per their likes using state-of-the-art technology and finishing the piece in
How does this work?
Jagadish has employed a design team in Mumbai, who capture the customer’s preference of patterns and concepts in 3D design. They get it 3D printed to give the customer the look and feel of the actual piece. This also gives the customer the scope for any last-minute changes, after which the design is cast in gold, filed, polished and delivered by a mix of team members who are talented craftsmen based out of his factories in Mumbai and Bangalore. Along with a skilled team, he’s also invested in high-tech machines to deliver the final product in utter preciseness, time and quality. Most of Jagadish’s clients (nearly 70%) are renowned jewellery brands that require custom making, while 30% are individuals. Starlight Diamonds primarily focus on curating 98% diamond products and
2% in Swarovski.
On days when Jagadish is not around taking client calls and policing his team members, he usually spends time with his little daughter and family folks enjoying movies and popcorn. His important takeaways on life: “enjoy what you do, there are many things that will have a negative impact in life but it is your job to take up challenges and solve
Invariably for Jagadish, the business is his baby. With his idea being unique, he never worries about competition. But he has brought about a certain discipline and process in work that has helped him achieve his day-to-day goals.
With all the support one can get, both financially and morally, Jagadish believes that kindness to one self and kindness to others can take you a long way. His life’s work is dedicated to encouraging every one of us to give ourselves the gift of time to work on our own big dreams and tap into our potential each and every day.