Diamonds are forever for Priyank Shah, a 2014 NYU SPS Division of Programs in Business marketing graduate. He is the third generation in his family to carry on the diamond business started by his grandfather seven decades ago, bringing rough diamonds mined in Africa, Russia, and Australia to India for finishing.
“The jewelry market in India is a whole world unto itself,” declares Shah, the director of Creative Jewel Tech, an advanced jewelry-manufacturing and services company based in Mumbai. “It’s a market that will never run out of clients. Diamonds and gold have both an emotional and investment value.”
Shah had no plans to go into the family business when growing up. An electronic engineer by training, he moved to the US to earn his MS in Integrated Marketing and Communications. “I was trying to find myself, and digital marketing was a new thing in India,” he says. He selected NYU SPS for its location in New York City—which resonated with him for its similarity to Mumbai’s fast-paced life—and for its stellar reputation. He also liked the creative and analytical aspects of digital marketing. “It's like using both sides of your brain,” he says.
While earning his graduate degree at NYU SPS, Shah worked in marketing at Christie's, the auction house, and at Henri Daussi Jewelers in New York, and he earned a graduate diamonds credential from the Gemological Institute of America. He also took the time to travel across the globe “to learn new things, get inspired, relive history through architecture, connect with people, soak in nature, and get insights.”
Eventually, however, his interest in new technologies and the advent of advanced manufacturing CNC (Computerized Numerically Controlled) machinery in the jewelry sector enticed him back to his roots and the family business. “We are proud to be pioneers in the jewelry space using CNC,” he says. “It is a very cool technology and has the capability to create infinite combinations and designs. It optimizes design, technology, data, and analytics and blends the old and new methods.”
As a multitasker, Shah believes in juggling new ideas and projects. In addition to his own business, he has partnered with Imaginarium, a leading rapid-manufacturing company that uses cutting-edge technologies like 3D Printing to bring ideas to life and speed up new product development. The process has applications across industries such as automotive, aerospace, medical devices, consumer electronics, jewelry, and more.
Both CNC and 3D technology are complementary in Shah’s view. “The 3D printer will use the input material—powder or liquid—and deposit it layer by layer as per the given computer-aided design,” he explains. “3D is an additive technology while CNC is subtractive manufacturing.”
Shah has big plans to add another layer to his company—expanding it from a product-manufacturing into a luxury-as-a-service business. “I believe our collections will touch you since a piece of art is not just made of gold and diamonds but more, importantly, the intangibles: values, creativity, insights, acumen, craftsmanship, energy, hard work, and love,” he says.