At a glittering event, GJEPC the apex body of the gem & jewellery trade in India, felicitated Bijayananda Pattanayak, Executive Vice President and Head – Global Diamond & Jewellery Group, IndusInd Bank, for his unstinted service to the diamond and jewellery industry. The felicitation ceremony was held in the presence of Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC; Arun Khurana, Deputy Managing Director, IndusInd Bank; Vipul Shah, Vice Chairman, GJEPC; Russell Mehta, Convener Diamond Panel, GJEPC; Ajesh Mehta, Convener, Banking, Insurance & Taxation Sub-Committee, GJEPC along with other prominent trade members from the diamond and jewellery industry and banking fraternity.

Expressing his gratitude to Pattanayak, Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, said, “Biju Bhai’s deep understanding of the entire chain of operations — right from sourcing of rough diamonds to selling of jewellery — makes him the true master of financing in the gem and jewellery trade. Thanks to his keen analytical mind and knack for maintaining meaningful personal relations with all his clients, over the past few years, Biju Bhai has been the driving force in making IndusInd Bank one of the leading financiers for in mid-stream segment of the diamond supply chain.”  

Bijayananda Pattanayak, said, “It’s an overwhelming moment for me to be honoured by GJEPC and the industry veterans who have been working with me for so many years. The industry has seen a lot of transition over the years, mostly for the good. And there were times when banking was very difficult, when we went through so many ups and downs. But the GJEPC has played a stellar role in helping to implement progressive, game-changing reforms, such as the Diamond Dollar Account.”

  “COVID was a stress test for the entire industry and we were unsure of where it would lead us. However, by March 2021 the industry sprung back to action and performed exceptionally well. Strength of character and succession planning are crucial to surviving the many phases of transition. I believe that the diamond business has deep underlying strength, with each new generation building on the success of the previous one. I think the diamond business is forever, and in your success lies our livelihood.”

Vipul Shah, Vice Chairman, GJEPC said, “Indian banks have played a significant role in supporting the diamond industry from its infancy all through its journey of becoming No. 1 in the midstream segment. Their trust and support were especially crucial following the 2008 crisis, that enabled India to emerge stronger. Biju Bhai’s support to the industry is commendable, it has helped the industry to dream big and scale new hights over the last many years.”

Ajesh Mehta, Convener, Banking, Insurance & Taxation Sub-Committee, GJEPC said, “Biju Bhai has always been a practical banker, who empathises with the trade and is keen to understand his customers’ technical issues and is always ready with guidance and solutions. It is a rare honour to have known him this closely and a true pleasure to work with him.” 

 Talking about his experience with Bijayananda spanning over decades, Russel Metha, Convener, Diamond Panel, said, “Our industry is thankful to Biju Bhai for operationalizing the Diamond Dollar Account. Initially, it was just on paper, but through Biju bhai’s support, we could start using the Diamond Dollar account successfully. Now, the industry can’t even think of its business without it. There are numerous such initiatives that Biju Bhai has taken to help the Indian diamond industry become the super power globally.”

 Praveenshankar Pandya, Former Chairman, GJEPC said, Biju Bhai is a hard-core banker, and banking runs in his blood. He is known for his integrity, and he goes deep into the subject of diamond business, and conducts in depth study of not just the companies, but their clients as well. He has stood by the industry during the toughest times, and his commitment towards us has made him the much loved figure amongst us.”

Bijayanand Pattanayak is a career banker with 38 years of experience in Public, Foreign and Private Sector Banks. He started as a Probationary Officer in 1984 with State Bank Group and moved to ABN AMRO Bank NV in 1997. He worked, inter alia, as Regional Manager, Asia and Member, Global Management Team of IDJG. He has also held the position of Country Executive, ABN AMRO India in 2010. He joined IndusInd Bank in August 2015 from Royal Bank of Scotland where he worked as a Managing Director and Member, Global Management Team IDGJ of ABN AMRO cohabiting with RBS. He has a Master’s Degree and is a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers.

The event witnessed full-house in attendance from who’s who of the diamond industry. It also saw congratulatory video messages pouring in from international clients and stakeholders including Howard Davies, VP, Commercial Development, De Beers, UK; Geert van Reisen,  Global Head of Diamond & Jewellery Clients ABN AMRO Bank N.V; Romesh Sobti, Former MD & CEO, IndusInd Bank and many others.