A Foundation of Trust

Founder of Nirav Modi jewel

Tell us your story.
I founded Nirav Modi, and while it’s been great so far, the journey is just beginning. With the launch of our boutique in New York in spring 2015, we will be taking the brand global. When I designed my first piece of jewellery and saw the joy it brought to the friend for whom I designed it, I realised that I wanted to create beautiful things that women can wear daily and cherish forever. The brand, boutiques and expansion plans came later. Even today, my focus is on each piece we create, and the feeling it will bring to its future wearer.
 
Your siblings work with you. What are the advantages of working with family?
We each have an excellent understanding of the others’ sensibilities, interests and strengths, and we are able to make the best of them. Creative processes are so difficult to define, but since we have such synergy and better understand each other, every aspect of the business integrates seamlessly with the others. We come from a legacy of diamonds, and therefore have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter and understand the value of quality. Dinner conversations at our family home often revolved around diamonds, and this is a great advantage to us now. Since our work is based on trust, having family involved and
around is very comforting.

What’s the one thing that makes a Nirav Modi piece unique?
Excellence in every aspect – be it the quality of the diamonds, the well-thought-out design inspiration, the look and feel of the jewel, or the finishing touches. Everything has to be the best of the best, and that is the cornerstone of our creations, I believe. Another key differentiator is the sparkle in our jewellery, which is brought to its full potential via the minimal use of metal while crafting the pieces.

From concept to execution, how long does the process take?
With every Nirav Modi jewel, we stress uncompromising quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail. For instance, the Embrace bangle took two years to develop; everything from the mechanism to the weight to the setting of the diamonds had to be perfect and seamless, passing exacting quality assurances. And it did. Even now, it takes a month to make one Embrace bangle. Our patented cuts such as the Ainra, Mughal and Endless each took years to develop, perfect and patent. Only the best quality diamonds make it to our creations, and sourcing those takes time.
 
Run us through your style.
When I have an idea or inspiration, I’m able to visualise the jewel in my mind’s eye. I don’t draw, but I write a detailed, poetic narrative on the jewel for our designers. We go through several rounds of alterations and changes before we finalise the design. The inspiration comes from a number of sources – art, architecture, mythology and nature among them. Everything from ideating and sketching to making gouaches (watercolour renderings of the jewel as it would appear once finished) and mock-ups that give us an idea how the jewel will look and sit on the body – each happens in a systematic order, and I am involved at every stage to ensure my vision takes life.
 
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
I see Nirav Modi as a brand with international repute and global appeal. On the business end, we hope to have a larger retail footprint. Our Delhi boutique and second Mumbai location later this year are the beginnings of an effort to explore more territory. We are also looking forward to the launch of our New York
and Hong Kong boutiques.
 
Three things about Nirav Modi that the world doesn’t know...
I have an irrepressible reading habit, and my home and office both have well-stocked libraries. Japanese teas are another passion, and gourmet food is also something I enjoy immensely.        

– as told to Anahita