Gautam Banerjee | The Legend
Even diamonds start out as coal. Gautam Banerjee’s story is not just a rags-to-riches one, but it’s as bright and bold as the transformation of coal to diamonds. Coming from a humble family where his father was involved in rigorous labour work, he always knew that he wanted a better life. One that was generous, larger than life, and truly rewarding. He may not have known what’s his destiny, but he was about to make it big.
Paying Tribute to Talent
At the young age of 16, he hid in the trunk of his brother-in-law’s car with a simple dream to run away. Without any money or plan, his ambition drove him all the way to Mumbai – the city of dreams. After looking for some substantial work, he found a jeweller that accepted him as a student and gave him small assignments to work on.
Sometimes, nature has a unique way of bestowing its blessings. During that time, Mumbai witnessed four days of non-stop rainfall, making it difficult for him to leave the workshop. But instead of looking at it as a calamity, he took it up as an opportunity and designed impeccable jewellery continuously for those four days. His guru was highly impressed and started giving Mr. Banerjee top-notch client work, too.
This was just the beginning of his talent taking shape and wowing the world.
Soon, he was offered the task of designing pendants for Balaji Mandir using different gems. His designs were so unique and extraordinary that it gave him his first official break. His salary may have been just Rs. 1200, but his sense of design was so remarkable that it started taking him places.
From Learning to Teaching
When he used to design at a small table in a godown, he didn’t let the dark environment dampen his spirits. Instead, he worked under a single bulb and sparked his imagination at 12 noon when a ray of sunlight came directly on his table. Mr. Shinde, a celebrity jewellery designer at the time was amazed by his skill, talent, and perception towards jewellery design. He asked Mr. Banerjee to train his son under him and teach him the nuances of jewellery design for a brighter future.
This was the beginning of his career as a teacher, and he soon realized that there’s a lot of talent in the world of jewellery that needs the right support and guidance. Especially since he worked on his own without the mentorship from an expert, he wanted to help dreamers become jewellers under his training.
A Tryst with TBZ and Tiffany
His talent soon became the talk of the town and many more jewellers started approaching him over the years. In fact, the joined TBZ as a designer when it was just a local shop and not the national chain we know today. His designs got converted as a collection, and he started making good money in his role. However, money wasn’t the only thing Mr. Banerjee was looking for. He was also craving recognition, something that he couldn’t find when working under a brand name.
Mr. Banerjee also worked with Tiffany, an American luxury jewellery brand for four years and designed some of the most spectacular masterpieces during his tenure. He was extremely passionate about diamonds and wanted to share this passion with the world. Designing jewellery at one of the most renowned stores in the world gave him incredible exposure and increased his knowledge and craft multifold.
While working with Tiffany, he interacted with AB Shinde, one of the most prestigious jewellery designers who had worked with the Royal family, Kohinoor, blue diamond, and some of the most luxurious jewellery brands in the world. Mr. Shinde encouraged him to start his own jewellery design line and supported him to go back to India.
A Glorious Start
Mr. Banerjee was the first-ever designer who conceptualized a design school for jewellery in India. He began with just 2 students and today celebrates over 2500 happy students who have accomplished great heights in jewellery design. When he started as a designer, he wanted to set up a stall in an exhibition. Unfortunately, he only got the last corner stall with minimum visibility. But to his surprise, he received over 400 registrations on the spot for his jewellery designing course, out of which he selected only the top 4.
He has trained the next generation of all the top jewellers in India and abroad and continues to take his legacy forward through his students. Today he’s recognized as a pioneer in jewellery designing and his institute is one of the most sought-after learning destinations.
Jeweller to the Stars
Gautam Banerjee’s story is nothing short of a blockbuster. He’s a celebrity in his field and has been the first-preference for jewellery design for many celebrities, too. Today, he only undertakes designing of top brands and high-profile customers. As a designer, he has showcased his creative talent to the world and continues to amaze his clients with some of the most extraordinary and timeless collections. He is one of the first designers to start his own jewellery brand and wants to make designer jewellery synonymous with luxury, royalty, and happiness. From bridal jewellery to everyday jewellery, he’s transformed the way customers perceive their necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets in more ways than one.
His story is just like that of coal turning into a diamond – full of pressure, charm, beauty, and incredibly hard work. It’s his history and heritage that makes him one of the most trusted and valued jewellers of our time.