If you haven’t heard of Nirav Modi, then you’ve been living under a rock, literally under a shiny, sparkling rock. The jewellery designer has been in the news for defrauding Punjab National Bank by as much as $1.77 billion – a sum slightly higher than his own net worth. A dropout from Wharton, Modi’s company, Firestar Diamond earns close to $2.3 billion a year as per reports.
Dealing in diamonds is something that the Modi family is pretty good at. In 1930, Keshaval Modi started the diamond trading business in Surat, and then moved to Singapore during the 1940s. In the meantime, his son Deepak Modi, moved to Antwerp where he raised Nirav. The Modis’ connection with diamond trading go deeper. Nirav’s maternal uncle Mehul Choksi, is of the Gitanjali group and he had taught his nephew some of the finer elements of diamond trading.
With his acquired training, Modi’s jewellery became popular and they made their way to red carpet events such as the Oscars and the Golden Globes. Besides Hollywood, celebrities here at home were also linked with Nirav modi. Priyanka Chopra and Siddharth Malhotra used to be brand ambassadors for Modi’s company. Following all the news that have come up since Modi was accused, Priyanka kept his from distance him and even sued Modi over non-payment of dues.
According to reports, Modi enjoys collecting watches and art and is a fan of the works of Francis Newton Souza. He also enjoys music and football. Though he runs a diamond trade, he himself does not wear any jewellery, besides his wedding ring and two cuff links, which were reportedly gifted by his wife and has the handprints of his daughters.