JWA24 Finalist – Social Empowerment

Kashi Jewellers


Kashi Jewellers is a heritage jewellery company established in 1955 in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. As one of India’s oldest establishments in the industry, Kashi Jewellers is renowned for its extensive range of gold, diamond, kundan, polki (uncut diamond) and silver jewellery, as well as items such as small diamond nose pins, which are uniquely important in Indian culture.

In 1979, Kashi Jewellers expanded its operations from retail to exports. Its overseas markets include the US, UK, South Africa, Australia, East European countries, UAE, the entire Gulf region and the Fiji Islands. Export sales contribute to 10% of the company’s annual revenue.

Some of the company’s key social empowerment initiatives are:

– Empowering Craftsmen and Women: Kashi Jewellers prioritises the well-being of its staff by taking care of their health, providing education for their children and addressing their medical needs. The company believes in enriching their lives and ensuring their overall mental and physical well-being, going beyond just providing good salaries.

– Fostering Communal Harmony: The company fosters a safe and inclusive environment where all staff members celebrate festivals together, promoting a sense of unity and harmony. Kashi Jewellers serves as a model company in ensuring religious harmony and sets an example for other corporates to follow.

– Promoting Gender Equality: While achieving absolute equality of representation may not be possible, Kashi Jewellers makes every effort to ensure that no one is discriminated on the basis of gender. Approximately 65% of its 145-member team are women, with around 90 women successfully managing various departments within the organisation.

KGK Group


Founded in 1905 by Shri Kesrimal Ji and Shri Ghisilal Ji Kothari, the KGK Group began as a modest gemstone trading enterprise between India and Burma. Today, it is a globally recognised brand, operating in 15 countries. With over a century of experience, KGK is engaged in mining, sourcing, manufacturing and the distribution of coloured gemstones, diamonds and jewellery. The company has established a strong presence in commercial centres worldwide and is led by Navrattan Kothari, the family patriarch, with the fourth generation represented by Sanjay Kothari and Sandeep Kothari.

KGK Group is dedicated to fostering an inclusive, diverse and productive community through targeted empowerment initiatives that address social, educational and economic development. These initiatives range from local skills development to supporting extensive educational and healthcare services, all with significant and measurable impacts. Key initiatives include:

– KGK Academy (Citizen Empowerment)

– Introduction of OPTIMUS Technology by Yantra Technologies

– Women Empowerment Initiatives: Launched programmes that encourage women to assume leadership roles and engage in entrepreneurship, particularly in traditionally male-dominated sectors.

– Victress Programme: Designed to transform the male-dominated landscape of the diamond industry, this programme empowers women to ascend to leadership positions.

– SS Jain Subodh Shiksha Samiti (Education Initiative)

– Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital & Research Centre

Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company (PNJ)


Founded in 1988, Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company (PNJ) is a leading jewellery manufacturer and retailer in Vietnam. It employs 7,000+ people and operates one of the largest jewellery factories in Southeast Asia. PNJ has a retail network of 350+ locations in 53 provinces and cities, and serves over 3,000 wholesale clients. It exports to 13 countries and territories. PNJ is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) and aligns with the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles. Key initiatives include:

– Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality. Treat everyone fairly at work; respect and support human rights and non-discrimination: PNJ recognises and honours the uniqueness and the beauty of diversity among its workforce. With 61.3% female employees, including 40% in top leadership positions and 5 out of 9 board members being female, PNJ demonstrates a strong commitment to gender equality and representation. Policies promoting gender diversity enable various perspectives, enrich decision-making processes and enhance organisational reliability.

– Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all workers: In September 2023, PNJ organised a training programme focused on fostering a culture of safety within its organisation. This programme covered various aspects of a safety culture, including its definition, structure and key components.

– Promote education, training and professional development for women.

– Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women: Launched “Empowering Beauty Without Stereotypes.”

– Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy: Notable programmes include supporting women during childbirth through the Companion Through Pregnancy project and providing essential goods to impoverished communities through the Zero-dong Mini Supermarket initiative.