Born in India into a diamond cutter lineage but raised in Belgium, Modi decided to sell the gemstone instead. At 19, he learnt the trade from his uncle and later expanded it into the US. In 1999, with his brother he bought large amounts of diamonds, sorting them according to what jewellery makers wanted. During the 2008 financial crisis, he picked up the world’s rarest diamonds at low prices. The 44-year-old Wharton dropout now oversees an empire that spans diamond-sourcing, manufacturing, and jewellery retail. It has manufacturing units in India, Russia, Armenia and South Africa.