NIRAV MODI, was born in a Jain family in Palanpur, a town in Gujarat state noted for its diamond merchants. Modi was born in India but grew up and studied in Belgium. He enrolled at Wharton but had to drop out due to financial problems. In 1990, he came back to India and joined Gitanjali Gems, an outfit in Mumbai owned by his uncle Mehul Choksi. He spent nine years learning the intricacies of the trade and expanding Gitanjali's presence in the US. In 1999 modi decided to start his own venture, with $3 million he had accumulated from his earnings, Modi started Firestar Diamonds. Modi made a splash at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong this year with an 88-carat diamond necklace, which sold for $8 million. In March he opened the first NiravModi branded retail store in Delhi with a jewellery line priced at $4,000 and up.