Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhiya, a third-generation bullion trader, is a well known figure and proprietor of Shreeji Trading Company, a bullion trading company established in 1997 in Rajkot, according to sources in the Rajkot bullion and jewellery market.
In 2008, Lodhiya’s firm started a spot precious metal online trading system called Shreeji Spot. Shreeji Spot has 2,100 registered clients with centres in Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Kolkata, Jaipur, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore and Indore.
However, in 2008-09, the group faced financial losses because of fluctuation in gold prices.
Lodhiya did not reply to SMSes and emails sent to him, his cellphone remained switched off during the day. Speaking to TV networks, Lodhiya denied having any account in foreign banks.
“I have no account in the Swiss bank. I have no foreign bank account. I came to know about this from the media… I am shocked,” Lodhiya told television channels. “I have declared all my wealth before the Income Tax department.”
The group was set up with the help of his father Chimanlal Laljibhai Lodhiya and brother Kaushik Chimanlal Lodhiya. Shreeji Trading Company operated through branches in Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Jaipur, Raipur, Indore and
Bangalore and is planning to expand to South India, mostly in Kerala, another major jewellery market.
The group has two other companies — Shreeji Ornaments Private Limited, which is engaged in manufacture and trade of diamond jewellery, gold ornaments and silver articles, and Shreeji Reality, which is into construction of residential and commercial buildings. Shreeji Realty, according to its website, is among the pioneers of high-rise buildings in Rajkot. It has so far completed eight projects (multi-storied, residential and commercial) and is currently involved in a residential project called ‘Shashwat’.
Shreeji Trading Company has business connections with important ‘good delivery members’ of London Bullion Merchants Association and other international and national suppliers of bullion. It is also into distribution of gold coins to retail customers during the festive seasons.
It is involved in processing and retail level trading of diamond jewellery, gold ornaments and silver articles. It markets the products under the brand name ‘TATVA’ and supplies semi-processed gold ornaments to jewellers and jewellery showrooms in Rajkot.