Segments in this Video

India's Courier Service (06:24)


Over a century ago Angadias began transporting diamonds. Juva Djisha began carrying gemstones to cutters in Gujurat. (Credits)

Creating a System of Transport (03:02)

Djisha ordered his men to wear a vest with pockets underneath traditional clothes to transport diamonds; 9 out of 10 diamonds are carried by an angadia.

Gemstones in Mumbai (04:25)

Angadias bring diamonds into a skyscraper to be itemized. Dinesh Gandhi describes how they are then transferred to polishing factories across India.

Modern Couriering (03:26)

Angadias carry thousands of dollars of diamonds in inner vests on public trains. Boxes and folding paper are used instead of cloth. The couriers are allowed to choose their method of transport.

Movement of Parcels (01:32)

Angadias blend in with other public transportation passengers. Nefir Laal runs one of the largest courier services in the country. Watch security camera footage of scheduled diamond deposits.

Diamonds, Security, and Trust (02:52)

India accounts for 60% of the global market's diamond processing. Gandhi describes why he continues to hire Angadias while there are more modern solutions.

Couriering, a Family Business (07:50)

Yogin Patel must work as an Angadia for some time before he is allowed to move into business operations. He learns trade secrets and performs his first assignment.

Locating Angadias (07:26)

Approximately 2,000 Angadias serve the entire diamond industry in India and come from Kanthravi, Unjha, and Lanava. Nitin Patel scours cities for future workers. Bakaji trains future couriers; Amar Singh was hired because of a positive reputation.

Angadia Trust (05:56)

Angadias have never broken a seal on the paper packages; they refund the cost of the diamonds if they are lost. Bakaji recalls how two strangers attacked him while he was carrying diamonds.

Stolen Diamonds (03:57)

Watch a reconstruction of diamonds being stolen in Gujarat. The angadia firm recovered the diamonds through its own network.

Credits: The Iceman: Angadias of India (01:02)

Credits: The Iceman: Angadias of India

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The Icemen: Angadias of India

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The angadias—literally “ones who carries valuables”—perform a task that major carriers in the region such as FedEx decline because of the risks involved. Ironically, even without handheld scanners and high-tech tracking systems, this simple delivery system is the fastest, cheapest, and most reliable method of transporting diamonds in this region of the world. Very efficient and very loyal, they are the pioneers of the courier services. This modern-day version of "next day delivery" started almost a century ago in India. Almost every industry in India has at times used angadia service. Even in this day and age of internet and email, angadias play a very important role in business functionality. Plainly dressed, unarmed, and carrying unmarked canvas sacks, these men transport $4 million worth of diamonds each day. This service has flourished despite the introduction of major courrier services and yet the angadias earn salaries of less than $50 a month.

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL150268

ISBN: 978-1-64347-668-1

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

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