India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) is celebrating 50 years by hosting leaders from across the diamond industry. Rapaport News presents live updates from the two-day conference covering mining, manufacturing, marketing and politics.
Trade, miners clash on marketing programs
Marketing of diamonds will only lead to more profits for rough producers and barely help the midstream other than by moving goods down the pipeline more efficiently, argued Rajiv Mehta, CEO of India-based diamond manufacturer Dimexon Diamonds.
“I don’t believe marketing is going to solve our profitability problems,” Mehta said in a panel discussion on mining.
Jim Pounds, executive vice president of Dominion Diamond Corporation, argued that better marketing would have a positive effect on the whole sector, while industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar said diamond marketers needed to up their game significantly.
“If you see the Swarovski advertising, it’s scary. It’s so clever,” he said. “If you see some of the advertising videos the synthetic diamond producers make, if we were to play that here, everyone would walk out and go and buy synthetics.”
Paul Rowley, executive vice president of global sightholder sales at De Beers, said De Beers had invested in its Forevermark brand in the hope that it would have a positive effect on the image of the whole industry.
“But we realized the industry needed more, which is why the company is investing in the Diamond Producers Association,” Rowley said.
Polyakov downgrades ‘no-value’ synthetics
Andrey Polyakov, vice president of ALROSA and president of the World Diamond Council, dismissed the notion that synthetic diamonds held the same value as natural diamonds. The entire value of diamonds comes from their age and history, he argued, adding that synthetics had no geological history.
“Their producers cannot even claim that they are clones of something with worth,” Polyakov said. “Indeed, they are clones of something with no value at all.”
De Beers exec urges focus on consumer confidence
Paul Rowley, executive vice president of global sightholder sales at De Beers, highlighted the need to raise consumer confidence by increasing transparency across the diamond pipeline. The industry needs to understand the end consumer and engage in providing information to ensure the industry supplies according to consumers’ exact needs, he asserted.
He defended De Beers against claims that it was squeezing midstream profitability, noting that times were challenging for the entire industry.