Brace yourselves. The massive financial fraud (so far they’ve unearthed $1.8 billion but it looks like there’s more to come) involving Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi looks like snowballing into something much bigger — a knockout punch for the industry as far as consumer confidence is concerned.
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It was December 2008 and I was having lunch with Mark Boston and his wife Milly at the Four Seasons hotel in Mumbai. Mark and Milly had moved there after the terrorist attack on the Taj Mahal hotel, where they usually stayed.
The diamond cutting and polishing industry remained pretty much unchanged for centuries, then went through a revolution in the 1990s. That was when technology took much of the human skill out of the process.
It began as a simply upgrading of the way things had been done thus far. Starting with automatic polishing, laser kerfing and sawing as well as automatic bruting.
When was the last time you went shopping just to buy something? Whereas in the past, shopping was about necessity, today it is a lifestyle activity inextricably linked to entertainment and socialising. Groups of teenagers bustling around your local town centre may not have the disposable income to buy the latest shoes in the window, but they will contribute by spending their cash in an on-trend juice bar or café.
There can be no better evidence that the Kimberley Process (KP) is not BS than the debate it stirs up.
A consumer’s belief that a product is indeed delivering on the values it promises for the price paid, rests on the confidence that the industry that manufactures the product is able to generate.
Industries do this by building or supporting robust institutions that can monitor, audit and verify the claims the industry makes about the product, its raw material sourcing and processes by which it reaches the consumer in its final form.
Creating an in-store environment that wows customers is not a sprint, but a marathon. It takes time, effort and persistence to ensure that when a customer walks through the door they feel valued, inspired and, crucially, happy to part with their hard-earned money.
Perhaps you have invested significant funds into quality staff training? Or dedicated hours to training each staff member personally on the experiential values of your business?