In world unsettled by political and economic upheavals, with looming trade wars and protectionist rhetoric, the one key factor necessary for the gem and jewellery industry, that is international by its very nature, to maintain its equilibrium and power forward successfully, is confidence.
Confidence is essential all through the production pipeline diamonds and other precious materials make their way from mines, through production centres and a global distribution system to retail systems in every continent. Wherever you are situated in the production pipeline, confidence comes from knowing — knowing your upstream supplier as well as your downstream client well. Knowing how they work, whether they understand you and your own function well; are capable of catering to your specific needs; can supply you with product to your exacting specifications.
While there are several successful internet-based models for raw material sourcing and supply, these present a heightened risk when there is political risk or when the pipeline itself is roiled by major happenings. It becomes necessary to make physical contact with your supplier as well as your downstream customer. The latter wanting the assurance that the upstream supplier will support his or her business with the right kind of product and service and the former wanting the assurance that the customer is indeed a solid player.
Given the financial scandal everyone in the diamond industry is talking about and the uncertainty brought about by protectionist rhetoric and action from the US coupled with political uncertainty in Europe, what is urgently needed to bring back confidence within the diamond production pipeline is a physical meeting of solid industry players.
Connecting physically has no become more important than ever for the gem and jewellery industry, which by its very nature is international — diamonds, gold and gemstones are mined in one continent, sorted and processed in yet another continent, manufactured into jewellery perhaps in yet another location, and finally consumed in global markets that may not have been part of this international pipeline.
This is why today, despite the ease of doing business online, physical buyer-seller meets in the context of a reputed industry establishment are so sought after. This fact was not lost on the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB). The BDB is a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the apex body representing all industry stakeholders in India, the world’s largest diamond-processing country. It realised it had to provide the repetitional assurance it has to get diamond industry stakeholders together in a safe space with an industry-recognised environment of norms and methods of doing business.
This is why it got behind the idea of the Bharat Diamond Week. This event, a choreographed buyer-seller get-together under the auspices of the BDB, is slated to run from April 23 to 25. Being a member of the WFDB and complying with its global norms, the BDB knows it can assure all the stakeholders while the world’s largest product range — from tiny single cuts all the way through to far-sized polished in every imaginable clarity and colour is on offer to buyers from every corner of the world.
The strong response to the idea — the BDB now estimates some 4,000 visitors to the event — is testament to the need felt by global stakeholders in the diamond industry. Actually talking to someone, seeing the right sort of product and knowing a referee is in the wings, is just what the global diamond industry needs right now.