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BW Businessworld

‘Positivity Is Back’

Globally, the biggest markets for diamond consumption are the US and China. India ranks third on the list. We are banking on Christmas and the Chinese New Year for the global markets, whereas India will see an upsurge from October

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The gems and jewellery industry has been stumped by the pandemic-driven economic slowdown too, but now diamond major, De Beers corroborates industry reports that demand is picking up again, especially in the tier-1 cities. Forevermark India Managing Director, Sachin Jain, says demand may rebound to almost 80 per cent of pre Covid-19 levels soon. Excerpts of  a recent conversation with Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld and exchange4media group

How has Covid-19 impacted the diamond industry and what is the current state of the market?
Positivity is back and we are very confident that Quarter 4 will be a strong three months. The faith in the category is strong and we be-lieve that in these times in particu-lar, the role that diamonds will play will be more crucial. There was a slowdown in sales but it has no im-pact on price at the retail level.

The gems and jewellery indus-try has witnessed quite a rebound despite being the luxury segment of the market. There was a pent-up demand, which lasted for a few weeks post the corona-induced lockdown, Henceforth, business in tier-2 cities was 50-70 per cent of the pre-Covid level by July it-self and of late, metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Banga-lore are coming back strongly from the 30-50 per cent of pre-Covid levels in the previous months.

Have there been any positive changes in the re-cent few months?

Covid-19 has led to a positive change for the business. In-vestments are getting mobilised in a scientific manner where we are looking at the returns. The pandemic has pushed our industry to be a good businessman. Strategies are being made, keeping in mind that the current situation is here to stay.

It is a known fact that weddings are a key contributor to the jewellery business. The big fat Indian wedding budgets have swiftly moved to smaller inti-mate ones and that has proved to be beneficial for the gems and jewel-lery business. The investments on jewellery are much higher because of limited gatherings at weddings.

How is the jewellery sector in India different from the one globally?
Globally, the biggest markets for diamond consumption are the United States and China. India ranks third on the list. We are banking on the Christmas time and the Chinese New Year for the global markets, whereas India will see an upsurge October 2020 onwards.

How is De Beers leveraging the digital platform?
Staying true to the resilience and purpose that diamonds reflect in their sparkle through all odds, the De Beers Group recently hosted its annual global con-ference – Forevermark Forum. It has also unveiled a new digital B2B platform for their business partners for continuation of trade and support.

Digital disruption is paving the way for new options to interact with our consumers, understanding their aspi-rations and developing products that match their sensi-bilities. Bringing meaning to the business at such a time is imperative.

Sustainability is not just a fashion keyword. Transpar-ency, reflection of what we have to give back to mother earth and belief in technology are the three important outcomes in future directives.