21 Sep 2019
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The Young Guns
The gen next of Indian-origin gem & jewellery enterprises
By: Diamond World News Service
Oct 21 2014 6:21AM
Reference: 10745  

One of the characteristics that comes to mind when one thinks about the gems and jewellery industry, is traditional. Being mostly a family business in the hands of the few, the industry is almost shut tight for outsiders. Corporatisation is just a jargon in this industry, some say. But, times are now changing swiftly. The next gen of the gems and jewellery industry has come into power and they are bringing with them new innovations, technologies and the new-age edge to the otherwise traditional industry. In the cover story this month, we talked to 11 such young turks that are taking the industry by storm. Being born into the business, these young guns are almost brought up amongst the diamonds, coloured gems and exquisite jewellery. Amalgamating the forefathers’ experience with contemporary concepts, they are starting bright, new chapters in the industry. Read on to know their views about the current state of the industry, their strategies to overcome hurdles and their opinions about various other issues affecting the industry. By Priyanka Desai and Kavita Parab. 1. Rishabh Tongya, 2. Sahil Shah, 3. Sunny Sakariya, 4. Rajesh Lakhani, 5. Harsh Maheshwari

Rishabh Tongya of Diacolor
As third generation manufacturers of diamonds and coloured stones, Diacolor is well established in the wholesale industry, both in India and across the globe. Foraying into retail, the Diacolor name became synonymous to luxury in the B2C space when the young turk, Rishabh Tongya paid heed to the inner artist in him. Fine jewellery is his personal passion and transforming passion into vocation, Rishabh has surely surpassed large expectations.

Current State
Our diamond manufacturing and export industry has played an important role in the country’s economic growth over the years. Although the last few months of 2014 have reported a dip in the export of polished diamonds due to liquidity crisis and sluggish demand from the diamond consuming nations like U.S., there are however numerous opportunities for growth with exploring newer markets like Russia, Middle East, etc. There has also been an increase in the domestic demand for diamonds over the past couple of years with the increasing share of the luxury market in the country. The overall outlook hence, for the years to come seems positive for the Indian diamond industry.

The hurdles faced by the diamond industry in India currently include a slow demand in the major export markets like the U.S. and the dwindling profit margins on polished diamonds.

Another reason hitting the industry is the beneficiation programme in Africa under which most African countries are setting up their own cutting and polishing units and outsourcing of rough diamonds to India and China are being discontinued Bankruptcy Reports in HK, A Worry Of course, this is certainly very sad news as banks would be scrutinising the consignee companies very strictly and would be hesitant to give export credit. Ebola Outbreak Impact Ever since the breakout of Ebola virus in the west African countries many diamantaires have stopped sourcing rough diamonds and halted their visit to these countries for the past couple of months.

This has somewhat affected the diamond industry as these African countries account for a substantial amount of the diamond production and would thereon create a shortage of rough diamonds. But, we haven’t returned any parcel coming in from Africa.

The Modi Effect
We really expect PM Modi to bring in a flat turnover tax for smoother day-today operations. Also, we expect him to lessen the restrictions and encourage the industry.

High Diamond Prices
Diamond manufacturers have high costs and of course they would also want to maximize on the prices. Unless the producers reduce the charges, they would pretty much remain high.

Strategies to Overcome Hurdles
To overcome the hurdles that the industry is experiencing, we try to not indulge in overtrading. Other than that it is important to deal in businesses with margins and explore new markets and better avenues.

Toughest Period
A switch from B2B business to retail is somewhat challenging to begin with. An important part of retail is to educate your consumer in a much simpler language as compared to a B2B set-up where certain jargons, terms and products are relatable to a majority of consumers. Another difference being that while purchases in a B2B transaction are more driven by rationale, retail consumers tend to be more emotionally driven.

Love For Profession
In the time that I have spent in the luxury retail section, I have had the opportunity to meet and interact with some very nice people, it is my understanding that consumers looking at super luxury products value the product they buy and the experience of luxury is in the ownership of the product. It has hence made it possible for me to manufacture and offer some of the best jewels to our discerning clients.

Rapid Fire Round:
Favourite business book: ‘Getting to Yes’ by Roger Fisher and William Ury
Business mantra: ‘Cash is King’.
Role model/Mentor in business: My father.
If not a businessman then…: I would have been a philanthropist.
Idea of unwinding: Travelling

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