De Beers Forevermark Forum: Towards New Beginnings
Forevermark Forum, the annual event of the diamond brand from the De Beers group for its authorized jewellers, diamantaires and manufacturers from around the world, took off on an upbeat note, generating a buzz all around the industry. Owing to the COVID pandemic, the event was held virtually last time, but this year, it was back with a bang in its original form.
Each year, the event has a theme, and this year, the tagline was “Make Life Brilliant”. Explaining the rationale behind this, Sachin Jain, Managing Director, De Beers India, said, “The pandemic brought a lot of misery worldwide, but some industries stood out in the crowd by playing a responsible corporate role. Ours is one of them. And when we say ‘Make Life Brilliant’, it is not just about the bling of the diamond, but also the communities where we mine, the artisans who work on our diamonds, workers who venture into that pipeline. People see Forevermark diamonds as a deeply trusted and cherished symbol, worthy of their love and joy.”
Over the past nine years, the Forum has been a significant platform of learning for Forevermark’s authorized jewellers, as well as diamantaires and manufacturers from across the world. “The De Beers Forevermark Forum’s goal is to inspire the partners to interact, transact and gain a new perspective of the business in the context of events outside the industry. Given De Beers’ heritage and pedigree, the partners look at the brand as a source of information, learning, strategy direction and understanding the future trends,” Jain added.
The Forum also saw the launch of the designer collection, Avaanti, which will be the first global line of the company. All Forevermark retailers will be able to stock this collection. Said Jain, “The response to the Avaanti collection has been amazing. The De Beers Forevermark Forum has been a trendsetter. The Milan Institute has published its own Trend book, based on extensive research. It has presented future trends as well, and has touched upon colours, projections, materials, and so forth. When a consumer comes to your store, the only question is: What’s new? So, it is our duty to be on top of what the global trends are.”
Speaking at the event, Jain also made a reference to having an open mind about global trends. “You have to keep in mind your exclusive consumers, your geography and all other factors as well. It is important to open up your minds to understand what is trending the world over, and how each one of us can arrive at a consensus. Over the last 30 -35 years, there is a great amount of work that has been done. Since January this year, all the exhibitors have worked really hard and presented here at the Forum the very best of their effort. It is indeed a great opportunity to witness the unfolding of a whole new business forum altogether – one wherein every stakeholder is a winner,” he stated.
Digish Shroff , Venus Jewel
The Forum also presented an opportunity to De Beers Forevermark to explain the rationale behind its Circle of Trust campaign. “When you set your heart on a Forevermark Circle of Trust diamond bangle, you surround yourself with some of the world’s most beautiful, rare and natural diamonds. Every De Beers Forevermark diamond in these bangles has a unique inscription number and an identification card, making each bangle trustworthy and yours. This is a 12-month-long campaign, and consumers will come and ask for it and retailers will want to stock up on it. Way back in 2003, De Beers invested in this category and opened it up for the Indian market. Now is the time to recraft the connection of diamonds with the new-age consumer. The relationship that youngsters have with jewellery and diamonds is very different from the one the earlier generations had,” explained Jain.
In addition to this, De Beers Forevermark will also be launching its biggest master brand campaign in November this year. “We are working with our agency partners on the master brand campaign, Avaanti, Code of Origin, Circle of Trust, and so forth. These campaigns will reach out to consumers, who are becoming more and more environment-conscious. Responsible buying is making its presence felt among diamond buyers of the day, and our campaigns will connect with today’s responsible buyers,” Jain added.
Jinesh Jain, Ankit Gems
Another important topic discussed at the Forum pertained to the demand for diamonds between today and 2030. The projection is that a whopping Rs 5 lakh crore worth of diamonds will be in demand worldwide by 2030. A number of companies will take decisions today to harness this opportunity. In the early 2000s, the diamond industry witnessed a huge surge in China. A similar opportunity is knocking at the doors of the Indian diamond industry now.
“The market is conducive and the comeback in demand is massive. This will prove to be one of the most important times in the history of diamond business in India in years,” said Jain. At the same time, there is also a lot of buzz about lab-grown diamonds. But naturally mined diamonds are expected to generate a huge demand on their own.
Mitesh Gajera, Laxmi Diamond
Speaking virtually at the event, Luc Julia, who is an authority on Artificial Intelligence, and the co-creator of Siri (voice operated command system inbuilt in iPhones), presented the keynote address. He has authored a book called ‘There is nothing called Artificial Intelligence’, and he went on to provide interesting insights into the topic of Artificial Intelligence. He said the history of Artificial Intelligence began in 1956, when scientists were pursuing statistics and mathematics. They thought if there is a neural network, there was intelligence. That is a mistake, he said, adding that is what has led to misconceptions about AI that we have today.
Today, scientists are developing tools to communicate with mechanical gadgets, which can interpret a set of commands and perform small tasks. In 1642,French mathematician Blaise Pascal developed a mechanical calculator. It did addition and subtraction correctly. It did these calculations accurately in no time; that time this machine was called ‘intelligent.’“Today, there are a lot of wrong notions about AI. AI will not take away human jobs, it can, in fact, create new ones and do away with mundane jobs – which can be outsourced to bots or AI operated gadgets. Human beings can then concentrate on the intellectually satisfying and creatively engaging jobs alone,” he added.
JB And Brothers Team
Besides, other notable personality who also spoke at the event, sharing his inspiring story was CDR DR Abhilash Tomy. Commander Dr Abhilash Tomy, KC, NM, is a retired Indian naval officer and yachtsman. In 2013, he became the first Indian to complete a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the world under sail, and he also competed in the 2018 Golden Globe Race.
Prior to his solo circumnavigation of the globe,which was called Sagar Parikrama, Tomy had represented India in several international events, including the 2011 Cape Town to Rio Race, the 2014 Spanish Copa del Rey race, and two successive Korea Cups.
In 2006, based on a proposal by Vice Admiral MP Awati, the navy authorized the construction of the INSV Mhadei, a sailboat, which was then sailed solo around the world by Cdr DilipDonde in 2009-10, making four stops -- Fremantle, Lyttelton, Port Stanley and Cape Town. This voyage was called the Sagar Parikrama, and Tomy was chosen as its shore support crew, helping Donde stock up supplies at the four ports. Based on this experience, and his sailing expertise, he was chosen to helm Sagar Parikrama 2, a non-stop, unassisted circumnavigation of the globe, under sail.
On November 1, 2012, Tomy departed from the Gateway of India at Mumbai aboard Mhadei. After completing a voyage of 23,100 nautical miles, he returned to Mumbai on March 31, 2013, having sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Horn and Cape Leeuwin. He narrated the amazing story of this journey, which inspired the diamantaires.
All in all, the Forevermark Forum turned out to be a lively platform for all stakeholders, all of whom expressed great happiness at being able to meet one another in person. Jain summed it all up by saying, “The Forum has been absolutely outstanding. The participation, the atmosphere, the business, everything has been much above what I expected.
Speaking at the Forum, Jinesh Jain from Ankit Gems said, “We have a huge stock of De Beers Forevermark certified stones, right from 30 cents to even 10 carat diamonds, including fancy shapes: pear, marquees, cushions, etc. The physical show is quite successful. It has provided us an opportunity to meet our clients face-to-face after a long time, and this always works for business.”
“Our specialty is that we breathe life into our diamonds. Everyone knows about the quality that Venus Jewel brings in diamonds. Our quality stands out in every way. We have a strong network of clientele, and here too, we are showcasing the best of our products. Business is showing signs of recovery. Market conditions are improving. Demand is higher than supply,” said Digish Shroff from Venus Jewel.
“De Beers Forevermark is a continuous process; it is not just about the Forum. We look forward to the upcoming season, we work with retailers closely, and the Forum is a good platform to gather knowledge. The collection and the way forward that the Forum presents surely opens doors for newer opportunities. It brings together leading retailers from all over India and that helps any diamantaire to expand the business,” said Mitesh Gajera from Laxmi Diamond.
“We are doing a lot of new collections, for Avaanti, we are working with the Icon collection, and several other exclusive collections also. This will be jewellery which can be worn on all occasions and along with all outfits – Indian and Western. We are working closely with De Beers Forevermark. We are using many new techniques and making some excellent platinum and Forevermark jewellery, which is getting good response,” sid Jitender Jain from KGK Group.
“If we are able to reach the business as it was before COVID, it would be great. It’s been a great show. We have showcased all our Forevermark goods, we have quite a lot of them. Exports have done well.We are really happy with the demand which has expanded in the recent past. We hope to see better business in the days to come,” says Rishil Shah, Sales Manager, J B And Brothers.