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Mines to Market: Reflects on a spectrum of opportunities & threats floating in the Indian Diamond Industry
Indian Diamond Industry comes together to make India a prime diamond trading center
By: Daisy Tanwani
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Apr 28 2007 12:00AM
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Reference: 828  

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As the two day long International Diamond Conference Mines to Market comes to an end, it leaves the industry with several stirring nuances & facts of the future to think upon. Primarily, the conference discussions & presentations emphasized on the need for beneficiation in African countries & procurement of diamond rough directly from the supplying countries like Africa & Russia. A discussion on the biggest prevailing threat- synthetic diamonds was taken up at large and attracted a spectrum of views from the audience. The conference evidently served a platform for networking. The delegates expressed delight to be a part of the enlightening sessions & keenly look forward to another conference in 2009.

India needs to procure rough directly to meet the challenges of the era. Acknowledging the need of the hour the conference invited Sergey Vybornov- President-Alrosa Co.Ltd, Hon. P.H.K. Kedikilwe- Minister of Minerals, Energy & Water Resources, Botswana, H.E. Mr. Aguinaldo Jaime Head of Angola’s economic team, Dr. Manuel Arnaldo Calado- President, Endiama, Yuri K. Okoemov- Director General, United Selling Organization of Alrosa and Abe Mngomezulu from South Africa delivered presentations on the opportunities prevailing in their respective countries. The dignitaries from the African countries invited investment from India & promised all the support required. Indian Minister of State of Commerce Jairam Ramesh favored beneficiation in Africa & forwarded all the support needed. In order to assure value addition the African countries now also want to become diamond & jewellery manufacturing centers. Hon. P.H.K. Kedikilwe said, “Both political & economic imperatives have ultimately forced a strategic shift from concentration on the production side of the industry & wholesale export of rough diamonds to the development of a secondary diamond industry.”

The most steaming topic of discussion was Synthetic Diamonds: Opportunity or Threat. Ronnie Vanderlinden- President, Russian Classics Inc.& Stephane Fischler- Fischler Diamonds, Secretary General & Treasurer, IDMA were the experts who elaborated there opinion on the subject. Commenting on the issue Ronnie Vanderlinden remarked, “The phrase ‘a diamond is forever’ serves us well. The fact that a diamond mine is not forever should concern us. We had better find a way to serve ourselves. Just as with any natural source getting depleted and we look for alternatives, so should we look into our use of additional sources of diamonds. The fact is, now we have found it with laboratory grown diamonds- and it is not only possible but profitable.”

Besides, a series of topics were paneled for discussion. Confidence in Diamonds by Steve Hodgson- MD, Rio Tinto Diamonds N.V, Dilemmas Before Manufacturing Centers by Shmuel Schnitzer- Honorary Life President, WFDB & Ketan Parikh- Senior Partner, Mahendra Brothers, Value Creation & Sustainable Profitability in the Diamond Business: Ingredients of a Successful Diamond Manufacturing Business by Kaushik Mehta- Chairman, Eurostar Diamond Traders & Vice President, HRD, and the Kimberley Process & Beyond by K.G. Moshashane- Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Minerals, Energy & Water Resources, Botswana were few detailed thought provoking presentations.

Caroline Yuan, Director, Shanghai Diamond Exchange gave a brief update on China diamond market while G. Loet Kniphorst-Global Head, International Diamond & Jewellery Group, ABN AMRO Bank NV & Bharati Rao- DMD & CCO, SBI detailed on the finance scenario of the industry. Beryl Raff -Executive VP & General Merchandise manager of Fine Jewellery, J.C.Penney made an impressive presentation on retail business based on her professional experiences.

Hemant Shah- Convener, PM& BD committee GJEPC, Anoop Mehta- President, Bharat Diamond Bourse & Praveen Shankar Pandya, Convener, Rough Diamond Sourcing Committee, GJEPC shared there views on various dimensions relating the Indian diamond industry. The attentive audience kept the momentum of the conference alive by asking questions & reflecting opinions. The inspirational presentation by Martin Rapaport on Corporate Responsibility was thought propelling & moderator Chaim Even-Zohar fueled enough humor that allowed people to stick to chairs throughout the conference.

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