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Varda Shine explains the New Normal at DTC Business Excellence Seminar
Adds evolution as the watchword for the industry
By: Diamond World News Service
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Sep 3 2010 4:10PM
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Reference: 5279  

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Varda Shine, CEO of Diamond Trading Company elucidated the crux of ‘Operating in the New Normal’, which was also the title of this year’s annual DTC Business Excellence Seminar (BES), to DTC Sightholders gathered for the conference at London’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel. In her opening remarks of hosting the conference she said, “the concept of the New Normal reflects not only the new economic realities that are being imposed on our businesses, but also the increasing opportunities that are afforded us by seeking to adapt quickly to the developing landscape”, adding ‘evolution’ as being the industry’s new watchword, which DTC has imbibed into its Supplier of Choice distribution policy, “so we can respond to the different world in which we now live.”

At the conference, Shine praised Gareth Penny’s contribution of “ foresight and determination to make sure the industry evolved and remained ‘up to diamonds’”. Gareth took stage speaking of growth from the beginning of Supplier of Choice, the challenges faced at the time which have been addressed over the past ten years, and also cautioned of those that lay ahead.

Four breakout sessions each with an individual presenter followed: Dr Tore Opsahl, Research Associate at Imperial College Business School discussed the role of social networks to spur business growth; Dr Andrew Scott, Professor and Deputy Dean (Programs) at London Business School spoke on how economies normally recover from downturns and how this is affected by financial factors and how financial problems in developed nations are transmitted to emerging countries; Dr Gemma Calvert, Professor of Applied Neuroscience at the University of Warwick, discussed how consumer behaviour is represented in the brain looking at how we actually make choices; Dr Graham Baxter, Associate Director at the International Business Leaders Forum, highlighted the importance of corporate social responsibility and its impact on the bottom line and consumer confidence.

Shine summarised what each presentation means to diamond businesses across the pipeline as:

-The global economy is still in a fragile state and may well become more volatile than before; although interest rates are likely to remain low, the world is deleveraging and borrowing too heavily in the current climate to chase market share and could have negative repercussions.

-As the diamond industry seeks new opportunities in the New Normal, emerging markets – both geographical and virtual – are likely to become of increasing importance.

- Corporate Responsibility (CR) is a necessity and not an optional extra. Although leading in this field may not always be easy, it is the right thing to do and seeking partnerships in CR activities can be an effective model.

- Neuroscience has shown that emotional, rather than rational, decision making plays the biggest part in consumers’ buying habits; as the diamond is a product so heavily wrapped up in emotion, the industry’s marketing approach should play to these strengths.

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