23 Oct 2019
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Manthan Makes a Difference
Manthan 2019
By: Diamond World News Service
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Aug 10 2019 12:52PM
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Reference: 22413  

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Despite incessant rain in Mumbai, Manthan conclave saw an overwhelming attendance of industry folks

Although the second edition of Manthan at Sahara Star last month got off an hour behind schedule due to the rain, the audience kept their date with the event. Manoj Jha, Convener, Manthan, confessed, “The fact that people have turned up despite the bad weather shows the spirit of this industry.”

Early on, Anantha Padmanabhan, Chairman, GJC, narrated the secret of his success as an entrepreneur. “We started with a 100 square feet space with Rs.10,000 and Rs 1 lakh in bank loan, my father taught me to put clients at the pinnacle.”

“The last 18 months have been a struggle but I still go around with a smile. I think the key is to be positive.” In its second year, the event hosted speakers from more than 27 industries.

RESOLVING FUNDING CRISIS
For discussion on the most talked about issue of liquidity crunch, the conclave put together a panel of Kewal Handa, Chairman, Union Bank of India, Biju Patnaik, Senior VP, IndusInd, and Himanshu Shekar, Director, Manoharlal Sarraf & Sons.
On how to develop trust with the banks, Handa said, “Your association now really has to act up. You need to work with the government and weed out all the black sheep. This industry also should work on its transparency.” Dispelling the perception that banks are averse to financing the gems and jewellary sector, Patnaik said, “Banks see two things - transparency and profitability. In pure gold retail, profitability is lower and volume is higher.”
Speaking from the jeweller’s point of view, Himanshu said, “Our industry is mostly self-funded. We have no startups in our industry. So we need to put ourselves in the banker’s shoes. They have to lend us money purely based on face value.”

SYNTHETIC DIAMONDS AND THEIR IMPACT
Moderated by Nirupa Bhatt, MD, GIA (India & Middle East), a panel of Jignesh Mehta, MD, Divine Solitaires, and Amish Shah, Founder, ALTR, a lab-grown diamond company discussed the hottest topic right now—the eternal war between the lab-grown diamond and the natural diamond.
Mehta said, “The consumer essentially buys the idea behind a diamond… it’s the emotional and asset value that makes diamonds very desirable.” He ended his submission with a piece of advice to the industry: adapt.

Amish Shah whose family has been dealing with natural diamonds for decades was more forthcoming. “Our industry is not used to disruption. We need to understand that the decision lies with the consumers - earth mined or created, it is really their choice.”

Is Luxury about Exclusivity?
Unraveling the nuances of luxury and its ever-evolving perception, a panel of Sachin Jain, MD, Forevermark, Ramesh Nair, MD & CEO JLL, Sarosh Mody, Founder, Luxury Watch Works and Hardik Parekh, Partner, Parekh Brothers Jewellers offered invaluable insights.

Jain said, “Earlier, luxury brands were very touch-me-not and had a guarded approach. Now luxury brands are becoming more inclusive and are more open.”

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