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Indian diamond processing units making a beeline for Botswana
THE BOUNTY OF BOTSWANA
By: Diamond World News Service
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Oct 8 2022 12:37PM
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Reference: 26551  

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“The biggest benefit of setting up a unit in Botswana is getting rough supply for +1ct polished goods. Rough supply is finite, and to stay competitive in the market, manufacturers need the right source of rough. Hence, many manufacturers are establishing processing units in Botswana to get more supply, and to get it easily” URMIL GAJERA, Laxmi Diamondne of the world’s largest sources of ethical diamonds, Botswana is going all out to welcome Indian diamond companies – this is proving to be hugely beneficial for both the parties, discovers Suneeta Kaul

In an interesting development, several Indian diamond processing units have started setting up their production centres in Botswana, with the African nation emerging as the biggest destination outside India for diamantaires to set up their production centres. Around 20 companies, including all the 12 DTC sightholders of Surat, have set up their polishing and manufacturing units in the southern African country.

Why Indian companies are flocking to Botswana
Botswana is an important country for the diamond industry as it mines around 30% of the global diamond supply, with the diamonds mined there being bigger in size than those found in other parts of the world. The African nation is offering several perks to Indian companies for setting up their units, including supplying natural roughs in requisite quantities. In return, Indian companies are bringing capital to Botswana, and also training the local populace and providing employment opportunities to it.
Says diamond baron Govind Dholakia, Founder and Chairman, Shree Ram Krishna Exports, “Moving to Botswana is advantageous to Indian companies as roughs can be procured

directly from De Beers and ODC (Okavango Diamond Company). Thus, more quantities of raw material can be obtained without much hassle. Being there also helps us to easily provide all the traceability information that today’s aware customers demand.” The capital required to set up a new unit in Botswana is turning out to be almost the same as in Surat, so it does not make much of a difference to diamond processing units. Plus, they get the advantage of proximity to raw material. “The biggest benefit of setting up a unit in Botswana is getting rough supply for +1ct polished goods. Rough supply is finite, and to stay competitive in the market, manufacturers need the right source of rough. Hence, many manufacturers are establishing processing units in Botswana to get more supply, and to get it easily,” explains Urmil Gajera of Laxmi Diamond. Having diamond operations right next to the diamond mining hub saves the cost of operations significantly. With prices having surged over the last year or so, this is turning out to be an important consideration. “Getting an assured supply of roughs is very beneficial to a company,” says Sanjay Kothari, Vice Chairman, KGK Group, adding, “A diamond manufacturing unit right in Botswana has multiple advantages. It confirms an uninterrupted flow of rough diamonds, as DeBeers can supply a certain amount of goods in bigger sizes to local beneficiaries only. They cannot export beyond a certain size.

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