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DTC Team’s India Visit
Varda Shine, on their annual visit to India participated in a number of key events in the diamond cities of Surat and Mumbai.
By: Diamond World News Service
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May 4 2011 12:52PM
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Senior management of the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), led by CEO Varda Shine, on their annual visit to India participated in a number of key events in the diamond cities of Surat and Mumbai. A consolidated report of their tour by the Diamond World team.

Mumbai Varda Shine Media Meet Demand Outlook Positive; Upward Trend for Prices will continue

At a Meet & Greet media session in Mumbai during her recent visit to India, Varda Shine CEO, DTC outlined the three big stories for De Beers this year as:
1) A strong Indian market – retail growth for 2010 at 31 per cent. China also growing well at 25 per cent for same period.
2) The Supply Demand equation being weighted in favour of demand on the back of strong China-India demand, better than expected US performance, and with no new supply in sight.
3) New sightholder list being finalised – to be announced by end 2011, for period between April 2012-March 2015.

Shine also said that based on the good demand, De Beers had dubbed the coming 10 years as “The Diamond Decade”, and expected the strong growth to continue. She said this represented a great opportunity for diamantaires. Shine anticipated that diamond prices, both of rough and polished would remain on the upward graph.

She clarified, that even should the Zimbabwe-KP stand-off be resolved, and Zimbabwe diamonds start coming onto the market, it would not close the gap that De Beers anticipated between Supply and Demand. There would be greater carats coming to the market she said and these would feed the factories in Surat.

In response to a question she affirmed that the De Beers and DTC were very committed to the BPP principles and had in the past taken actions if sightholders were found contravening these, even if such actions were not made public, and would not be made public as there was little point in doing so. There would be third party audits in place with regards to the new sightholders too, and BPP would continue to be strongly followed and upheld.

As to how De Beers viewed the “diamonds as investment” question, she said that De Beers would continue to uphold the message of diamonds as an embodiment of love and continue to base its marketing on spreading the diamond Dream. However, it did recognize that in the past few years there has been a great interest in diamonds as another avenue of investment particularly in times when stockmarkets and other investment options had proved to be vulnerable as seen in the recent crisis period. To the extent that diamonds were regarded as a storehouse of value, De Beers recognized that it would be an underlying reason for people to purchase diamonds and diamond jewellery especially in markets like India. However, buying and selling it as a commodity was quite another matter, she indicated.

Mahiar Borhanjoo, Executive Director, DTC Sales was also present with Shine at the Meet & Greet session.

**** Lakhi Group's New BDB Office inaugurated

The Lakhi Group’s new 6,000 sq.ft. state-of-the-art office in India’s new Bharat Diamond Bourse at the Bandra Kurla Complex was inaugurated in early April. Varda Shine was the Chief Guest at the function, which was also attended by other senior members of De Beers Group and the Diamond Trading Company (DTC).

Speaking at the opening Dilipkumar V. Lakhi, CEO of Lakhi Group, said, “We are very proud to be amongst the pioneering first wave of Indian diamond companies moving to our new home in the Bharat Diamond Bourse. The Bourse is a truly world class home for the important Indian diamond industry and rivals any diamond facility anywhere in the world.”

Chirag Lakhi, a leading member of the Bourse committee and Vice-President of Lakhi Group, noted, “India today is the leading centre for diamond manufacturing and also one of the most important and fastest growing consumer markets for diamonds, and we are very excited to be leading the industry to the new Bourse”.

The Lakhi management stressed that the shift was not a symbolic one, and that all the operations of the company, including trading in diamonds, that were hitherto being conducted out of its offices in Opera House would be relocated to the new BDB office very shortly.

The Lakhi Group, now over 40 years old is one of India’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of loose polished diamonds, offering more than 5,000 + diamond assortments under their trademarked offering The Power of ChoiceTM. Dilipkumar V. Lakhi has been a DTC Sightholder since 1993.

Besides the new BDB office, the Group has manufacturing operations in different parts of India and offices in Antwerpen, New York, Toronto, and Dubai.

Shree Ramkrishna Export Operations Launched at New Mega Factory

PRESS RELEASE Cutting and polishing operations at Shree Ramkrishna Export’s new state-of-the-art 250,000 sq. ft. diamond manufacturing facility were launched in early April by Varda Shine, CEO, DTC. A large delegation comprising officials of De Beers Group and the Diamond Trading Company, senior management of the SRK group and other leading diamantaires were present on the occasion.

The new factory has been constructed outfitted over the last three years, and has raised the benchmark for standards in diamond cutting and polishing. It is one of the most technologically advanced factories in the world, incorporating the latest diamond planning and cutting equipment, sophisticated IT network solutions designed by HP, and highly advanced security systems, enabling the group to consolidate its varied operations.

Speaking on the occasion, Govind Dholakia, Chairman of Shree Ramkrishna Export said, “Today is a landmark day in the history of SRK. What started as a dream has today become a reality. This facility ranks among the most modern and efficient diamond manufacturing plants in the world and strengthens our ability to produce the finest diamonds for our growing customer base.”

Shree Ramkrishna Export was founded by Govind Dholakia in 1976 and today is one of India’s leading manufacturers of loose diamonds and diamond jewellery, employing over 5,000 people and generating an annual turnover of USD $350 mn. It has a network of offices in all the major diamond markets and an innovative e-Solution design canvas through their website www.srkexport.com.

IDI Surat’s City Centre Opened

DTC CEO Varda Shine formally opened ‘City Centre’, the new premises of the Indian Diamond Institute at Vesu in Surat in the presence of a large DTC delegation and the who’s who of the Indian diamond industry from Surat, Mumbai and other key centres of the trade. The new state-of-the-art building with all modern facilities has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 13 crore and has well-equipped classrooms and labs, as well as a swanky auditorium.

Welcoming the establishment of a modern, world-class diamond and jewellery designing institute in the city, Shine said, "India is is a world leader in diamond and jewellery manufacturing. We all know that nine out of 10 diamonds are cut and polished in India. Diamond and jewellery design centres will play an important role in building and sustaining the skill required for the industry."

Stressing that India is also a key consuming market, Shine added that diamond jewellery retail in the country had grown by 31 per cent in 2010 and the DTC was expecting a further growth of 30 per cent during the current year. "In the last few years, the established gold jewellery retailers in India have moved into diamond jewellery. Now, the diamond jewellery consists of 50 per cent share in the retail outlets in the metros like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi," she said.

Speaking on the occasion, IDI chairman Aagam Sanghavi said, "Over the last 33 years, the IDI has trained more than 30,000 students. The City Centre will churn out about 800 students annually, who will cater to the ever increasing need of the diamond and jewellery industry."

He noted that though IDI had been catering to the manpower needs of the jewellery trade and industry for the past three decades, it had a limited capacity due to the lack of space and infrastructure at the old campus. The need for a larger and more modern complex had been felt all the more by the trade in view of the upcoming jewellery park at Ichhapore, which would require a large pool of skilled workforce. Sanghavi hopes that the new City Centre would go a long way in meeting this requirement.

Rajiv Jain, chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) also addressed the gathering and welcomed the development of the new institute. “By 2015 combined demand from India and China may cross that of the USA, the single largest market for diamond jewellery, and there is an urgent need for artisans and designers who are trained to cater to the different needs of these varied markets.”

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