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Botswana’s Beaming Diamond Story
In the year 2013, history was created in the diamond industry when De Beers moved its aggregation and sorting activities to the Botswana capital of Gaborone. The Botswana government stressed that the transfer be carried out as part of the sales agreement signed by the sides in 2011.
By: Diamond World News Service
Apr 22 2014 4:16PM
Reference: 9053  


“We place great emphasis on building trust with our customers and responding to their needs and I believe that this is reflected in what we offer and the services we provide. We have been conducting an online survey since our first sale and the feedback from this and other sources has been overwhelmingly positive. It relates to our selling assortments, the consistency of our presentation month on month, the design of our online auction, and our facility here in Botswana and the services we provide. Perhaps most importantly, customers have said that they value the transparency of ODC,” he concludes.

Rowley Takes Over From Varda Shine
Less well known to many in the global diamond industry than his predecessor Varda Shine who was often in the spotlight, Paul Rowley, Executive Vice President Global Sightholder Sales, replaced Shine who left De Beers after 30 years with the company at the end of January.

He was previously the senior vice president of midstream operations for global Sightholder sales. He has wide-ranging experience with the company, having joined De Beers in 1983 and several senior positions. He has served on both the DTC Botswana and Namibia DTC boards, and was acting CEO of DTC Botswana before being appointed to replace Shine

His previous positions include key account management, rough diamond purchasing in various African diamond producing countries and heading the global Sightholder sales diamond division.

“I have been fortunate enough to have worked all over southern Africa, forming strong relationships with our government partners and to have built up decades of experience with rough diamonds. It will be a privilege to work more closely with our Sightholders, who are among the world’s leading diamantaires and I look forward to starting a new chapter for global Sightholder sales in Botswana,” said Rowley.

He first visited Botswana for work in 1987, and says the changes since that time are incomparable. Rowley says that Sightholders have been pleased with the first few Sights in Botswana. He attributes that to an exceptionally high level by all sides. “By the time of the first Sight, last November, many problematic issues had been ironed out,” he informs.

The 10-year sales agreement signed by De Beers and the Botswana government in 2011 symbolises that long-term partnership in every part of their operations. “Let's remember that 60 per cent of our diamonds come from Botswana, and that we received a 10-year agreement that provides our clients with a great deal of consistency and continuity.”

On the issue of rising prices of rough goods, Rowley explained that the firm continuously tracks the prices of rough and polished stones to ensure the miner is demanding the right price for goods. “When we sell the rough, we are aware that there is a delay of several months before it is turned into polished so we have to take that into account in our rough sales price,” he states.

He commented there will be a new client selection method in 2015. “Instead of many questionnaires, we will be looking at how a client is demonstrating demand. There will be greater flexibility from our side. We want to move goods to where customers need them and that is where consumers are located,” he concludes.

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