Hong Kong September Fair reaffirms commitment to jewellery trade

Industry leaders attested to the September Fair’s role as the world’s top B2B sourcing event as they called for closer multi-sectoral collaboration to tackle ongoing challenges.

20 september 2019

Lucara unearths 123 ct gem quality diamond at Botswana mine

Lucara Diamond has recovered a 123 carat gem quality top white Type II diamond from its wholly-owned Karowe mine, in Botswana.

20 september 2019

JNADC fetes winners and finalists of 2018/19 edition

JNA recognised the winners and finalists of its inaugural JNA Jewellery Design Competition 2018/19 in a prize presentation ceremony during the Fair Reception of the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair 2019 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition...

20 september 2019

CIBJO releases an overview of its 'Responsible Sourcing Blue Book'

CIBJO has released an overview of its Responsible Sourcing Blue Book. The Book defines a universally agreed-to set of recommended responsible sourcing principles that can be applied by all members of the jewelry industry.

20 september 2019

Stornoway Common Shares and Convertible Debentures to be Delisted From TSX

Stornoway Diamond Corporation announced that it has received notice that the Continued Listings Committee of the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") has determined to delist the Corporation’s common shares and convertible debentures effective...

20 september 2019

The diamond business is yet bright and has a good future in the coming days

19 august 2019

Hitesh Patel, Managing Director of Dharmanandan Diamonds Pvt. Ltd., joined the family business in 1997 to help his father Laljibhai Patel, the founder of Dharmanandan Diamonds Pvt. Ltd. Egged on by its success, Hitesh set up the overseas presence of the company to explore new opportunities and potential markets.

Today, Dharmanandan Diamonds has reached an annual turnover of over $ 1 billion, and under Hitesh’s leadership, the company has progressed to become one of the most successful companies in the shortest time. Hitesh is also very actively involved in various social welfare projects, focusing on Education, Medical and Social Awareness, which are appreciated by social and government organisations by presenting various CSR awards to the company.

Here, in an interview with Rough & Polished, Hitesh Patel expresses his views with the much-needed optimism for the diamond industry --- a breath of fresh air in an atmosphere of dismay?

Some excerpts…

For the benefit of the reader, please give us an overview of Dharmanandan Diamonds, its history, growth graph and its present position as a leading Group in India dealing in diamond & jewellery.

Way back in 1977, my father Laljibhai Patel and his friend Tulsibhai Patel started a journey towards becoming diamond pioneers by incorporating Shreeji Gems, a small manufacturing unit. Later it was registered as a partnership firm in 1991 as Dharmanandan Diamonds. However, in a short period, our company was known as the largest diamond manufacturer in the world in 0.30 carats to 5.00-carat size diamonds and registered as ‘Dharmanandan Diamonds Pvt. Ltd’.

Established in the 1980s, on a legacy of trust, the foundation of one of India’s most respected diamond company was laid. Today, our company, Dharmanandan Diamonds Pvt Ltd is a name to reckon with in the global diamond industry. Widely known for providing distinguished services, especially consistency in assortment, our company has established a committed relationship for the betterment of retailers.

Today, our company serves more than 2500 happy customers with quality diamonds, made by about 8000 skilled artisans by using ultra-modern technology spread in 500,000 square feet facility in the heart of the city of Surat.

Growth Timeline:

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Our company is committed to ensuring a high standard of ethical trade practices, including the implementation of Best Practice Principles of De Beers Group and Kimberly Process. We are a BSI certified company committing honesty, consistency, reliability and assurance in diamond authenticity.

Every jewellery line we introduce comes in different styles and we are constantly updating them to fit in with the evolving fashion industry of the world. Having such a manufacturing plant, we fill the needs of every client and tailor their order to fit their exact needs without slowing down our day to day operations. Every process is under one roof which enables us to deliver the best on time.

How do you plan your requirements of rough; and from where does Dharmanandan source its rough requirements? If mining companies reduced their supplies will the Indian industry return to is robust past? What effect will over-stocking of rough diamonds have on the price? What changes do you foresee this year?

Our major rough diamonds suppliers are from the largest producers in the world like DeBeers, Alrosa.

If the supply reduced than it would affect the business in terms of the consistency in the production, as we buy rough diamonds with regards to polished diamond demand from our long-standing commitment from the retail clients. This year we are experiencing little shortage of rough supply considering the commercial viability of the production outcome.

As exporters, in which countries do you have your presence currently? And, what is the demand situation in those countries? Has demand picked up in the US, the biggest market for Indian diamond & jewellery companies?

Our company has strategic marketing network at major hubs of diamond and jewellery markets around the world like Mumbai (India), Hong Kong, Belgium, China, UAE & USA. Our global hubs help us ensure that we can satisfy the needs of all the industry’s markets around the world with our wide product range from 0.01 Cts to 10.00 Cts in D-M colour, IF-I3 clarity and studded jewellery. Currently, the USA has pretty stable demand but demand from China is a little slow and we are expecting positive sentiments till September this year.

What are your views on the recently concluded JCK Vegas? Hong Kong Shows? Can you give us an idea of the quality/size/colour of polished goods that were in high demand? Market reports indicate that both the shows were slow on the whole, but lab-grown diamond sections attracted more footfalls. Your views?

The overall footfall was low in JCK and HK Show both, but for us, as we have few exiting products and service launch, we had good meetings and would be very fruitful in the rising market conditions in last quarter of the year. The inquiry and demand were average for all types of products during both shows.

Due to lab-grown diamonds, the Indian diamond industry has been facing many issues like ‘mixing’ as well negatively impacting the demand for natural diamonds? Do you think the government’s recent introduction of the 8-digit HS Codes for both rough and polished synthetic diamonds will be helpful? Can the industry now conclude that the worst is over?

Lab-grown diamonds have their own space now. Mixing of diamonds is not an issue as very efficient technologies are available and very affordable for the polished diamond buyers, like D-Secure – A synthetic-detection instrument. The government doing its best to safeguard the gems & jewellery industry, yes, the 8 digit code will be helpful.

Today, the Indian G&J industry is badly hit due to liquidity problems, high rough cost, polished prices going down, gold prices going up, bank financing cut drastically; production reduced at cutting centres, workers rendered jobless… and so on. Blaming industry members for not conducting business with integrity will not set things right. What do you suggest as the solution now?

The ups and downs keep coming and affecting the industry, and it is a part of the business. If you have foresight, then it will not affect you badly. All the situations of stocks and prices are correct to some extent but will start recovering at some point in time soon.

What changes have you witnessed in the Indian diamond industry through the years? Do you see the ‘trust’ factor, which was unique of the Indian industry, waning and not a major component anymore? In your opinion, what went wrong?

Over the years, the industry is becoming more sophisticated in terms of trading behaviours. The stakeholders are coming closer and closer. Trust is the part of gems & jewellery industry and it will be there till eternity. The external factors like government policy changes are affecting business, but, it is temporary. The diamond business is yet bright and has a good future in the coming days.

Wrapping up, how is Dharmanandan faring in these tumultuous times? What strategies is the company using to overcome this period? Any plans, and where do you see the company in say another 10 years?

We at DDPL believe that everything is temporary and bearing with this situation will give us a better result in better time soon. We keep reinventing our self and innovating new products and services, creating synergy and getting closer and closer to our retail partners, we believe in our people, they are our real hero and we are bound to their good livelihood, overall we see great opportunities in the business.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough & Polished