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Belgian-quality diamond boiling in Dubai from TRIGEM

05 november 2019

david_zabinsky_xxa.pngBorn in New York, David Zabinsky is CEO & Co-Founder of TRIGEM, an independent diamond service provider in Dubai. Before TRIGEM, David was Manager at Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone, where he was responsible for securing North and South American investment into Ras Al Khaimah.

David is a graduate of Bowdoin College and in his spare time, he competes in the sport of powerlifting.

In an interview with Rough&Polished, David Zabinsky talks about TRIGEM, which will launch a diamond boiling service in partnership with Antwerp’s Charlotte Boil in January 2020.

Some excerpts:

Please take us through TRIGEM’s complete business plan. How do you see your services playing a role for both local and international mining and trading companies?

At the moment, we offer rough manufacturing, re-cutting, and Triple Ex upgrading services to our customers from Dubai, the US, Canada, the UK, and abroad.

We’re unique in that we blend the best of Surat and the best of Antwerp by polishing in Dubai: we offer the fast turnaround and similar prices to what one would expect in India while offering the same transparency and customer service one would expect in Belgium.

Moving forward, we are launching a project that’s bound to excite producers and dealers from all around the world: in partnership with Antwerp’s own Charlotte Boil, we at TRIGEM CHARLOTTE Boiling will begin offering Belgian-quality, independent deep and light diamond boiling services in the heart of Dubai in January 2020.

By replicating our partner Charlotte’s boiling ‘kitchen’, miners and traders can expect to leverage our trust, confidentiality, and unbeaten, secret boiling recipe to earn more from their diamonds. A high-quality boil, such as the one we will offer, can oftentimes increase the sale value of material up to 5%, depending on the type of goods.

As Dubai’s first ‘independent’ diamond boiler, we expect to service not only local tender houses and traders but also producers from around the world. And as Dubai continues to evolve into the world’s premier diamond centre, we want customers to see TRIGEM and Dubai as a one-stop-shop for diamond preparing and marketing. Sending goods to TRIGEM CHARLOTTE for an unparalleled boil, followed immediately by a tax-free sale in Dubai is a way for producers and traders to vertically integrate their supply chain while also increasing their profits.

Alternatively, for those that prefer to prepare in India and market in Antwerp, for example, we will offer a solution that will undoubtedly bring value to customers: by boiling with TRIGEM CHARLOTTE, one not only will get a higher-quality boil than one would in India, but one also would save on logistics and time when shipping from Dubai to Antwerp.

Ultimately, as producers and traders relocate or outsource points in their value chains during an ever-changing time in the industry, it is our trust, our independence, and our unmatched boiling ‘recipe’ in Dubai that will empower customers with better-prepared, easier-to-sell, more valuable goods. 

From left to right: Samuel Ollech and Mendy Eckstein from Charlotte Boiling and His Highness Shaikh Ahmed Bin Manna Bin Khalifa Saeed Al-Maktoum and David Zabinsky from TRIGEM announce their partnership during September's Dubai Diamond Conference

What was the driving force behind deciding to establish TRIGEM in DMCC Dubai? And why do you think TRIGEM will flourish in Dubai? What are your thoughts on Dubai when it comes to the future of the diamond industry?

Our investment in building TRIGEM CHARLOTTE in the UAE is a reflection of our confidence in Dubai becoming the world’s premier diamond hub. With this in mind, we foresee more producers and tender houses utilizing Dubai to market goods, as well as those already here increasing their presence. That is, for any diamond producer or trader, doing business in Dubai just makes good business sense.

First, there is no personal or business income tax. There’s also no VAT levied on rough diamonds, and because Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world, insurance costs and security risks are minimized. In our opinion, every producer looking to increase profits and better manage cash flow should have at least some type of activity in Dubai, even for just booking segments of their business.

On the import side, there are one-way flights from Dubai to producing nations like Angola, Guinea, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Brazil, and Russia, so logistics costs and import processes are lower and less complicated than they would be elsewhere.

On the export side, there is a Surat-UAE direct flight, as well as a multitude of direct flights from the UAE to both Brussels and Mumbai. By sitting in between both Belgium and India, Dubai can easily congregate buyers at any given time, which of course benefits producers and tender houses wanting to sell at the highest prices.

Next, you have a host of banks here who open company accounts, especially the well-known National Bank of Fujairah who offers financing and reserves a VIP diamond desk for its trading clients.

Finally, you have the support system of the DMCC, led by industry titan His Excellency Ahmed Bin Sulayem and renowned diamond marketer and geologist Martin Leake who understand the industry as well as anyone else. If DMCC’s investment in their new, state-of-the-art tender facility is any indication, they’re also incredibly bullish on Dubai becoming a true global diamond centre.

We’d like to think our independent boiling offering is simply the ‘cherry on top’ to helping Dubai evolve into the marketing and sales hub of choice for miners and traders around the world. Because of this, we expect to see more of the industry utilizing Dubai, and why wouldn’t they?

Pro-business legislation, a supportive banking system and local jurisdiction, geographical accessibility, and now an outlet to independently have goods prepared before marketing are all part of the recipe for transforming Dubai into a diamond capital of the world.

What are the terms & conditions for any mine/company to be able to use your services? Will TRIGEM do business with all (big & small) companies, irrespective of the volume of business they can give? Please give more details.

We will do business with any producer or trader no matter the seniority, no matter the volumes, so long as the organization is KP compliant.

Ultimately, with our one-stop-shop offering and USP that we will provide independent, Belgian-quality boiling in Dubai, we’re interested in entering agreements with producers from anywhere - be they African, Canadian, or Russian - whereby they entrust us with their productions for preparing diamonds with unquestioned discretion and exclusive quality.

Whether or not they market in Dubai after our boil is up to them. But by selling in Dubai, our proposed one-stop-shop model not only increases the value of their goods but also integrates their sales platform and makes it far more efficient and lucrative.

Any future expansion plans for TRIGEM? Will you stick to manufacturing and boiling? Or perhaps look at opening elsewhere?

After opening our boiling vertical, we will also aim in the future to offer rough assortment and rough inclusion planning services. By forming an international team adaptable to the assortment models of any miner or dealer as well as using the right technology to mass-X-Ray scan thousands of carats per day, producers will be able to utilize our services that not only slash their costs and increase the value of their productions, but also consolidate their marketing platforms by boiling, sorting, scanning, and selling in Dubai -- all under one roof.

For now, since we’re incredibly bullish on Dubai evolving into a full-fledged diamond centre, our efforts are maintained here. We want to service our customers to the highest standard in Dubai while also enabling them to simply earn more from their diamonds.

With the slow-down in the industry, will TRIGEM succeed in finding sufficient clients in the diamond/gemstone mining sector as well as manufacturing sector? What are your thoughts on the future of the industry? Your comments.

At the end of the day, no matter how low prices may get, miners have to mine. But it’s our commitment to offering a confidential and top-calibre boil that is likely the most interesting during a downturn, as producers look to get every cent out of their productions without compromising the integrity of their supply chains.

Further, as the market continues to correct and if prices continue to fall, we think we’ll see producers offset internal costs by outsourcing some or many of the points in their value chains. By outsourcing activities like boiling and assorting, for example, a miner can cut OPEX costs while even improving the quality of their goods by outsourcing to a superior boiler.

And if the industry continues to move into an outsourcing model, we want our customers to have the utmost confidence that we will serve unwaveringly as a globally trusted, independent diamond service provider in what we think is slated to be the next diamond capital of the world: Dubai.

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