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Natural and LGDs are two segments of the industry that will have to learn to coexist together

12 july 2021
anmol_bhansali_xx.pngHaving now completed half a decade in the diamond jewelry exporting and wholesaling industry, Anmol Bhansali received formal training on Diamonds from GIA in addition to a lengthy training in jewelry wholesaling from the factories at Goldiam. He has joined Goldiam to spearhead the lab-grown diamond ventures (both in jewelry wholesaling and LG diamond growing) as well as E-commerce initiatives of the company, with a focus on profitable, margin-oriented businesses that favor the shareholders and investor community of the company. He has graduated with a Bachelors of Science, in Economics, Finance and Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Here, in an exclusive interview with Rough&Polished, Anmol Bhansali talks about his dream project, and his aim to focus and grow in the LGD sector going forward.

Some excerpts:

Please run us through your family company Goldiam International Ltd from inception to date, for the benefit of our readers.

Goldiam started its lifecycle out as a diamond cutting and manufacturing company. However, over 25 years ago, for want of being in a less commoditized industry, the Company pivoted to Jewelry Manufacturing and Wholesaling. Since then, we have stayed focused on the Jewelry industry, having seen disruptions including the transition of the business from US wholesalers to global manufacturer-wholesalers like Goldiam, the Financial crisis & the advent of Ecommerce & LGDs.

Today, Goldiam is a dominant and focused player in the B2B jewelry industry focused on selling bridal oriented jewelry to large US retailers. We have also entered the Lab-Grown Diamond growing business through the strategic acquisition of Eco-Friendly Diamonds LLP.

Coming from a natural diamond business family, who or what inspired you to enter the LGD sector with ‘Jewel Fleet’?

It was my grandfather, Mr Manhar Bhansali, who took a big risk over 5 years ago to enter the LGD growing business through Eco-Friendly Diamonds LLP. He was a pioneer in the natural diamond trade and saw a promising future for this category, taking the bold decision to be among the first companies to dive into this market.

Since his passing away, I have been looking into this business, with a focus to create sustainable and margin-generating distributions for our product, one of which is www.jewelfleet.com – a website that allows independent retailers in the US to order customizable, fine jewelry from India with guaranteed one-week shipping lead times.

Tell us more about your LGD jewelry manufacturing business. Where is your unit located and from where do you source your LGDs to feed your jewelry manufacturing unit?

Eco-Friendly Diamonds LLP grows large CVD diamonds in its unit in the SEEPZ trade zone in Mumbai and is increasingly working on integrating its products with LGD Jewelry that is produced by Goldiam at a dedicated LGD Jewelry production facility in the SEEPZ zone in Mumbai. Other than the large diamonds from our facility (Eco-Friendly Diamonds LLP), we procure LG melee from the diamond bourse and market in BKC.

Today, Goldiam is proud to be among the only “Jewelry-First” companies that are entirely vertically integrated with the LGD market, offering global retailers an easy, plug and play model to introduce LGD Jewelry across shapes, sizes and of course with all the regular strengths of omnichannel distribution and rapid deliveries that Goldiam offers.

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Image credit: Goldiam

Does your LGD production unit also have colour LGDs as well on the product list, given that the demand for them looks to be surging?

Currently, we are not looking at colors as there are intellectual property-related risks that we would not like to take on. There is a long runway of growth for colorless LGDs so currently, we find no need to diversify to other colors.

The US market seems to have taken to LGD jewellery quite enthusiastically. Which other global consumer market/s do you think is showing or may show high demand in the future? Which market do you plan to focus on right now? Your views?

Our focus at Goldiam has always been on the US market. We have an infrastructure set up there to compete aggressively and serve retailers in the best way possible. Other than the US, I am sure that Japan, Europe and eventually our domestic market in India will turn towards LGDs to bring that ‘new’ customer into our markets. However, at the moment, we are solely focused on growing our share with US retailers and are working to be their vendor of choice.

The natural diamond and LGD sectors are at loggerheads of late. Can the two sectors come to an understanding that they are two separate sectors and separate business opportunities that can survive independently? Your opinion?

Natural & LG diamonds are two segments of the industry that will have to learn to coexist together. One must understand that all we sell at the end of the day is emotion symbolized by nothing more than a shiny rock; and by besmirching this symbol, whose value has been built over many decades, both sides are playing a losing game. While there will be some market share that LGD will take away from the Natural diamond industry (especially in price-point segments), the larger potential of LGD Jewelry exists in its ability to bring NEW customers who would otherwise never think of purchasing a diamond itself. This is additive for the market, for retailers and eventually will lead to the larger jewelry industry gaining wallet share back from what was otherwise lost to industries like fashion, travel & electronics.

At Goldiam, we are strictly material agnostic – providing jewelry design, manufacturing, wholesaling and omnichannel services regardless of the raw material that goes in that jewelry.

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