Surat’s diamond industry shows signs of recovery

Surat – World’s biggest diamond polishing center can hope for some recovery in coming months. The city’s diamond industry has been suffering since 18 months.

The Diamond Producers Association (DPA), a consortium of world’s leading diamond mining companies, is set to launch a $6 million global marketing blitzkrieg to boost the sale of diamonds. DPA has hired Mother, a leading advertising agency in New York, for the campaign that would mainly target the millennial or ‘young adult’ population across the globe. The marketing will focus on the age-old tagline ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friends’ coupled with ‘Diamonds are Millennials’ Best Friends’.

The consortium, which has De Beers, Rio Tinto, Dominion Diamond, Lucara Diamond, Petra Diamonds Ltd and Gem Diamonds Ltd., supplies around 75 per cent of rough diamonds mined every year worth $14 billion. Around 90 per cent of these diamonds are processed in Surat. Sources said that India would be the focus country for the blitzkrieg as nearly 60 per cent of its 1.2 billion population as per 2011 census are under the age of 30 years.

Aniruddha Lidbide, a diamond analyst said, “De Beers’ marketing campaign ‘Diamonds are Forever’ few years ago had helped Surat diamataires earn rich dividends. One can imagine the spurt in demand when world’s top diamond miners launch a similar initiative.” DPA’s announcement comes at a time when India’s diamond export has plunged to an all-time low of $12 billion between April-October 2015 compared to $14 billion during the same period in previous year. Around 350 small diamond polishing units in Surat closed down rendering more than 20,000 jobless.

Regional chairman, GJEPC, Dinesh Navadiya said, “We are hopeful of tiding over the present crisis next year due to DPA’s marketing plan.” Ishwar Dholakiya, director of Shree Ramkrishna Exports said, “A campaign for generic promotion of diamonds was much needed to spur the stagnant demand.”

According to the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the imports of rough diamonds in October this year increased by 14 per cent, while exports of polished diamonds was down 17 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

Industry sources said that the rough diamond imports rose in October due to Diwali vacation in November. Imports of rough diamonds has been witnessing a continuous drop of close to 15 per cent every month since May.

Courtesy: Times of India