Forevermark, from the De Beerís group, recently entered the Indian retail market. Stephen Lussier, the CEO of Forevermark, spoke to Verve about their plans and proposals for India...
How do you look at the Indian market?
The gold market here is bigger but the potential of diamonds is going up. India is amongst the top five consumers of diamonds in the world. Hopefully by the end of the decade it will be in the top three and give stiff competition to China and USA. A very strong jewellery culture is ingrained in everybody here that makes it a unique market unlike any other in the world as it enjoys its jewellery and precious stones. In the rapidly growing economy people are keen on investing and are open to innovative ideas.
What do diamonds symbolise for you?
They are the most precious thing in the world. They can acquire different meanings for different people but I have an emotional connection with diamonds. You buy them once and they stay with you through your lifetime. Their rarity makes them even more precious and eternal.
What is the vision of your company?
It is the same as our global vision which is to make Forevermark the leading diamond brand in the world. This is what we did in the other East Asian countries and now thatís our plan for India and the USA which are our targets for 2011. In 2012 we plan to target the European nations thus spreading our brand across the globe.
What will be your strategy for India?
We have been very successful in Asia and our strategy has been to be very selective on how we approach every market. We shall be following the same pattern in India as well. We are identifying our target consumers by talking to them, engaging them and delivering what we promised. Just like in Hollywood we aspire to make our presence felt through Bollywood to make our local relevance clearer. We have also realised that the internet plays an important role. We saw that in Bangalore where we launched in January that the number of people visiting our website went up by 20 per cent in just a month. So we have to be upfront with the digital media, in order to pull the younger buyers towards us.
Who is your target consumer?
In India since jewellery is all about inheritance, we will be tapping into families that are already exposed to buying diamonds and jewellery. The younger generations are also on our radar.
What are the highlights of the Yin Yang diamonds?
They are so unique. One would probably never see diamonds that are this huge and polished. The two are identical, round and brilliant Forevermark diamonds. They were cut from two individual rough diamonds, each initially weighing over 100 carats, which were discovered in Southern Africa. The resulting gems are flawless, internally and externally, and have received the highest quality grading in terms of colour (D-colour).
What about your partnership with the Indian retailers?
We get our exceptional diamonds and they bring in their expertise which is their exclusive clientele and the experience of knowing what they want. So a combination of these two would work together perfectly for us in India.
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