Forevermark, the diamond brand from the De Beers group, hopes the festival season will add a sparkle to its India sales.
Currently, China and Hong Kong account for over half of its sales globally. This is followed by the markets of Japan, US and India. Forevermark has been in China since 2009. It was launched in India and US last year.
“We hope India will contribute 10-20 per cent of our worldwide sales in five years,” said Mr Stephen Lussier, CEO.
Mr Lussier says India and China are the priority markets for Forevermark. “For long, the US has dominated the world diamond market. By the end of the decade, India and China will together account for a third of the world diamond collection and be as large as America.”
Forevermark’s strategy is to partner with prominent jewellery retailers in each market. The brand co-designs diamond collections along with these retailers. By the end of this year, Forevermark hopes to have 1,000 retail partners worldwide.
In India, Forevermark is present in 65 doors, across 11 cities. By the year-end, it hopes to have 100 points of distribution.
“Despite the economic conditions, we are optimistic about India,” said Mr Lussier.
When times are easy people spend freely. But when conditions are difficult, consumers make careful purchase decisions, looking for value and quality, said Mr Lussier. “We hope to benefit from this. We are encouraged by the festive and wedding season.”
The diamond business in India is growing at 20 per cent year on year. Globally the diamond market is seeing a single digit growth of 3-5 per cent. “Forevermark is growing at 50 per cent worldwide – well above the global growth. But our base is small since we launched only in 2009,” said Mr Lussier, who is also De Beers’ Executive Director, External and Corporate Affairs.
De Beers expects diamond production at its mines to fall slightly short of last year’s production. “We have reduced production because there is less demand from clients, partly due to a strong rise in prices. So far, the production is 14 million carats. We expect to end the calendar year at 28-30 million.”