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There is no one better than De Beers to steer the youth towards diamond jewellery: Aditya Pethe

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Forevermark Forum 2021

Aditya Pethe, Director of Waman Hari Pethe Jewellers, Mumbai, talks to Samit Bhatta, publisher of The Retail Jeweller India about his association with De Beers and the spark that he expects the Forevermark rebranding to bring into the industry

Samit Bhatta: What is your opinion on the change of brand name from Forevermark to De Beers Forevermark? 

Aditya Pethe: We have been associated with De Beers from the very beginning and find the rebranding a very good move. They should have done this when Forevermark began, since De Beers is synonymous to diamonds. People still remember their ads with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan15-20 years ago, which had a strong impact on the consumer’s mind. This will help us as retailers and the diamond industry as De Beers has a very high recall value. I am personally very bullish about the change.

Aditya Pethe, Waman Hari Pethe Jewellers

Samit Bhatta: You have been part of the Forevermark program since 2011.How has it evolved and what is the current situation after the second lockdown? How has the diamond jewellery business been, and how do you think Forevermark diamond jewellery is going to perform in the current financial year?

Aditya Pethe: As far as the general diamond business goes, the pandemic has hit everyone badly. After the first lockdown, things picked up. Of the diamond jewellery we did sell during the pandemic, Forevermark made for a big chunk. Last year, after the initial 2-3 slow months, sales picked up post-Diwali. Unfortunately, there was a second lockdown, so the diamond business in general took a hit. If the third wave spares us, the diamond business will pick up gradually in 2-3 months. People are not buying high-end jewellery and most sales are below Rs 2 lakh. However, solitaires are selling well. If there is no further lockdown, high ticket items will also start selling more from Diwali, which is the main season. Once things open up completely in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, Forevermark sales will pick up further. It has a good long-term trajectory, so we have allocated a larger space to them in our new store. They have decorated it well, are providing a lot of information on diamonds, and this is helping in overall diamond sales.

Samit Bhatta: What are your expectations for De Beers Forevermark Forum 2021? 

Aditya Pethe: Forevermark will need toadvertise themselves well because jewellery as a sector is losing its billing factor. The younger generation is spending a lot of money on gadgets, luxury watches and electronics. So, they need to create a buzz in the market about the benefits of buying a diamond, and there is no better company than De Beers to do this successfully. I hope that they come out with a big-budget campaign, which will impact customers and bring back the glow to diamonds. I am excited about their ‘Code of Origin’, because the CVD market will take its course in India sooner or later, as it is doing very well abroad. How does one differentiate between CVD and natural diamonds? If you have the ‘Code of Origin’, jewellers can confidently sell the diamond to the customers. There are all sorts of new technologies coming upevery other day to manufacture CVDs and HPHT diamonds. So, we need to be confident if we want the customers to have faith in us. Although we have certification from IGI and GIA, who is better than De Beers? A certificate from them should be most relevant.  

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News Service

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