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The annual De Beers Forevermark Forum 2021 is a milestone in itself: Sachin Jain



The annual De Beers Forevermark Forum 2021 is a milestone in itself: Sachin Jain

De Beers is undergoing an unprecedented transformation by returning to the root and adding its tag of assurance to develop a fortified position for its partners and indisputable trust for consumers in years to come. Ahead of the De Beers Forevermark annual Forum 2021, Soma Bhatta speaks to Sachin Jain, MD, De Beers (India), about the massive internal and external changes that the organization is undergoing and what it means for De Beers’ Indian stakeholders.

Soma Bhatta (SB): Tell us about the strategic shift in the way De beers is approaching the market worldwide.

Sachin Jain (SJ): 2021 is an exciting and transformative year for De Beers, as we continue our journey to inspire desire for natural diamonds and offer consumers design driven jewellery. Consumers increasingly expect brands to prove they are a demonstrable force for good – in their sourcing practices, impact on local communities, commitment to environmentally responsible operations, and support to social causes. We believe this notion of social purpose will come to sit at the heart of the consumer proposition for all luxury brands – and even more so when it comes to highly meaningful luxury purchases such as diamonds.

The De Beers name is iconic in the diamond industry, and De Beers has long been recognised as the global expert and authority on diamonds. 

Our priority is threefold – to create a step-change in how we connect our products to our purpose in the emerging consumer landscape; to double down on the unique diamond expertise of De Beers, which is what differentiates the brand and our houses from all other diamond jewellery brands; and to ensure that every dollar we at De Beers invest in communicating to consumers, whether focused on branded or corporate campaigns, creates the biggest impact possible for our partners.

SB: De Beers partners with the diamond industry at multiple levels. How will the renewed outlook impact the various stakeholders?

SJ:  As De Beers looks to ramp-up its focus on communicating our commitment to making a positive impact on people and the planet over the coming months and years, we want to make sure that Forevermark and all of our partners benefit from this by drawing an immediate link for consumers between De Beers Group’s social purpose and the Forevermark brand proposition of diamonds that are beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced.

Placing the De Beers name at the centre of the Forevermark brand will ensure Forevermark more directly benefits from its association with De Beers. The current Licensing model will continue. However, to create a more consistent consumer brand experience globally, De Beers Forevermark will be offering wholesale in select markets, mainly in the US and Mainland China.

SB: How is the Code of Origin(COO) program structured to benefit the retailers selling diamonds sourced from De beers?

SJ: Each piece of jewelry purchased under the program provides the buyer with proof that his/her diamonds are natural and conflict free, and were discovered by De Beers. Consumers can find their 12-digit code beginning with the letters DBM engraved on each piece of the jewelry they purchase. The code, that can also be viewed on the De Beers Code of Origin card, accompanying each piece of jewelry, offers a guarantee to buyers that the diamonds in their jewelry are 100% natural, traceable, sustainably sourced. The Code of Origin is creating the path for those retailers in the journey of ordinary to extraordinary.

SB: Considering the huge scale of De Beers’ diamond business, how are gearing up to the system to manage the COO program on ground?

SJ: We are at an early stage of unfolding the program with our trade partners. At the moment, we are giving access to select sightholder partners who have an integrated set up of both diamond and jewellery manufacturing.

The jewellery is graded in our in-house facility, De Beers Group Industry Services – previously the International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research (IIDGR). The jewellery is then delivered in tamper-proof package. The entire process is managed, tracked and audited with precision.

Under the ongoing Code of Origin program, we are running a pilot in 27 retailers with 80 doors. As we build capacity, we will explore ways to make the program more inclusive.  We are looking at 2 lakh jewellery certificates for this segment by the end of next year.

SB: In the past, De beers’ promotions have benefitted the industry at large. What will be the far-reaching impact of this rebranding exercise?

SJ: De Beers’ unrivalled expertise and foresight in creating the natural diamond business is recognized world-wide. In a few months we will launch a new global De Beers brand campaign featuring jewellery from De Beers Forevermark and De Beers Jewellers. It will be a global marketing campaign that will grow the desire for De Beers and all it stands for. The campaign will be underpinned by a comprehensive and engaging omnichannel consumer proposition. We are aiming to achieve efficiency, power and scale by putting our resources behind one De Beers brand. Our jewellery houses will benefit greatly from direct association with the De Beers brand and a campaign that aims to drive awareness, relevance and desire and ultimately translate into commercial success.

SB: The Forevermark 2021 forum is round the corner. With a large opportunity canvas laid out for the diamond industry, what can the retailers look forward to?

SJ: The annual De Beers Forevermark forum 2021 is a milestone in itself; it symbolizes the cohesive force and combined belief of those who believe in the glorious future of the natural diamond category. Each forum is a landmark in our journey to achieve the true potential of the category.

The topmost highlight for this year would be the rebranding into De Beers Forevermark, the Code of Origin programme, the master brand campaign and finally, then is the launch of the statement Avaanti Collection.

Driven by a single belief that what the future holds can unfold from a single ripple, the Avaanti campaign celebrates the power of possibility and encourages women to unleash their own ripple on the world.

We had tested the product in our main markets.  The response to the Avaanti collection has been unanimously strong as retailers are ordering large numbers. The product is available to all authorized De Beers Forevermark retailers worldwide. This will hit Indian markets in September. Besides these highpoints, we will share lot of data from our ongoing research in the Indian market.

SB: Given the imminent threat of the third wave, how are you planning the safety of the participants?

SJ: As the markets have started to open up and with most of our partners being partially or fully vaccinated, we got a positive response for people to attend a physical forum. That being said, safety is a top priority at De Beers and we are taking multiple levels of measures to ensure maximum safety to our team and our partners. We have limited the participation to only a 100 people per day with mandatory pre-bookings. At the Forum, each participant will go through a mandatory Rapid Antigen test & temperature screening prior to entering the venue. Masks & sanitizers will provided to all. Each stall will be sanitized after every meeting. Participants will be reminded to maintain social distancing and regular handwashing. All our partners can be rest assured that we are doing our best to provide them with a safe business environment to transact.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News

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