Connect with us

RJ Market Watch

#RJIF2024: How Fiona Diamonds championed the lab-grown diamonds segment with disruptive tech




The brand fought back the industry’s resistance to lab-grown diamonds and with technology, built a community where there is harmonious demand diversity between natural and lab-grown diamonds and moissanite jewellery 

Mumbai: At a time when the entire fine jewellery industry was averse to the idea of lab-grown diamonds, brave entrants such as Fiona Diamonds predicted a harmonious co-existence of both segments appreciated by a mature customer base. That was in 2018, and at the Retail Jeweller India Forum 2024 held in Mumbai on January 3, Parag Agrawal, Co-founder & CEO, Fiona Diamonds gave a glimpse of the brand’s journey through his presentation ‘Transforming jewellery retail with digital innovation and AI-driven customer experience at Fiona Diamonds with its affiliates, Shoppers Stop, Nykaa and Pernia’s Pop Up Shop’.

Sailing through the pandemic was possible because of technology, as a young brand such as Fiona Diamonds had to stare at a bleak future with stores shut during lockdowns, said Agrawal. “As an industry outsider, we realized that when a customer approaches a brand with a certain budget, the retailer’s duty is to showcase the best design available in that range with adequate services such as buyback policy. So, we stood out as a differentiator by building a one-stop destination for all kinds of jewellery. Fiona faced a lot of resistance on how one can sell natural and lab-grown diamonds, and moissanite jewellery under one roof. But we have one customer who bought all three for different occasions,” he said, explaining for that customer, there was a clear difference in purchasing intent when it came to impulse buying lab-grown diamonds and buying a natural diamond for a momentous occasion. 

During the COVID period, the brand realized that getting adequate footfalls was a tougher challenge than opening stores. “We went digital by stopping all our print ads and gauging complete conversions through CRM, integrating ERP to see how many customers are inquiring for what product,” he said. During COVID, engagement rings became a viable market for Fiona Diamonds, which witnessed that people were buying more jewellery for the same budget earlier meant for buying natural diamond jewellery. Hence, there was no question of a downhill sales graph. 

The market did a U-turn after PM Narendra Modi gifted a 7.5-carat lab-grown solitaire to US President Joe Biden’s wife, as searches for lab-grown diamonds nearly doubled online. The brand also created a distinction between its high-ticket and affordable items with the launch of silver moissanite sub-brand Cutiefy, in order to rectify audience segmentation in terms of pricing and optimize marketing spends. 


The tech-savvy brand relies heavily on ChatGPT, and has found the perfect entry to gifting segment via affiliations with Shoppers Stop, which is expanding to 10 stores, according to Agrawal. Across its showrooms in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi, Fiona Diamonds currently has about 12,000 customers, whose digital journey is completely mapped online. The brand has a stock turn ratio of 5x, with a 14x return on ad spends made possible through generative AI.  

“Google ads and Google display marketing have helped us build our customer funnel. On Instagram, the brand has grown from 5,000 followers to 70,000+ followers during COVID, with ticket sizes ranging from Rs 5-10 lakh. Content creation also requires innovation and one of our reels that didn’t initially resonate with the brand generated 8 million views. After that, my team earned complete freedom to pitch their brand the way they wished to,” he maintained.

The brand fought back the initial hurdles of lack of reference in the traditional fine jewellery industry by getting new customers instead of relying on loyalty references. “Today, CXO-level professionals love buying grown diamonds and do not shy away from sharing them with friends and family,” said Agrawal.

About the forecast for the Indian market, he stated that in the next 10 years, lab-grown diamond sales will rise at 14.8% CAGR and the total market size will increase from $ 299.9 million in 2023 to $1192.3 million by 2033. “Contributing factors will be rising jewellery exports and increased digitization of luxury jewellery sales and limiting environmental exploitation,” he concluded. 

Written by Ashwin Bose

Retail Jeweller India Exclusive

Continue Reading

Latest News