India to share 10 percent of Forevermark global sales

July 21st, 2012 - 1:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, July 21 (IANS) Diamond major De Beers Group company Forevermark hopes that India would contribute around 10 percent of its targeted global revenue of $1 billion in five years and is ready to expand its partnership base in the country, said a top company official.

“Last year, the global sales of Forevermark brand diamonds were worth half-a-billion dollars. Sales largely came from China and Hong Kong. In five years’ time, our target is to touch $1 billion annually. We expect India’s share to be around 10 percent in that,” chief executive officer of Forevermark Stephen Lussier told reporters late Friday.

Lussier was here to participate in a conference.

“India is one of the priority markets for us. At a time when the global sales of diamond went down, markets like China and India remained strong. The other important markets are Japan and the US,” Lussier said.

“China, Japan, Hong Kong, India and the US account for 75 percent of global diamond trade. The US dominated the diamond sales for a long time and now China and India would dominate. Even one-third of the diamond market in China and Asia is as large as the total US market,” he added.

Lussier said the feed-back from the company’s Indian partners have been positive and there was no need to change the India strategy.

“There were suggestions of looking at social media for advertising. We will also advertise on television. However, there will be no celebrity brand ambassador,” he said.

According to Sachin Jain, managing director of Forevermark Diamonds Private Ltd that manages the Indian operations, the company has been expanding its jewellery retail outlet base by entering new markets in the country.

In India, Forevermark is targeting to have around 100 retail store partners by the end of this year in 11 cities. Currently it has 65 outlets in nine cities.

“There is a 20 percent growth in diamond trade with a swing in favour of diamond jewellery from pure gold. We have different business models for retailers based on the size of their outlets,” Jain said.

Diamonds of various sizes, starting from 14 cents to higher caratages, are sold under the Forevermark brand.

“We would also be in solitaire segment (diamonds of one carat and above),” Lussier added.

According to the CEO, Forevermark has expanded into Malaysia, Singapore, Canada and Africa in the last one year and would be entering the UK and Dubai markets by the end of this year.

Selling the Forevermark brand diamonds through select jewellers, Lussier said the company hoped that by the end of this year its products would reach to around 1,000 retailers in the countries where it is present.

Last year, the company inscribed its brand name and identification number on around 120,000 diamond stones and this year the number will go up to 200,000 stones, he said.

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