Jaipur: Forevermark, the premium diamond brand from the world’s largest diamond company, De Beers Group, expects India to contribute about 30 per cent to the brand’s global sales in three-four years from about 15 per cent now.
Forevermark, which entered the Indian market in 2011, retails through over 150 retailers and wholesalers across the country. The company doesn’t intend to sell through standalone stores.
Stephen Lussier, Forevermark’s CEO, told Business Line at the brand’s annual forum in Jaipur that despite a slump in the economy last year, sales (both value and volume wise) grew at a healthy 40 per cent as Indian consumers have started looking at diamond as an alternative mode of investment.
Unlike gold, which is a highly volatile commodity, diamonds are known to be more stable; Lussier said adding the prices are increasing. Last year, the prices increased 15 per cent and are expected to move up further this year, said a diamond trader attending the forum. Lussier said the brand would double the business this year and sell about 50,000 units of diamonds.
On the growing demand, Lussier said, “With changing roles of Indian women, their buying pattern has also changed. Women now want to buy more modern and contemporary jewellery that can go with most of their outfits. This is where diamond plays the role as it is a very versatile commodity.”
Lussier is also focusing on making India the largest consumer of diamond after China, the US, Hong Kong and Japan. For this, the company is planning a diamond grading facility in Surat.
“India is already the largest manufacturing and polishing market in the world and this facility, second in the world after Belgium, will help cut logistics costs and make diamonds more affordable,” he said adding at present, all grading is done in Belgium.
The company has invested up to ₹45 crore in the facility with a capacity of 300,000 to 350,000 diamonds a year in four years. It is likely to be operational by the first quarter (January-March) of 2015.
The brand is expecting demand to grow from smaller towns as well. The brand, currently present in 19 cities in India, is strongest in southern India.