Meaningful Tomorrows! The future of the Gems & Jewellery business
Mr. Sachin Jain, Managing Director, De Beers India.
Exclusive interview of Sachin Jain, Ahead of Forevermark Forum 2020
Forum to be held on 18/19/20 August 2020
1: How do you take this 9th Forevermark Forum as the Forevermark’s first virtual diamond forum?
The annual Forevermark Forum every year is the most important time for us. During these three days, we, as part of the industry, talk about the future of the business, we bring in technology, consumer insight, and also well-known speakers who share their knowledge in their respective fields. Now, in this particular year, we are amid a pandemic and we were wondering whether to cancel the event which we had planned in Goa in July. In the current situation, of course, you cannot do anything physically for sure, that’s out of the question! So, we all put our heads together and realized that we have two options in hand, one was to cancel the forum -- the easier way out, and the other was to host this virtually and bring the industry together at this difficult time. We wanted to provide this virtual platform as a sort of thinking process and together find ways to get out of the dark. So, we stepped up and are hosting this virtual forum. This is not a webinar, it is a complete experience of how you think the future will be, how the consumer will expect the brand or the retail aspect to behave. It is a complete virtual experience of what the forum is!
When you get into the forum, you arrive on a ship to get to the venue, you can walk around and see things! It’s an experience of thought where you can see the designs, you can interact with other attendees, and with all our sight holders. Retailers have got a virtual booth where goods are displayed showcasing different designs and more, attendees can use ultra HD 4K technology. We are trying to take technology to an altogether different level. There is a lot of positivity and hope around the forum, honestly speaking! We have taken the onus this year to step out of the comfort zone and think out of the box. Every year, we work around a theme for the forum, and this year our theme is ‘Meaningful Tomorrows!’ This will charge up everybody to build a beautiful tomorrow.
2: How the announced theme, Meaningful Tomorrows, correlates with the business scenario now?
There are two-three ways we look at it. First and foremost, everything we do is centered on how the consumer is looking at our business and the industry. We’ve just completed the biggest study on consumer sentiment and found that consumers right now are giving more respect to mother earth. They are making a choice to consume the product of a brand that has done well, not just during the pandemic but also for the wider good of the world. They are living in the moment. I see that it is not just an expense or shared money on one luxury item. The purchase has to have a deeper meaning and connection. As an industry, the idea is to bring in all this sentiment along with technology in our products. That’s the whole purpose of the theme of Meaningful Tomorrows.
To improve the experience of customers at our retail outlets, we are launching seven new technologies at the forum in the retail space that our partners can utilize. We are getting some interesting speakers including Randi Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, Deep Kalra, Founder Makemytrip.com, and scientist & innovator Sonam Wangchuk who will all share valuable insights on their journey and business.
3. Do you favor these Virtual platforms in getting more interactive at present?
In the present time, going virtual is the only option. What we are attempting to do is futuristic and is in the right direction! If you ask me whether in the future, the virtual way be the only way? The answer is that our business is a physical business and requires our teams around the world to physically meet and that is why our future will have a combination of both.
4: Your planned new virtual boutique, would it work? If yes, it would bring the result?
We are bringing in as much interaction as possible. Ultra HD 4K technology will be available for our partners for a scheduled meeting. You can almost touch and feel the product as much as possible as in the real world through virtual try-on and various other technologies.
5: What to expect at the 9th edition of Forevermark Forum?
I expect a lot of inspiration. This Forum will be the first most important diamond platform and gathering after the pandemic. Through this platform, we want to give out the message to all those attending that the future of the business is bright and exciting. It’s only a matter of adapting to a different wave and riding that wave well. We want to give hope to people who are doubtful about the future of the business. Through this event, we want to tell them that change for the better is just around the corner and we will be able to make a difference.
I am very certain that people who will be coming to the forum will be inspired about what diamonds can do. I am hopeful that with this platform, we will open up the minds of our partners and the diamond industry at large, to move forward and rebuild the changing world.
6: Fraternity is eager about their registrations. How would you register them?
It’s a very simple process. We are welcoming the entire trade fraternity because we think that more people will benefit from the advantages of and advances in technology. Anybody from the business can sign in and register with us and be a part of the forum. For the first time, we are putting in the forum a selection of nine DeBeers companies and all the leading experts of the diamond business from across the world who will not only address their sessions but also interact with the attendees. You can discuss any problem you are facing and you will be guided on how to build your digital business, online business, e-commerce, your sustainability model, etc.