The Forevermark Forum took place in the physical form this year, with several important announcements made -- change in brand name to De Beers Forevermark, launch of Avaanti, the new designer collection, and the kickstarting of the Code of Origin project, to name a few
Forevermark Forum, the annual event of the diamond brand from the De Beers group for its authorized jewellers, diamantaires and manufacturers from around the world, took off on an upbeat note, generating a buzz all around the industry. Owing to the COVID pandemic, the event was held virtually last time, but this year, it was back with a bang in its original form.
Make Life Brilliant
Each year, the event has a theme, and this year, the tagline was “Make Life Brilliant”. Explaining the rationale behind this, Sachin Jain, Managing Director, De Beers India, said, “The pandemic brought a lot of misery worldwide, but some industries stood out in the crowd by playing a responsible corporate role. Ours is one of them. And when we say ‘Make Life Brilliant’, it is not just about the bling of the diamond, but also the communities where we mine, the artisans who work on our diamonds, workers who venture into that pipeline. People see Forevermark diamonds as a deeply trusted and cherished symbol, worthy of their love and joy.
Over the past nine years, the Forum has been a significant platform of learning for Forevermark’s authorized jewellers, as well as diamantaires and manufacturers from across the world. “The De Beers Forevermark Forum’s goal is to inspire the partners to interact, transact and gain a new perspective of the business in the context of events outside the industry. Given De Beers’s heritage and pedigree, the partners look at the brand as a source of information, learning, strategy direction and understanding the future trends,” Jain added.
Launch of new collection
The Forum also saw the launch of the designer collection, Avaanti, which will be the first global line of the company. All Forevermark retailers will be able to stock this collection. Said Jain, “The response to the Avaanti collection has been amazing. The De Beers Forevermark Forum has been a trendsetter. The Milan Institute has published its own Trend book, based on extensive research. It has presented future trends as well, and has touched upon colours, projections, materials, and so forth. When a consumer comes to your store, the only question is: What’s new? So, it is our duty to be on top of what the global trends are.”
Speaking at the event, Jain also made a reference to having an open mind about global trends. “You have to keep in mind your exclusive consumers, your geography and all other factors as well. It is important to open up your minds to understand what is trending the world over, and how each one of us can arrive at a consensus. Over the last 30-35 years, there is a great amount of work that has been done. Since January this year, all the exhibitors have worked really hard and presented here at the Forum the very best of their effort. It is indeed a great opportunity to witness the unfolding of a whole new business forum altogether – one wherein every stake holder is a winner,” he stated.
Circle of Trust
The Forum also presented an opportunity to De Beers Forevermark to explain the rationale behind its Circle of Trust campaign. “When you set your heart on a Forevermark Circle of Trust diamond bangle, you surround yourself with some of the world’s most beautiful, rare and natural diamonds. Every De Beers Forevermark diamond in these bangles has a unique inscription number and an identification card, making each bangle trustworthy and yours. This is a 12-month-long campaign, and consumers will come and ask for it and retailers will want to stock up on it. Way back in 2003, De Beers invested in this category and opened it up for the Indian market. Now is the time to recraft the connection of diamonds with the new-age consumer. The relationship that youngsters have with jewellery and diamonds is very different from the one the earlier generations had,” explained Jain.
to De Beers Forevermark to explain the rationale behind its Circle of Trust campaign. “When you set your heart on a Forevermark Circle of Trust diamond bangle, you surround yourself with some of the world’s most beautiful, rare and natural diamonds. Every De Beers Forevermark diamond in these bangles has a unique inscription number and an identification card, making each bangle trustworthy and yours. This is a 12-month-long campaign, and consumers will come and ask for it and retailers will want to stock up on it. Way back in 2003, De Beers invested in this category and opened it up for the Indian market. Now is the time to recraft the connection of diamonds with the new-age consumer. The relationship that youngsters have with jewellery and diamonds is very different from the one the earlier generations had,” explained Jain.
At De Beers, we mine around 30-35 million carats of diamonds every year. And of those, only 7000 diamonds turn into one-carat top quality diamonds. That’s how hard it is to find diamonds and that’s how hard it is to find an absolutely exquisite diamond. Diamonds spark emotions in the minds and hearts of our consumers. All of us have to feel joyful and proud of what we enable. We enable that smile, we enable the heart-touching feeling Sachin Jain, MD, De Beers India
Demand in the coming years
Another important topic discussed at the Forum pertained to the demand for diamonds between today and 2030. The projection is that a whopping Rs 5 lakh crore worth of diamonds will be in demand worldwide by 2030. A number of companies will take decisions today to harness this opportunity. In the early 2000s, the diamond industry witnessed a huge surge in China. A similar opportunity is knocking at the doors of the Indian diamond industry now.
“The market is conducive and the comeback in demand is massive. This will prove to be one of the most important times in the history of diamond business in India in years,” said Jain. At the same time, there is also a lot of buzz about labgrown diamonds. But naturally mined diamonds are expected to generate a huge demand on their own.
Speaking virtually at the event, Luc Julia, who is an authority on Artificial Intelligence, and the co-creator of Siri (voice operated command system inbuilt in iPhones), presented the keynote address. He has authored a book called ‘There is nothing called Artificial Intelligence’, and he went on to provide interesting insights into the topic of Artificial Intelligence. He said the history of Artificial Intelligence began in 1956, when scientists were pursuing statistics and mathematics. They thought if there is a neural network, there was intelligence. That is a mistake, he said, adding that is what has led to misconceptions about AI that we have today.
Today, scientists are developing tools to communicate with mechanical gadgets, which can interpret a set of commands and perform small tasks. In 1642, French mathematician Blaise Pascal developed a mechanical calculator. It did addition and subtraction correctly. It did these calculations accurately in no time; that time this machine was called ‘intelligent.’ “Today, there are a lot of wrong notions about AI. AI will not take away human jobs, it can, in fact, create new ones and do away with mundane jobs – which can be outsourced to bots or AI operated gadgets.
Human beings can then concentrate on the intellectually satisfying and creatively engaging jobs alone,” he added
Besides, other notable personalities also spoke at the event. Among them was Cdr Dr Abhilash Tomy, KC, NM, who is a retired Indian naval officer and yachtsman. In 2013, he became the first Indian to complete a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the world under sail, and he also competed in the 2018 Golden Globe Race.
Prior to his solo circumnavigation of the globe, which was called Sagar Parikrama, Tomy had represented India in several international events, including the 2011 Cape Town to Rio Race, the 2014 Spanish Copa del Rey race, and two successive Korea Cups.
In 2006, based on a proposal of Vice Admiral MP Awati, the navy authorized the construction of the INSV Mhadei, a sailboat, which was then sailed solo around the world by Cdr Dilip Donde in 2009-10, making four stops -- Fremantle, Lyttelton, Port Stanley and Cape Town. This voyage was called the Sagar Parikrama, and Tomy was chosen as its shore support crew, helping Donde stock up supplies at the four ports. Based on this experience, and his sailing expertise, he was chosen to helm Sagar Parikrama 2, a non-stop, unassisted circumnavigation of the globe, under sail.
On November 1, 2012, Tomy departed from the Gateway of India at Mumbai aboard Mhadei. After completing a voyage of 23,100 nautical miles, he returned to Mumbai on March 31, 2013, having sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Horn and Cape Leeuwin. He narrated the amazing story of this journey, which inspired the diamantaires.
All in all, the Forevermark Forum turned out to be a lively platform for all stakeholders, all of whom expressed great happiness at being able to meet one another in person. Jain summed it all up by saying, “The Forum has been absolutely outstanding. The participation, the atmosphere, the business, everything has been much above what I expected.”
My boat capsized, I held onto the mast, I was nine meters above the deck and from there I fell, I could not stand up. I lay there in that position for four days, I was just lying down. I was given primary medical attention. I had four fractures in my spine. I was operated upon in Delhi. I lost the Golden Globe Sailing race, eventually Jean-Luc Van Den Heede won the race. I could fly aircraft, I won sailing championships. Next year they will have the race again, and I will compete once again CDR Abhilash Tomy, Former Indian Naval Officer and Sailor