Dilipbhai Mehta of Rosy Blue discussed the past, present and future of the diamond industry with an audience of more than 40 –comprising present or future heads of their family diamond/jewellery businesses – at a lively Round Table discussion held at Boundary Hall, MCA, Bandra-Kurla Complex on July 5, 2014. The programme was part of The Inspiration Series, an initiative of Palanpur Samaj Kendra and Palanpur Online.
Introducing Dilipbhai, Ashish (Bobby) Kothari who chaired the programme, described him as a legend and leader, and added that the Round Table offered a unique opportunity to the participants to absorb the lessons he had learnt from his experience.
At the outset, Dilipbhai asked the audience whether they saw the past as brighter than the future or vice versa, and the unanimous opinion was that the future seemed bleak. He then went on to explain that though the present crisis that the industry was emerging from had been one of the severest ever, it was not the first time such a situation confronted the industry. He said that he himself had seen at least 4-5 crises during his career, and each seemed to be the ‘worst ever’.
Urging the audience to look inwards and adopt the golf strategy of ‘challenge yourself’, rather than concentrate on what the competition is doing, Dilipbhai said that while competition was healthy, it was also good to look inwards and not get mislead into believing that the ‘grass was greener on the other side’.
Summing up his experiences, he said that though the co-operation and sharing that had characterized the manner in which the community had established itself and also built the Indian diamond industry belonged to another era, even now, when companies were competing against each other, there were many areas where co-operation was also required.
Asserting that the industry had moved from the era when De Beers acted as a custodian to the other extreme when easy finance caused distortions in business, Dilipbhai said that a balance was now being established and ‘near perfect’ market conditions were emerging. The growth in population and GDP augured well for the diamond industry, Dilipbhai concluded, saying that the future was indeed brighter than many people realized and correct strategies could steer the industry forward.
A lively discussion followed with the audiences seeking to tap Dilipbhai’s wealth of experience by raising a wide gamut of industry related issues.
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