Need for organised diamond marketing led to the foundation of Divine Solitaires: Mehta
An Indian solitaire brand that offers the finest and most exquisitely crafted solitaire diamonds and solitaire diamond jewellery in the world its diverse clientele in an organised and transparent manner is Divine Solitaires. With a healthy network of 162 retail partners spanning across the length and breadth of India and three international destinations, Divine Solitaires has several pathbreaking industry firsts to its credit like a Nationwide Standard Price List and a Solitaire Price Index to ensure optimum transparency for the end consumer.
In another industry first, Divine Solitaires has launched India’s first diamond assessment app. This mobile App boasts of features like tracking the journey of your chosen diamond to three billion years – from mining and polishing to the final piece. Users can learn the real-time asset value of their solitaires while tracing the price history to determine its growth.
We, at www.lifeandmore.in, talk to JIGNESH MEHTA who felt the need for organised diamond marketing and laid the foundation of Divine Solitaires in 2006. To keep intact the core values of consistently high quality and transparent pricing, Mehta conceptualised the branding of solitaires and credit goes to him for developing the maiden Standard and Transparent Price List for diamonds, Solitaire Price Index and Quality Guarantee Certificate. Born and raised in Ahmedabad in a family that has a business in the textile industry, Mehta completed his MBA majors in marketing from the University of Western Sydney, Australia (now Western Sydney University) and a diamond-grading course from Antwerp, Belgium. Along with his brother Shailen, he moved to Mumbai 25 years ago and had their own private business in diamonds before creating Divine Solitaires.
As a first-generation diamond merchant, how did you equip, train and educate yourself to be among the topmost diamond merchants in the country?
There is no education better than self-learning. In my personal experience, self-learning is best when there is hunger and fire in the belly. Here, no textbook can teach you what you teach yourself. As a postgraduate in marketing, formal education has helped me kick start the process of self-learning.
When did the idea first strike you to venture into offering only solitaires to customers? Was it driven by demand or the competition from hundreds of thousands of small and large diamond traders?
The concept of Divine Solitaires is purely driven by the gap between customer expectations and quality guarantee and transparent pricing. There are a lot of pain points while buying a diamond, a solitaire diamond and these pain points are not correctly addressed by the current industry mechanisms.
What changes have you witnessed over the last decade plus in the industry, in terms of advancements in technology as also the purchasing power of the consumers?
Although technology has advanced multi-fold in the last decade, the gems and jewellery industry is still laidback in terms of catching up with the other industries. For example, robust digitisation has not yet happened in the gems and jewellery industry as compared to automobile, manufacturing and so on. This leads to a huge opportunity as the behaviour of the modern consumer has changed drastically.
India’s first diamond assessment app
The Divine Solitaires mobile application is the first such application which helps users track the journey and pricing of their Divine Solitaires diamond but the features are not just limited to that. You can also access and view a quality guarantee certificate of the purchased stone and get a one-year free insurance on the diamond. Consumers can also compare the past and the current price of the solitaire in case they would like to track the changes in the price trend.
Share details about the first Standard and Transparent Price List for Diamonds, Solitaire Price Index and Quality Guarantee Certificate.
Divine Solitaires introduced the Nationwide Standard and Transparent Price list with the aim of bringing about the much-needed standardisation in diamond pricing. This price list has been formulated after thoroughly analysing industry trends. The Solitaire Price Index (SPI) is based on this price list and is an average of the prices in this list.
We issue a Quality Guarantee Certificate on each of our solitaires strictly on 123 parameters. It guarantees that customers receive exactly what they want in terms of perfect quality, cut, brilliance and polish, and that the grading has been carried out stringently. This certificate is different from the one given by third-party laboratories because it is not just an analysis report. We offer the Divine Solitaires Quality Guarantee Certificate in addition to the certificate provided by Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Given the state of Indian economy, how do you, as an expert with over two decades of experience, assess the present situation of the diamond industry in the country?
On the production end, things are a bit gloomy. Since the industry is still quite unorganised, there’s a huge problem with profitability and since financing has also become difficult, liquidity is an issue.
What is the present status of Indian exports and imports in the diamond industry and what share does Divine Solitaires has in it?
The situation of Indian exports and imports in the diamond industry is weak, especially the exports are down. Divine Solitaires hardly has any share in the diamond industry.
Where does India stand vis-à-vis other nations globally in the diamond industry?
About 93% of the world’s diamonds are processed in India. At present, India consumes 8% of the global diamond jewellery and it is increasing every year as more and more people can afford and are willing to buy diamond jewellery in India. Less than 2% of Indians have bought a diamond till now. This gives the diamond industry a huge opportunity as it can reach out to more consumers now.
The customer base for diamond jewellery, including solitaire jewellery has expanded. While earlier solitaire jewellery was only perceived to be something that only the rich could afford, these days even the middle class and the low-income groups in the society can afford to buy solitaire jewellery. Our Divine Solitaires jewellery starts from as little as Rs 20,000.
How successful do you think Divine Solitaires has been in making a place in the hearts of consumers?
Divine Solitaires has solved some of the major pain points of consumers wanting to buy solitaire diamonds with a quality guarantee on 123 parameters and a unique retail MRP pricing system, which is the first in this industry. We have been able to give the highest level of comfort and confidence to the diamond consumers which was missing till now. Some of our features like buy-back on diamonds has helped hundreds of customers resell their diamonds at an appreciated price when they really needed the money. The upgrade feature has helped thousands of customers fulfil their dream of owning a bigger diamond by benefitting on the price appreciation.