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Young Diamantaires Group Gaining Momentum

Inaugural Networking Event Scheduled for Hong Kong Show

Aug 17, 2016 2:41 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... A new initiative to encourage the involvement of younger diamantaires in the industry is gaining traction ahead of its first major networking event in September.

The ‘Young Diamantaires’ project grew out of a need to get trade members aged less than 45 years involved in the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), explained Rami Baron, the group’s convener who serves as chairman of the WFDB’s promotions committee (pictured below).

An informal meeting with 12 “young diamantaires” was held in May at the World Diamond Congress in Dubai, demonstrating a keen interest among participants “to express themselves and be part of something bigger,” Baron said.

Creating Continuity

While the current focus is simply to build a network, an implicit requirement is to provide continuity, Baron stressed. “The third or fourth generations are not interested in being in the family business,” added an Israeli diamantaire who requested anonymity.

The difficulty in recruiting the younger generation spans across the industry’s distribution chain. Business closures among U.S. jewelry retailers continue to accelerate due to a lack of continuity rather than bankruptcies, according to the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT).

“The baby boomer generation of jewelers is getting older and doesn’t have a succession plan. They just close their doors, liquidate inventory and go out of business,” said Tony Capuano, JBT’s president in a recent interview. “We need to train the next generation of jewelers. While there are organizations working to educate young people about diamonds and jewelry, bringing them in has been a challenge.”

The midstream faces a similar battle, especially as it has become increasingly difficult to garner a profit from manufacturing and trading in diamonds. Catering to the millennial consumer who thinks differently about diamonds and has different buying patterns has added to the challenge, Baron said.

That’s forcing the new generation entering the business to rethink the methods of older diamantaires, Baron added. There’s a real desire to be heard and challenge the status quo, he stressed.

A Fresh Perspective

The WFDB is hoping the Young Diamantaires project will satisfy that aim, starting with stimulating a conversation. Whatsapp and Facebook groups have been set up to facilitate discussions that have so far varied from marketing to millennials, certifying synthetics and diamond pricing.

The next step will be to translate those virtual relationships to interpersonal ones. Participants are scheduled to meet in an informal setting at the group’s inaugural event scheduled for September 15 during the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair. The event will be broadcast live to Belgium, Israel, and India where other Young Diamantaire events are being planned.

Participation is not limited to members of the WFDB as Baron stressed the group aims to be inclusive. The idea, he explained, is to let it grow to a point where it can “galvanize the trade,” while creating a more formal structure to potentially serve as a feeder to the WFDB’s leadership will come at a later stage.

“We’re facilitating communication and cooperation among the newest members so that they can provide the ideas, passion and inspiration to ensure our industry has a plan of succession,” Baron said. “We have to bring a fresh perspective as the ability to identify new opportunities is how the diamond industry can rise to a top position in the world of luxury.”
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Tags: diamonds, Hong Kong, jbt, jewellery, Jewelry, Rapaport News, WFDB
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