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Profile: Rutang K. Moses

Nov 27, 2013 5:58 PM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Safdico is a diamond company with facilities in Botswana, South Africa, Mauritius, Geneva, New York, London, Antwerp and Israel. Safdico launched the Diamond Technology Park (DTP) in Gaborone in 2009.

Name: Rutang K. Moses
From: Botswana
Company: Safdico Botswana and Diamond Technology Park — director and CEO.

Rapaport News: What prompted you to pursue a career in the diamond and jewelry industry?

RM: I grew up in Botswana knowing that our country is the world’s largest producer of diamonds and that our economy is driven by the diamond industry. This fact has always made me very proud, but I had never considered becoming part of the workforce in the diamond industry here.

Originally, I wanted to be a journalist, but I ended up working in banking, a field I worked in for 13 years. Since Safdico approached me three years ago, I have never looked back.

Rapaport News: There have been tremendous changes in the past three years in Botswana. What have been the most notable changes in the industry over the course of your career?

RM: The diamond industry in Botswana has grown tremendously in the past seven years. For example, the land on which the DTP is located used to be barren. Today, the site houses state-of-the-art buildings filled with international companies. Additionally, local participation in the industry has increased, and we now have local Botswanans working in the industry.

Rapaport News: What changes would you like to see in the industry?

RM: I would like to see more local people taking advantage of the opportunities that have appeared with the growth of the industry, in particular the opportunities being presented by the relocation of the DTC to Botswana.

Rapaport News:
What is the toughest professional challenge that you have faced?

RM: I joined the industry during an exciting and challenging time, as the industry was just taking off and the foundations were being established. I had to learn the industry while simultaneously developing and promoting projects to stimulate the industry’s growth-oriented agenda.

Rapaport News: What do you consider to be your greatest professional accomplishment?

RM: My greatest professional accomplishment was my transition from the banking industry to the diamond industry. I went from being a banker to a diamond professional in charge of building relationships with key stakeholders and promoting the DTP as a major diamond center.

Rapaport News: What is the role of the Diamond Technology Park?

RM: The DTP is part of the Botswana government’s vision to convert Botswana from a world producer of diamonds into an international diamond center. It has been established as a secure and efficient environment for the diamond industry to operate in. It now houses diamond jewelry manufacturers, traders, mining company, and other members of the industry.

Rapaport News: What added value does that bring to the global industry?

RM: The DTP attracts foreign direct investment (FDI), international diamond companies and support services to participate in the local industry. The DTP houses many international blue chip companies that are now operating in Botswana, and it also supports participation in the local industry. The company also addresses Botswana’s need for job creation, skills development and beneficiation. Currently, over 800 people now work in the DTP.

Rapaport News: What are the plans now moving forward?

RM: With the relocation, we have had more demand from different companies either to set up in Botswana or to develop here. Last year, we expanded the DTP with a state-of-the-art diamond trading facility. Recently, we have started the development of the next stage of the DTP called Building 4, and it will be the biggest building we’ve built in the DTP so far. It will be 4,000 square meters and span four floors. It is scheduled to be ready in second half of 2014. We’ve already secured future tenants, but there is still space available.

Rapaport News: How has the recent move of De Beers from London to Gaborone affected activity at the DTP?

RM: Since the sight, we have seen an increase in visitors coming to Botswana to explore opportunities in the industry here and to inquire about office space availability at the DTP. We had to quickly expand our enrollment station to accommodate the influx of people coming in.

Rapaport News: What role does innovation play in ensuring that DTP remains relevant?

RM: We have to remain innovative and keep up with rapid changes in technology, such as constantly upgrading our security systems. We have also installed fiber optic cables around the DTP to ensure that we have faster internet speed and connectivity.

Rapaport News: What advice would you give to someone starting out in the diamond and jewelry sector?

RM: There are good employment opportunities for young locals to be employed in the diamond industry, especially with the changes of the relocation. I would like to see young Botswanans taking advantage of these opportunities and taking time to learn. They should join a company to quickly learn the trade or find someone to work under to acquire experience in the industry.

Rapaport News:
How do you envision the DTP 10 years from now?

RM: If you come into the parking lot now, you can see it is already full of cars, which wasn’t the case three years ago. Ten years from now, the DTP will be a fully developed, vibrant, global diamond center.

Rapaport News: What is it like being a woman in the industry and operating in a predominately male industry?

RM: It has been one of my biggest challenges and I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity. Consequently, I have committed myself to developing and nurturing young women interested in participating in the industry. All women should be given the confidence to become a significant part of the industry. Young Botswanan women are capable—they just need the confidence
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Tags: Botswana, Rapaport News, Rutang K. Moses, Safdico
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