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DTC Hosts Business Excellence Seminar

Varda Shine Defines the 'New Normal'

Sep 2, 2010 2:16 PM   By De Beers
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Press Release: Diamond Trading Company (DTC) sightholders gathered in London this past week for the annual DTC Business Excellence Seminar (BES), held at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The seminar, titled "Operating in the New Normal," was hosted by the DTC's chief executive officer (CEO), Varda Shine. 

The opening remarks were given by Shine, who said “the concept of the new normal reflects not only the new economic realities that are being imposed on our businesses, but also the increasing opportunities that are afforded us by seeking to adapt quickly to the developing landscape.” 

She went on to say that if companies are to succeed, evolution should be their watchword. It is in this spirit that the DTC introduced the latest evolution to its supplier of choice (SOC) distribution policy “so we can respond to the different world in which we now live.”

Shine then introduced Gareth Penny, who presented at the last BES. “It is thanks to his foresight and determination to make sure the industry evolved and remained ‘up to diamonds’ that we stand here today presented with so many opportunities for success in the years ahead,” Shine stated.

Penny then took the audience back to the beginning of SOC and talked about how the challenges we all faced then have been addressed over the past ten years, but also cautioned that there are challenges ahead of us.

This was then followed by a series of breakout sessions with four guest speakers, each luminaries in their own fields:
•Dr Tore Opsahl, a research associate at Imperial College Business School, discussed the role of social networks in spurring business growth;

•Dr Andrew Scott, a professor and deputy dean of programs at London Business School, whose presentation focused on how economies normally recover from downturns, how this is affected by financial factors and how financial problems in developed nations are transmitted to emerging countries;

•Dr Gemma Calvert, a professor of applied neuroscience at the University of Warwick, discussed how consumer behavior is represented in the brain, looking at how we actually make choices; and

•Dr Graham Baxter, the associate director of the International Business Leaders Forum, highlighted the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its impact on the bottom line and consumer confidence. 

Shine then drew the seminar to a close by summarizing what each presentation means to diamond businesses across the pipeline. She highlighted the following points.

•The global economy is still in a fragile state and may well become more volatile than before; although interest rates are likely to remain low, the world is deleveraging and borrowing too heavily in the current climate to chase market share and this could have negative repercussions.

•As the diamond industry seeks new opportunities in the new normal, emerging markets – both geographical and virtual – are likely to become of increasing importance.

•CSR is a necessity and not an optional extra. Although leading in this field may not always be easy, it is the right thing to do and seeking partnerships in CSR activities can be an effective model.

•Neuroscience has shown that emotional, rather than rational, decision making plays the biggest part in consumers’ buying habits; as the diamond is a product so heavily wrapped up in emotion, the industry’s marketing approach should play to these strengths.

The Diamond Trading Company (DTC)
The DTC is the rough diamond distribution arm of the De Beers Family of Companies and is the world's largest supplier of rough diamonds. With activities in sorting, valuing and diamond beneficiation, the DTC has representative offices in the U.K. and South Africa, as well as joint-venture operations in Botswana and Namibia with the governments of those countries.

Formed in 1934, the DTC has been a division of the DTC Limited (incorporated in 1986) since 2003. On August 1, 2008, the DTC Limited changed its name to De Beers UK Limited and the DTC became the rough diamond trading division of De Beers UK Limited.  Through its producer and customer value propositions, the DTC is focused on maintaining its position as the world’s most effective distribution channel for rough diamonds.

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