De Beers witnesses strong growth in India despite PNB fraud
De Beers, the world's largest diamond producer, has been witnessing strong growth in the Indian market amidst slowdown in the jewellery sector, post the PNB bank fraud involving top jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
The demand for diamond jewellery in India has dropped 10 to 15 percent due to the ongoing diamond fraud case at the Punjab National Bank (PNB), according to a recent survey by industry body Assocham, however De Beers witnessed 100 percent growth in the country with its brand Forevermark and is expecting exceptional growth going forward.
The company is planning to expand Forevermark presence in the country by entering tier 2, 3 cities this year and will be entering four new markets especially in the northern region through partnerships with jewellers.
"There has been this banking scandal, that is clearly a fraud, and had certainly dampened sentiments little bit, But having said that, I think consumer demand in India, as we have Forevermark brand, is doing very well. It's been an unfortunate incident but the demand in India this year would be reversed, would be good and the business in India will continue to grow in 2018," De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver was quoted as saying by PTI.
“India will grow exceptionally; growth was affected for the last two years due to the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) and demonetisation,” he said.
Forevermark India President Sachin Jain said, "Our business grew over a 100 per cent, which was a rare year and we saw a continuation of this in the first quarter of this year. Forevermark is present in 48 markets across the country, which will expand to about 52 markets, mainly in tier II and III cities.”
"We will be growing but the idea is also to increase our share with partners we work with. South has been our strongest market, which is followed by the east. West and north are at the same level. The company will now focus on the northern region of the country, which is going to be its growth area,” Jain added.
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