With over a decade of experience in the luxury goods and jewellery industry, Sachin Jain, Managing Director, De Beers India, is among the rare visionaries who not just manage to stay afloat but registered record sales in the pandemic-stricken market. In an email interview with Jewelpedia, he shares consumer insights that worked for De Beers Forevermark through the pandemic.
Jewelpedia: What changes are you seeing in the retail and consumer space for diamonds? Are we in a different market now than we were 12 to 18 months ago?
Sachin Jain: The retail industry including the jewellery sector has faced its share of challenges over the past 1.5 years. Some brands were quick to adapt and realign to connect with their consumers and were less impacted by the pandemic. At Forevermark, we witnessed that despite the markets being closed for over 40-45 days during both the lockdowns, we bounced back as we were well prepared to cater to the new demands of a consumer living through the pandemic.
We were able to seamlessly shift our business strategies in terms of both, our retail and consumer fronts. What we’ve seen through this period is that Indian consumers have continued to show their love for diamonds irrespective of the economic fluctuations, reflecting a forward-thinking, resilient mindset.
The pandemic has definitely brought about a change in consumer preferences for diamonds. They are now attaching a lot more meaning and emotion to their diamond buys. Though our consumers have always bought their diamonds to celebrate a milestone, a special day, a commitment, or even as a treat to oneself, we found that there were two major reasons why consumers were spending more on diamond jewellery during the pandemic. One, the psychological impact of a lockdown led consumers to reflect on what is important to them with more men gifting diamonds to their partners as a gesture of gratitude. Second, solitaire ear studs and diamond necklaces were the top sellers as self-purchasers rewarded themselves for making it through the pandemic.
(Read the full interview with Sachin Jain, De Beers India in the January-February issue of Jewelpedia)