New Delhi (Sputnik): Russian firm Alrosa has opened its representative office in India's financial capital Mumbai to expand its business in the country. The company says it senses strong opportunities in India to strengthen the demand for diamond jewelry at the retail end.
"Alrosa is keen to deepen its trade relations with the diamond and jewelry market in India and wants to be in sync with the industry to leverage the evolving market opportunities in the country," Evgeny Agureev, executive committee member and director of the United Selling Organization of Alrosa, said in a statement.
The 1st Indian representative office of @ALROSA_official, was inaugurated at Bharat Diamond Bourse Mumbai by Mr. Evgeniya Kozenko, Head of Communications, ALROSA. Mr. Russell Mehta, Advisor to Chairman, GJEPC, & Mr. Milan Chokshi, Convener, PMBD, attended the inaugural ceremony. pic.twitter.com/couz8blbjp— GJEPC India (@GJEPCIndia) April 19, 2018
The firm currently accounts for around 30 percent of the global rough diamond supply. In 2017, Alrosa reported revenue of $4.2 billion and India accounted for 16 percent of the direct sales of rough diamonds at $700 million. In the new contract period (2018-2020), Alrosa has signed 15 long-term contracts with diamond manufacturing companies in India — 14 for gem-quality diamonds and one for industrial goods.
"India plays a huge role in the world polishing business, it is also a prospective market for diamond jewelry consumption. We see the Indian diamond sector growing and welcome the governmental initiatives aimed at creating more comfortable and stable working environment for the industry. Of course, Alrosa is interested in expanding its presence on the Indian market and closer cooperation with industry bodies, both for trade and the entire industry development," Evgeny Agureev added.
"The number one key is relationship building with our current Indian customers. The pulse of the market needs to be known and you will only know that if you are present there and you are meeting them on a daily basis understanding their problems. At the same time, we also need to increase our diamond portfolio by getting in more customers," Jim Vimadalal, director, India representative office at Alrosa told a press conference.
Vimadalal said Alrosa eventually would like to start trading directly in India in the future, if the government takes a step to cut taxes on trading.
"Currently, if you want to do trading in India, you end up paying 40 percent as tax… How friendly are the policies, they are not. If I want to really do trading in India, there has to be some kind of the Gems & Jewelry Promotion Export Council assistance, we and governments talk together and then kind of figure out the picture. If that happens, we could do trading directly in India," he added.
India is the worlds' largest diamond polishing market, wherein around 70% to 90% of world's rough diamonds are cut. As retail demand in the form of diamond jewelry is going up, the Russian firm may also look at launching its own brand of diamonds, to compete with rivals like De Beers, which has brands like Forevermark.
"We as a company have five-six ideas, which we will implement in the near future. It will definitely involve marketing. Therefore, when a brand comes from Alrosa, it will be a brand that will go worldwide, but it could be specific to India also," said Vimadalal.
Currently, Alrosa has trade offices in key diamond hubs like Belgium, Israel, Hong Kong, the UAE and the USA.