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December 31, 2006

The mysterious diamond trade

Businessworld has an article on how the diamond jewelry sector and its "mysterious" practices.
Sightholders are a mysterious order of diamond merchants. De Beers’ Diamond Trading Company (DTC) largely sells its rough diamonds only to the sightholders who, in turn, process and release them to the market. They are a crucial and powerful link in the chain of brokers, cutters and wholesalers who drive the $56-billion global retail jewellery trade.

There are 93 DTC sightholders worldwide. Thirty seven of these are Indian. They account for 60 per cent of DTC’s global sales. (DTC controls 50 per cent of the global diamond trade.) They are an exclusive and influential lobby. And they are in the middle of a major metamorphosis. (Shreyas Doshi), for several reasons, is one example of the paradigm shift in the business of diamond trading in India. Unlike the archetype, his business is not based out of Opera House, the diamond district of Mumbai. His firm, Shrenuj & Co., is professionally managed with good corporate governance and risk management features. Moreover, it is a public limited company that trades on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.