Mumbai, Jul 2 (PTI) Buoyed by strong performance in the first half and continued positive consumer sentiment, De Beers India expects its business in the current year similar to 2021, which the company termed the best year for its business.

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"The year 2021, the calendar year, was the best year for diamond business. In 2021, we have not only recovered but have accelerated as the year has been one of the strongest years for the business yet, right from mining to manufacturing to trading and eventually to retail," De Beers India Managing Director Sachin Jain told PTI virtually during its annual Forum in Mumbai.

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This year, the first six months have been strong and the positive consumer sentiment continues and the company is hopeful the business will be similar to last year, he added.

Forevermark contributes around 35-40 per cent to the overall global revenue of the company after China and De Beers (diamond business) contributes 7.5-8 per cent after the US (50 per cent) and China (around 17 per cent), he said.

The company is planning to take the total number of exclusive operative stores in India to 30 this year, Jain said, adding that at present it has 14 stores.

When asked about the challenges, Jain said, the company is witnessing more opportunities than challenges and people have become very resilient.

However, there will be challenges but the long-term opportunity is much stronger, he added.

"We continue to focus on agility, quick adoption and being connected to the emotional quotient of our consumers across the board. Each year the Forum is an opportunity for us to bring our partners together, to network and transact over three days, and this year they even had the opportunity to interact with our global team who have visited India after a two-year hiatus. We are looking forward to an extremely positive season ahead," Jain added.

When asked about the digital medium in this industry, he said, even as the industry is more about "touch and feel", no one can deny the importance of the medium.

"Don't look at digital media from only an e-commerce perspective, but in a holistic way a lot of decision making takes place online, especially the younger segment. So, when they come to the store they would already have browsed online for what they want," Jain added.

Meanwhile, De Beers Brands CEO Marc Jacheet said India has played a crucial role in the diamond industry globally and the Forum helps the company further connect with its authorised partners.

"Today's clients are increasingly looking for brands that reflect their values and inspire trust. A diamond from the De Beers group holds the inherent value of preciousness and reflects the strength of the Building Forever 2030 sustainability goals,” he added.

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