On Jan. 21, De Beers Group CEO Philippe Mellier spoke at a business reception in Botswana and said that relationships are the foundation for success in the diamond industry, according to a statement provided by the company.
“If we continue to nurture the relationships on which our success is based, then we will also make sure that diamonds remain the symbol at the center of a consumer’s desire,” he remarked.
This is something of a turnabout from the company’s Supplier of Choice policy, which was built around sightholders being evaluated by “objective” criteria.
Mellier added that De Beers’ relations with its clients has been central to the industry, and it has been listening to sightholders’ views on issues like profitability. But he noted that the industry’s most important relationship is with consumers.
He also praised the U.S. economy, which he says is showing “good signs” with “improved demand over the holiday.” However, there is still concern about consumer demand in India.