The Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association (IDCA) held its annual Vegas event Saturday, with guest keynoters Michael O’Hara and Christopher Ellis from Consensus Advisors warning attendees that they need to do more strategic planning.
“The jewelry industry suffers from the affliction that it doesn’t do long-term strategic planning,” says O’Hara, CEO of the company, which has advised companies and creditors many of the industry’s recent high-profile bankruptcies. “We advise everyone in the industry to develop a three-year plan.”
He noted that many lenders are shying away from the industry.
“We have a tradition of vendors in this industry undercutting each other,” O’Hara said. “We have aggressive memo practices that undercut each other and are not sustainable. There are troubles with accounting and transparency.”
Company president Ellis predicted that gold prices would fall and hoped for a new system of memos that charge interest.
In addition, the IDCA honored Fred Meyer Jewelers president and CEO Peter Engel as “Retailer of the Year.”
In a speech, Engel talked about his company’s long-term partnership with the Indian community.
Navrattan Kothari of KGK Exports won the IDCA’s “Pioneer Award,” and talked about his company’s history of helping the less fortunate.
Vasantbhai Sanghavi, chairman of Sanghavi Exports, was supposed to receive the group’s “Lifetime Achievement Award,” but died before the event. The group paid tribute to him by having the attendees stand for a minute of silence in his honor.