One lucky international customer participating in the ongoing Bharat Diamond Week in Mumbai stands to win a diamond-studded Mercedes Benz S Class. The luxury sedan unveiled at the exhibition on Monday is studded with 3.5 lakh Swarovski Cubic Zirconia diamonds and is valued at Rs 5 crore. To win it, participant has to shell out 10 times higher amount in purchasing diamonds at the event.
"The car will be gifted to any international customer who purchases goods worth Rs 50 crore. Otherwise, it will be up for auction after the exhibition," Ashok Gajera, the managing director of Laxmi Diamonds told The Hindu. The blingy Merc has been presented by Laxmi Diamonds but was conceptualised by diamond, watch and jewellery trade magazine 'Heera Zhaveraat'. The proceeds of the auction will be given to the Maharashtra Chief Minister's Relief Fund.
The third edition of the Bharat Diamond Week - being held over October 14-16 at the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) Complex within the Bandra Kurla Complex - has over 60 Indian diamantaires displaying polished diamonds to international buyers. BDB is one of the largest diamond centers in the world, exporting 90 per cent of the world's diamonds.
According to BDB vice-president Mehul Shah, the idea behind the three-day event is to accelerate the business of medium and small-scale diamantaires who cannot afford to go to international exhibitions. He expects customers from more than 35 countries to participate in the event. "Our vision is to invite buyers from all the diamond consuming countries in the world in the next few years," he added.
Given the economic slowdown, the diamond industry in the country is currently going through a hard time. According to industry insiders, there has been a 30-40 per cent supply shortage of diamonds in the last six months. To help small businessmen, Shah claimed that BDB is ready to play mediator.
"We have been meeting a lot of banks to discuss financial aid for these small businessmen," he told the daily, adding that they have suggested measures such as keeping the borrowers' offices as collateral while having a strict arbitration and disciplinary committee in place.
The industry expects a better business environment by January 2020, around the Chinese New Year, when jewellery sales typically shoot up.