Finestar Jewelery & Diamonds held the inauguration ceremony of its diamond manufacturing facility in Windhoek, the capital of the Republic of Namibia, on 15e July 2022. This event celebrated the start of their enrichment journey in Namibia which began in April 2021. The operation carries out all stages of diamond manufacturing – from planning to polishing diamonds mainly mined in Namibia and seeks to build sustainable development. business and create a positive impact.
The celebration was dotted with distinguished guests from the Namibian and Indian governments, the Namibia Diamond Trading Company
De Beers Group and the international diamond industry. Tom Alweendo, Hon. Minister of Mines and Energy
, Paul RowleyChairman – NDTC Board of Directors, Executive Vice President – Diamond Trading, De Beers Group, HE Prashant AgrawalHigh Commissioner of India to the Republic of Namibia and Brent Eiseb, CEO of NDTC addressed the audience. The overriding sentiment was a focus on enrichment, collaboration, engagement, and sustainable growth, along with an appreciation for shared value systems.
In his opening speech, the guest of honour, the Hon. Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy of the Republic of Namibia, highlighted the importance of diamond mining in Namibia as it continues to play an important role in the growth of the national economy. The diamond sector accounts for 25% of Namibia’s exports in terms of mining sector value. He said, “Therefore, as custodians, as custodians of this resource, we must ensure that we manage this resource with genuine care and also in the best interest of the Namibian people.”
He believes Namibia should do more than just mine and export diamonds and make the most of its key resource by establishing a cutting and polishing industry. Currently, there are 11 active cutting and polishing factories in the country and the sector employs over 900 people. “One of the things we really need to focus more on is contributing the skills that we need for this industry, from the lowest skill level to the highest skill level.” he added.
Training and transferring skills and knowledge to locals and building infrastructure with the best technology in the industry is an important aspect of Finestar’s enrichment plan in Namibia. Currently over 70% of staff are Namibians and they are recruiting more local staff and supporting them with resources, hands-on experience and growth opportunities. Finestar is also setting up a global marketing and distribution center where Namibians will be trained in the sale of stones mined and manufactured in Namibia. They follow the same model of investing in infrastructure, manufacturing and transferring skills to locals, which has succeeded in their diamond manufacturing plant in Botswana, which was also inaugurated by the Hon. Tom Alweendo in February 2020.
Finestar invests in Namibia and its people to increase Namibia’s role in the diamond industry value chain. “We are honored that Finestar has the privilege of being part of Namibia’s economic and social growth.” commented the Founder, Vinod Jain. The Namibian factory processes and polishes fine, unaggregated rough strips into round and fancy shapes where the locals even make large high quality stones above 5 Cts and have even made stones up to 12 Ct.
Paul Rowley, Chairman of the Board of NDTC, Executive Vice President – Diamond Trading, De Beers Group, shared his perspective on the importance of maintaining a strong ecosystem, transparency through technology and leaving a legacy for the future. He shed light on the importance of bringing our cultures together because the industry is a very cross-cultural industry and how wonderful it is to see the industry break through through valuation that is not only sustainable but also maintains the ecosystem. Paul spoke about Finestar’s journey to becoming a sightholder and their solid progress since then. He also appreciated its corporate philosophy and its focus on its core values which are closely aligned with the values embedded in the De Beers culture and which are essential to building a new diamond world collectively and collaboratively. “It’s these shared values that show that as companies we have a real, meaningful impact on the world around us.” said Paul. “The common approach to business philosophy between Finestar and De Beers goes far beyond mere valuation. It’s also evident in our shared drive to use data and technology to be both more efficient and more transparent. He applauded Finestar’s commitment to building sustainable, long-term manufacturing operations in Botswana and Namibia.
The High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Namibia, HE Prashant Agrawal expressed his gratitude to the Government of Namibia and all its institutions and entities for their support in setting up operations in Namibia. On a positive note, he shared, “Namibia’s overall economic engagement has increased significantly. Our two-way trade has increased significantly, and in terms of exports, India is Namibia’s second largest partner. And equally important is that Namibia’s exports to India have increased by leaps and bounds. He said that a number of India’s top companies, like Finestar, call Namibia home. Affirming collaboration and commitment while seeking long-term partnerships, he said, “This is a huge contribution not only to our bilateral partnership, but also to helping Namibia establish itself as an important center diamond processing”. Acknowledging the diamond industry’s penchant for the 4Cs, Agrawal said, “For me, the 4Cs are slightly different; “Commitment – to your profession, Competence – so that you continue to hone your fundamental skills and knowledge, Collaboration – this is a fine example, and finally Contribution – to society, to our people, to our economies and to our environment in his outfit”
Speaking about their trip to Namibia so far, Finestar Director Gaurav Jain said: “We came to Namibia with our experiences, our culture and our core values, but over the past 15 months after we to be immersed in the Namibian culture, land and people, we feel fused with our two cultures. We also came with a clear vision: to create a sustainable business in Namibia. Today, we have a fully self-contained manufacturing operation We are proud to be entrusted with the highest quality rough from Namibia and immensely proud of our craftsmanship to produce remarkable polished stones.It is an honor to be in Namibia, but that honor is also comes with the responsibility of ensuring its voice is heard around the world.To create an emotional connection with Namibia, Finestar shares the stories of its artisans and present e “Made in Namibia” as a trademark. Each “Made in Namibia” diamond carries a “Meet the Artisan” certificate, which is a note from artisans to buyers sharing their personal stories of the positive impact created in their lives. At the event, artisans proudly displayed the diamonds they had crafted and spoke to guests about their experience and the journey of the diamond as it passed through their hands.
COO Nilesh Chhabria highlighted the organization’s core values saying, “Provenance, fine cuts, traceability, transparency, technology, people, sustainability and social impact are the pillars of the business strategy. of Finestar and the foundation on which we build trust”.
In his closing remarks, Brent Eiseb, CEO of NDTC, admired the passion shown by all stakeholders involved in beneficiation in Namibia and remarked: “We have a similar set of values, ethics, in the way which we want to address the long-term vision of. This is very important because this is something that we have largely adapted to the NDTC in terms of collaboration and working closely with the industry and the regulator to create an enabling environment .