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Ankush Nakrani: "Through SEED4CVD and MPCVD machines, we maintain stringent quality control throughout the entire production process."

23 october 2023

Ankush_Nakrani_big.jpegAnkush Nakrani, Director of Asianlab Grown Diamonds, has a rich background in electronics and with his passion for innovation, Ankush has become a luminary in the lab-grown diamond industry. His profound insights into diverse cultures and markets are due to his extensive travels to over 20 countries, which has propelled Asianlab Grown Diamonds to international acclaim.

Ankush maintains a close-knit network of over 500 scientists worldwide, ensuring the company remains at the forefront of technological advancements in the industry. His commitment to innovation and continuous improvement has solidified the company's reputation for cutting-edge excellence. Moreover, Asianlab Grown Diamonds, under Ankush's astute guidance, is poised to venture into the semiconductor industry, further solidifying its presence in the world of advanced technology.

Ankush now serves as a director in several prominent companies, including Asianlab Grown Diamonds LLP, SEED4CVD Private Limited, Asian Diamond Tech Private Limited, AsianLGD Private Limited, and Jusco Lab Grown Diamond LLP, each contributing to his profound impact on the industries they serve.

Here, in an Exclusive Interview with Rough & Polished, besides his extraordinary knowledge, Ankush Nakrani shares his extremely profound thoughts on the coexistence of both natural diamond and lab-grown diamond (LGD) sectors.

Some excerpts...

 

The recent growth surge of LGDs has made the sector a major competitor to natural diamonds. Some look at LGDs as a threat to the natural diamond business on the whole. Your opinion?

As the Director of Asianlab Grown Diamonds LLP, I believe that Lab-Grown Diamonds are not a threat to the natural diamond business; rather, they complement and enrich the overall industry. LGDs offer consumers an ethical and sustainable choice, which is becoming increasingly important in today's conscious market.

Furthermore, they provide an affordable option for those who desire the beauty and allure of diamonds without the environmental concerns associated with mining. The coexistence of LGDs and natural diamonds allows for diversity in the market, catering to a broader range of customer preferences and contributing positively to the overall diamond industry.

While the future looks bright for the LGD sector globally, what growth potential do you see in the future? And, in terms of challenges, what do you foresee... going forward?

The future for the Lab-Grown Diamond sector indeed looks incredibly promising, filled with vast growth potential. We are witnessing an increasing global awareness of the sustainability and ethical advantages of LGDs, which will continue to drive demand. As technology advances and production techniques become more efficient, we anticipate LGD prices becoming even more competitive, making them an attractive choice for consumers.

However, like any industry, we do foresee some challenges ahead. These may include ongoing efforts to ensure consumer education and transparency in the LGD market, as well as addressing any misconceptions. Additionally, maintaining consistent quality standards and traceability will be crucial for building trust among consumers.

We are enthusiastic about these challenges because they present opportunities for innovation and collaboration within the industry. Overall, we are extremely optimistic about the growth potential of the LGD sector and are committed to overcoming any obstacles that may arise.

Please run us through the history of your company/companies from its inception to the present. Also, describe in detail your products. Are you into growing, manufacturing of diamonds and also in jewellery manufacturing? Please give details.

Certainly, I'd be happy to provide an overview of the history of our company and our product offerings.

Asianlab Grown Diamonds LLP has a rich history that dates back to its inception. We began our journey with a vision to revolutionize the diamond industry by harnessing cutting-edge technology to grow high-quality Lab-Grown Diamonds. Over the years, we have made significant advancements in diamond-growing techniques and have become a leading player in the LGD sector.

Our primary focus lies in the manufacturing of Lab-Grown Diamonds. We utilize innovative methods, such as the MPCVD (Microwave Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition) technology, to cultivate diamonds that are physically, chemically, and optically identical to natural diamonds. These LGDs come in various shapes, sizes, and grades, catering to a wide range of consumer preferences and jewelry applications.

In addition to our LGD production, we have diversified into other areas of expertise. As you mentioned, we are also involved in the manufacturing of MPCVD machines, which are crucial for the growth of Lab-Grown Diamonds. Our commitment to technological advancements in this field has allowed us to develop state-of-the-art equipment.

Furthermore, we have a sibling company called SEED4CVD, which specializes in the growth of diamond seeds. These seeds serve as the foundation for our diamond-growing process, ensuring the quality and purity of our Lab-Grown Diamonds.

Excitingly, we are expanding our horizons into the world of jewelry with the launch of "Asian Jewels." This venture will offer exquisite jewelry pieces featuring our Lab-Grown Diamonds and other precious gemstones. Asian Jewels operates on a franchise basis, making our stunning creations accessible to a broader audience.

In summary, our journey has been one of innovation and dedication to creating sustainable, ethical, and high-quality products. We are proud of our history and excited about the future, as we continue to explore new avenues and deliver exceptional value to our customers.

Which consumer markets does Asianlab Grown Diamonds LLP serve currently? The LGD jewellery seems to have been enthusiastically accepted in the US. What other global consumer market/s do you think could result in strong demand in the future? Do you cater to the domestic market as well? Please give details.

Asianlab Grown Diamonds LLP (ALGD LLP) proudly serves both domestic and international consumer markets. Currently, our Lab-Grown Diamond jewelry has been enthusiastically embraced in markets such as the United States, where consumers are increasingly valuing ethical and sustainable options.

Looking ahead, we see strong potential for LGD jewelry demand in several other global markets. Europe, for example, is showing growing interest in eco-friendly and responsibly sourced products, making it a promising market for us. Similarly, countries in Asia, including India and China, hold significant potential as they continue to experience economic growth and an evolving consumer mindset.

In addition to these global markets, we are committed to serving the domestic market as well. There is a growing awareness of the advantages of LGDs among consumers in our home country, and we are dedicated to meeting their needs for exquisite, ethically sourced jewelry.

The future for LGD jewelry indeed looks fantastic, as more consumers around the world become conscious of sustainability and ethical considerations. We are excited about the opportunities this presents and are fully prepared to meet the rising demand for our exceptional products.

Besides competition from the natural diamond industry, what other challenges do you think the LGD industry may face in the future? Given that product differentiation is not that great in LGDs, what future trends can new entrants invest in? What, according to you, is the unique selling proposition of ALGD LLP?

Indeed, while the Lab-Grown Diamond industry has a bright future, it does face some challenges beyond competition from natural diamonds. One of these challenges is maintaining consistent quality standards and traceability, which is crucial for building trust among consumers. Additionally, there may be regulatory and certification issues that need to be addressed as the industry continues to grow.

In terms of product differentiation, you are correct that LGDs share similar characteristics with natural diamonds. However, the LGD industry can invest in several future trends to stand out. These include innovations in diamond enhancement techniques, new cutting and polishing methods, and unique jewelry design concepts that highlight the advantages of LGDs. Moreover, advancements in sustainable and eco-friendly practices in diamond production can be a key selling point.

As for Asianlab Grown Diamonds LLP, our unique selling proposition lies in several aspects. Firstly, we are committed to producing high-quality Lab-Grown Diamonds that are physically, chemically, and optically identical to natural diamonds. Our use of advanced technologies, including the MPCVD process, ensures exceptional diamond quality.

Secondly, our dedication to sustainability and ethical sourcing sets us apart. We take pride in offering consumers an environmentally responsible choice, with a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to mined diamonds.

Thirdly, our vertical integration, with expertise in both diamond seed production (through SEED4CVD) and MPCVD machine manufacturing, allows us to maintain stringent quality control throughout the entire production process.

In summary, ALGD LLP stands out for its commitment to quality, sustainability, and ethical practices, making us a leader in the Lab-Grown Diamond industry with a unique value proposition for consumers.

Does ALGD LLP produce coloured LGDs as well? Which of your product segments has the largest market share? Of late, coloured gemstones have captured the imagination of the jewellery connoisseurs. How do you think this will affect the coloured LGDs demand?

Asianlab Grown Diamonds LLP primarily specializes in the production of colorless Lab-Grown Diamonds in the E and F color range. Currently, our largest market share is in the segment of colorless LGDs, which are highly sought after for their classic and timeless appeal.

While colored gemstones have indeed captured the imagination of jewelry connoisseurs, we believe that there will always be a distinct demand for colorless LGDs due to their versatility and enduring popularity. Colorless LGDs serve as ideal center stones for a wide range of jewelry designs, allowing customers to personalize their pieces by adding colored gemstones as accents if they desire a pop of color.

In essence, the increasing fascination with colored gemstones is more likely to complement the market for colorless LGDs rather than directly impacting its demand. Our commitment to producing high-quality, colorless LGDs aligns with the timeless elegance that many customers seek in their jewelry choices.

The Indian natural diamond industry has accepted the LGD sector as part of the diamond industry. How do you think this trend will develop in the coming years? Do you see both the sectors coexist freely as they grow in the coming years?

The acceptance of the Lab-Grown Diamond sector as part of the diamond industry by the Indian natural diamond industry represents a significant shift in the diamond landscape. In the coming years, we anticipate that this trend will continue to develop positively. Both sectors are likely to coexist, recognizing the unique strengths and attributes they bring to the market.

While it's important to note that LGDs and natural diamonds have distinct characteristics and appeal to different consumer preferences, they can complement each other. LGDs offer ethical and sustainable choices, while natural diamonds carry a rich history and emotional significance for many consumers.

Rather than LGDs taking over the natural diamond business, we envision a future where both sectors thrive, offering a diverse range of options to consumers. This coexistence allows the industry to cater to a broader spectrum of customers, ensuring a vibrant and sustainable diamond market for years to come.

In this coexistence, the natural diamond industry can also benefit from the technological advancements and innovations emerging from the LGD sector, such as improved cutting and polishing techniques. At the same time, the LGD sector will continue to grow as consumers increasingly prioritize sustainability and ethical considerations in their purchasing decisions. Ultimately, this harmonious coexistence reflects the industry's adaptability and commitment to meeting the evolving needs and values of consumers while ensuring a prosperous future for both sectors.

Though India is the largest LGD grower and manufacturer currently, the country seems to be facing issues with overproduction and prices dipping drastically. With numerous new LGD producers entering the sector regularly, can the price of LGDs be controlled? Any suggestions?

You are absolutely correct; the Lab-Grown Diamond industry has seen a significant increase in production, and the pace of new entrants is slowing down. With supply and demand approaching a more balanced state, the industry is stabilizing.

To control LGD prices and maintain this equilibrium, it's essential for existing producers to focus on strategies such as product diversification, marketing, and collaboration. By expanding into unique product segments and promoting the ethical and sustainable aspects of LGDs, we can create value-added propositions that support stable pricing.

Furthermore, enhancing consumer awareness and education about the benefits of LGDs can stimulate demand, helping to sustain prices. Ultimately, the industry's ability to adapt, innovate, and engage in responsible practices will contribute to the long-term success and stability of LGD prices.

Few suggestions for controlling LGD prices in the face of overproduction and new entrants:

Diversify Product Offerings: Explore niche markets or specialty LGDs, such as fancy colored diamonds, larger carat sizes, or unique cuts. These can command higher prices and reduce direct competition.

Market Segmentation: Develop marketing strategies that target specific consumer segments with unique preferences. Highlight the ethical and sustainable aspects of LGDs to appeal to environmentally conscious buyers.

Collaboration and Industry Associations: Join forces with other LGD producers to collectively address industry challenges and promote responsible practices. This can help stabilize prices and ensure long-term sustainability.

Educational Campaigns: Invest in consumer education to raise awareness about the value and quality of LGDs. Informed consumers are more likely to appreciate and pay fair prices for LGDs.

Innovation and Technology: Continually invest in research and development to enhance the quality and production efficiency of LGDs. Technological advancements can help maintain pricing stability.

Certification and Traceability: Implement robust certification and traceability systems to build consumer trust. This can justify premium pricing for responsibly sourced LGDs.

Diversify Applications: Explore and expand into industries beyond jewelry, such as the semiconductor industry and heat sinks, to create new sources of demand and reduce dependency on the jewelry sector.

Strategic Inventory Management: Manage inventory levels carefully to avoid excessive stockpiles, which can put downward pressure on prices.

Global Expansion: Target international markets where LGD awareness and demand are growing, which can help absorb excess supply.

The Asian markets, including India, seemed to accept LGDs / jewellery enthusiastically during the earlier days, especially by GenZ. What's the feedback you get for both of your products... loose LGDs & LGD jewellery?

The response to our Lab-Grown Diamonds and LGD jewelry in the Asian markets, including India, has been truly enthusiastic, particularly among the Gen Z demographic. These young consumers appreciate the affordability and innovative designs offered by LGDs, making them a popular choice for this tech-savvy generation.

For our loose LGDs, the feedback has been positive due to their high quality, ethical sourcing, and competitive pricing. These attributes resonate well with Gen Z, who are not only value-conscious but also environmentally aware.

Our LGD jewelry, with its contemporary and fresh designs, has also been well-received. Gen Z's inclination towards individuality and sustainability aligns with the unique and eco-friendly characteristics of LGD jewelry. The affordability factor further enhances the appeal for this generation.

The enthusiastic acceptance of our products by Gen Z in Asian markets reflects the changing consumer preferences, and we are dedicated to providing them with excellent options that cater to their values and tastes.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough & Polished