Program focuses on marketing and communications, addresses industry challenges

For the second year in a row, senior gem and jewelry executives gathered at Harvard Business School (HBS) in Cambridge, MA to discuss challenges facing the industry during GIA’s Global Leadership Program. From June 15-18, 42 senior executives from 12 countries and 14 sectors – ranging from mining to manufacturing and retail – participated in a custom program with a curriculum based on the distinguished HBS case study method. The 2015 program focused on the importance of marketing, branding, strategy and communications to a company.

“The quality of the case studies, the participants, the interactions and debate, as well as the ability of the HBS professors to deliver was at the pinnacle of exceptional quality,” said John Green, chair of GIA’s Board of Governors. “This program has again brought closer collaborations to our supply chain and our industry.”

Among the case studies covered during this year’s program were Harley Davidson’s entrance into the India market, the iconic ‘Intel Inside’ campaign and the building of the Real Madrid soccer team into a global brand.

The program served as “a splendid platform for peers from all walks of the industry to discuss and exchange ideas, information and concerns both in business and matters regarding our industry,” said one participant.

“It was humbling but also invigorating to be in the company of such great minds and leaders. I’m personally very excited for the future of our trade – I think the best is yet to come,” added another.

GIA, in conjunction with HBS, initiated the four-day program in 2014 to bring together global leaders representing different sectors of the gem and jewelry to examine issues faced by international businesses and apply the experiences of other sectors and industries to their own.

The program also provides an unparalleled networking opportunity for senior executives, building bridges between different sectors of the global gem and jewelry supply chain.

Participants of the 2015 GIA Global Leadership Program (alphabetical order): Lita Asscher, Royal Asscher; Mihir Bhansali, Firestar Diamond Inc; Dave Bindra, B & B Fine Gems; Patrick Coppens, Rio Tinto Diamonds; Rohit Dhamani, Dhamani Group; Akshay Dholakia, Shree Ramkrishna Exports Pvt. Ltd.; Hasumu Dholakiya, H.K. Designs/Hari Krishna Exports; Pat Duncan, Helzberg Diamonds; Cathy Fischer, Sterling Jewelers; John Green, Lux Bond & Green, GIA Board of Governors; Myriam Gumuchian, Gumuchian; Keith Higley, Damas International Limited; Susan Jacques, GIA; Rajiv Jain, ABN AMRO Bank N.V.; Andrew Johnson, Diamond Cellar Holdings, LLC; Stephen Kahler, Swarovski; Sandeep Kothari, KGK Diamonds; Greg Kwiat, Kwiat & Fred Leighton; Lior Levin, DIACORE; Jenny Luker, Platinum Guild International; Tim Matthews, Jewelry Television; Akarsh Mehta, Excel Success Ltd.; Arnav Mehta, Blue Star Group; Ashay Mehta, Rasiklal Hiralal & Co.; Raj Mehta, Rosy Blue NV; Viral D. Mehta, Dimexon; Thomas Moses, GIA; Kapil Nevatia, Sunjewels Pvt. Ltd.; James Pounds, Dominion Diamond International NV; Adonis Pouroulis, Petra Diamonds; Martin Rapaport, Rapaport Group; Stuart Samuels, Premier Gem Corporation; Ashwani K. Sethi, Tara Pearls; Matt Stuller, Stuller, Inc.; Peter Suen, Chow Tai Fook; Aron Suna, Suna Bros. Inc.; Dov Tannenbaum, Leo Schachter Diamonds; Dennis Ulrich, Richline Group Inc.; Tommy Wu, Shire Trading Ltd.; Bridd Xu, zBird.com; Thomas Yang, YMPETUS, GIA Board of Governors; Alan Zimmer, Reeds Jewelers.