Argyle ahead of its time

WHEN the Argyle diamond operation started mining in 1983 it introduced 25 million carats into a market which was producing 50 million carats.

The world was dismayed. This meant Argyle needed a structured approach to marketing.

Argyle identified India as an emerging cutting centre and this became the platform for Argyle’s marketing efforts.

The company set up a cutting and polishing unit to cut brown diamonds in order to challenge the conventional wisdom that consumers would not buy this material. This set the basis for Argyle’s successful pink diamonds. The resulting polished product became champagne and cognac.

During the period from 1983 to June, 1996, Argyle chose to market through the South African diamond giant De Beers, which gave it time to establish expertise in sorting, valuation and sales negotiation. In the second contract Argyle retained pink diamonds and established them as Argyle’s signature stones.

It was always Argyle’s goal to establish a strategic alliance with the Indian diamond industry.

Argyle successfully implemented a marketing strategy that resulted in worldwide acceptance of its product. This is a success story.

Argyle was well ahead of the pack in setting up a strategic alliance with the Indian cutting industry, which today occupies a dominant position in the world. But this success attracted attention, and the predators — like De Beers.

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