From left: Mehul Shah, Ronnie Vanderlinden and Ashrafi Chalisa

Ronnie VanderLinden

IDMA President

In praise of the IDCA

November 27, 2022 – Unfortunately, we once again find the difficult environment around the world creating additional challenges for our industry. We can and should make this a time when we, as an industry, give hope and sparkle! Let’s work together and be creative and inclusive, promote, and above all else, show the world we can shine brightly because, among other things, we are an industry that works together to address and solve the modern challenges thrown at us. We can achieve this only if we work together from the bottom to the top of our pipeline!

Speaking of the pipeline, the most essential part of it, as I see it, is the end consumer. We all have a role to play together, to let each consumer know that we love our industry and that we love them as much as they love the diamonds and jewelry they wear.

The Indian Diamond and Colored Stone Association – IDCA – certainly knows the definition of working together. The IDCA is one of the younger industry associations. It was officially established as a Not-For-Profit organization in 1984 to represent the interest of and lead traders of diamonds, colored gemstones, and jewelry of Indian heritage. Last week I was incredibly honored to be invited by IDCA President Rajeev Pandya, his board of directors, and the members of the IDCA as a guest of honor at the first annual IDCA US – India Jewelry Trade Symposium, held at the Consulate of India – New York.

Showing their support for the IDCA, the IDCA was fortunate to have most of its past presidents and their wisdom with us in the room.

I was humbled to be among the diamond and jewelry industry stars and government attendees. Jamie Singleton, Group President and Chief Customer Officer of Signet, delivered an inspiring keynote speech. Paul Ziminsky moderated an influential and informative industry panel that consisted of Sandeep Shah, of Sandeep Diamond Corp, the brother of our deeply missed IDMA friend and colleague Sanjay Shah; Tejas Shah, of Unique Designs, Inc.; Amish Shah, of AltrCreated Diamonds; and Anubh Shah, of Clarity; came forth and shared their knowledge and experience about the current trends of today and the future.

What is truly energizing to see is that the members of the IDCA work together in good times and in challenging times. Not only are they colleagues, but they’re close friends. Friendship is what inspires me. Several years ago, the Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America – DMIA and the IDCA embarked on a wonderful journey; we moved into new offices together. We share an incredible executive director-Ash Chalisa who helped make our transition of togetherness effortless. I was so taken aback by all those in attendance at the symposium that I missed an entire page of my notes while speaking. That included thanking Ash. I hereby officially thank you, Ash, for all you do for all of us! She never says no and always performs her executive director duties with a big smile.

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