If necessity is the mother of invention, Blockchain is may be one such by-product.
Some Blockchain programs ensure complete traceability of a diamond from mines to retail stores – thereby tackling illicit trade of conflict diamonds, undisclosed mixing of synthetic diamonds with naturals, and supports in improving consumer confidence. When Blockchain did the rounds of the diamond industry we went out to gain a perspective of what it means to the trade. We shared some insights including De Beers’ pilot program Tracr - in our blog ‘Blockchain Diamonds – Boon or Bane’.
Tracr has won support in theory and practice. Some leading companies joined it. With a pilot already implemented, we now dig deeper to know the industry reaction to Blockchain. We speak one-on-one with two eminent personalities of companies who have participated in Tracr – Venus Jewel and Rosy Blue NV – to understand their response to Blockchain after Tracr.
Mr. Mahiar Borhanjoo, Managing Director - Venus Jewel International, shares his views on the promising benefits of Blockchain, how it would sustain the good of the diamond industry, and how some of the implementation challenges can be overcome.
The diamond industry bears a unique complex structure – varied stakeholders, global networking and organized/unorganized operations. Is it ready to take on Blockchain?
Mr. Mahiar Borhanjoo states, “Parts of the industry are. Many companies used to validate mining companies pricing from their systems they just have to find the right ways to incorporate that information and their security validation of the stones being polished to meet the requirements of Blockchain.”
But India being a mix of organized and unorganized players, what is needed for the industry to be more prepared for Blockchain?
Mr. Mahiar Borhanjoo: “Let us first agree that this mixture is in every part of the world, and is more pronounced in India because 9 out of 10 stones are being polished here. Furthermore, to answer your question, it can be - the challenges are the stars and melee stones, but again systems can be placed to help support such polishes. More and more retailers will start asking for this and when this need gets to a certain level, people will have no choice but to adapt. This will mean they need to be organized to track their goods.”
What hurdles of the industry can Blockchain resolve?
Mr. Mahiar Borhanjoo: “Some believe that consumers are demanding this information while others believe that it helps them sell to the consumer with confidence. But irrelevant of why, providing a transparent and open system that allows consumers the ability to understand where their diamonds originated from is a good thing as it provides transparency and openness. It is also important to note that the high- end retailers are in need of this information as they have a mandate to ensure they are sourcing all their goods ethically and that no luxury product ever hurts and brings pain or suffering to anyone. So, to know the complete history of the stone through Blockchain, which is literally a block of un-editable information that is distributed as ledgers would securely and confidently allow the consumer or retailer understand the complete history of their diamond.”
In your view how aware are consumers today about conflict diamonds? Who do you think will drive demand for Blockchain diamonds? Is it the millennial consumer?
Mr. Mahiar Borhanjoo: “I think we need to step away from that and focus on what consumers want. If a consumer wants to know where their coffee bean comes from, why would they not want to know this information about the most important first purchase in their lives? They do and will demand it in the future. So, let us be ahead of the curve and be transparent.”
Will Blockchain be an industry push or consumer pull?
Mr. Mahiar Borhanjoo: “A combination of both. It will be a consumer pull if we do not have it ready. If a consumer pull happens and we are not ready, then our industry will be hurt, because the consumer today has many options for their purchasing power and we must meet or exceed their needs before it becomes an issue for our industry.”
Is the Indian Industry ready for Blockchain?
-Partially yes, the organized and sophisticated companies, yes, they are.
As a cutting and polishing centre how can the Indian industry be more prepared?
-Training and awareness, learning about what Blockchain is and how to organize their systems and processes to follow a rough diamond to become a polished diamond. It first needs to pick up in international markets
How long would it be before Blockchain comes in actual demand?
- It is already there; Forevermark of De Beers uses it though Venus Jewel. Venus Jewel uses it in their mud (know your diamond). And recently Tiffany announced that they will do so by 2020.
What is the topmost benefit to the industry from Blockchain transparency?
Disclosure of synthetic and natural diamonds, finance sourcing, better corporate governance, consumer confidence, everything will matter.
Do you see Blockchain becoming a norm/standard for the industry?
Blockchain is a step ahead of certification. What is demand for certification today in India on a scale of 1-10?
Mr. Vishal Mehta, Chairperson - Rosy Blue DMCC, highlights perspectives of how Blockchain can inspire transparency, the efforts needed to be made by corporate to implement it and the ultimate benefit to the industry.
What brought you to join Tracr? Can you share some light on the ROI (Return on Investment) with Blockchain? How does the economics of it work?
Mr. Vishal Mehta: “Technology can be expensive, and one will have to check how to minimize cost. But one has to adopt best practices and to adopt that they need to learn, access, work on Blockchain. Tracr being De Beers’ initiative, De Beers understands the value of Blockchain to our industry. Most importantly to get traceability, making one understand the benefit of Blockchain. Rosy Blue accepted it because they found it interesting and benefitting to the organization.
Speaking of Return on Investment (ROI) on this technology, ROI will surely be high. Every new technology when it comes, obviously cost of technology will be high, ROI will be less and slowly companies can find cheaper and a reliable source as per their own requirements and increase ROI too. The purpose what this technology can solve will be much more important than ROI and which will bring consumer confidence and finally that is big ROI.
Talking about traceability through Blockchain to what extent are we making the information transparent?
Mr. Vishal Mehta: “We discuss about selectively revealing data; one can selectively reveal some of the data - if a company finds it has any very special data like cost of manufacturing tenure of cutting etc; it can hide that data. If some data is trade secret, they can hide it too but that can also work against Blockchain. The data that you share, that you want to share, does not mean you have to share all. You can choose to be selective, but then the limitation of Blockchain is that you will only get that selective data which is there. More transparent you are, the more others can get. Maybe we are in that time, where we have to be transparent to inspire the confidence in third party - people and trade both becoming relatively transparent inspires the confidence.
Similarly, the more we share; hopefully people will feel more confident in diamonds and be able to buy more.
How will Blockchain be managed? Do you require an entirely new division and set up? What about training and skill sets?
Mr. Vishal Mehta: “DNA of any company is education – some of them are doing so openly – training and upgrading their staff members for new technology, making them ready and some companies do so internally also. Venus Jewel has its own R&D centre and data collection centre where they store all data and which is also further analyzed and R&D will be done on them to get more information, future trend etc.”
Will everyone create their own systems or will they follow one industry standard?
Mr. Vishal Mehta: “Rosy Blue is very open about Blockchain internally. DNA of diamond industry is changing dramatically. Diamond industry is now extremely tech friendly in the sense people have seen benefits of adopting technology. People are also inventing their own technology now; own R&D centers provided they see the benefit. Rosy Blue does it internally. But teaching the people outside is more likely the job of education centers or technology drivers or government or associations.”
Will Blockchain help consumers make better purchase decisions?
Mr. Vishal Mehta: “Rosy Blue is open for sharing information. They are very transparent. It is not only the good that we speak. Blockchain technology is a fantastic technology but at the same time it has some limitations. So, we speak about that too.
Blockchain technology is a fantastic tool which works on traceability and transparency which is not a small issue. People always think it is a small issue but in 2003, the Kimberley Process was formed because the diamond industry faced many serious problems – in terms of consumer confidence – they were thinking what diamonds they are wearing might have blood diamonds and are not derived from the right source.
So, the moment you have an industry-wide confidence issue then we have to understand that building the consumer confidence is paramount. Regardless of whatever happens, we have to ensure that what they are buying they are getting the right value. We assure they are getting diamonds which are conflict free (non-conflict).
Any technology which demonstrates the problem and also helps in corrective measures should always be welcomed, which gives the customer confidence. If we are not building confidence in the diamond story and convincing them to buy diamonds, they will stop buying diamonds. Also, we can show what impact diamonds have on the community – the diamond industry giving jobs to half a million – the polishing community changing their lives not only for employment but on a larger scale – health, study for children and entire community upliftment.
We have to continuously sell the diamond story but Blockchain can be a helping tool in the conversation. If you start to talk the language of the buyer/person they are more likely to buy. Telling them it is traced by Blockchain. Millennial are very tech savvy. When they see the diamond on Blockchain they connect more. It is also about presenting our story slightly differently.”
According to you how what will be the industry receptivity quotient towards Blockchain?
Mr. Vishal Mehta: “Always whenever new technology comes, very few industry leaders take the challenge and check. Adoption is by leaders then followers come. Challenge is if earlier people who started working in this field benefitted then only followers will adopt. Tiffany & Co and similar companies, if they ask for it then adoption can be speedy. What is required is a positive outlook from retailers and everyone else to ask for Blockchain.”
What according to you will be the future of Blockchain?
Mr. Vishal Mehta: “Value propositions - traceability becomes very important. ‘A Decentralized ledger – one centre verification element is an important factor is traceability. One can learn of the of the Origin of rough, Sourced from official channel or not, Polished in which country, Child labour, human rights issue, Basic inventory management, Service, Transparency - Decentralizing data. Slowly and gradually it is becoming necessary to learn and access new technology – Blockchain. In the future, Blockchain is also going to be a learning curve, whenever it comes, a new technology, a different technology – one needs to adopt.”
Is the Indian Industry ready for Blockchain?
-Partially yes, the organised and sophisticated companies, yes.
As a cutting and polishing centre how can the Indian industry be more prepared?
-With Training and spreading awareness, India to come forward as a leader.
How long would it be before Blockchain comes in actual demand?
Will take time.
What is the topmost benefit to the industry from Blockchain transparency?
Do you see Blockchain becoming a norm/standard for the industry?
Yes, over and above just a certification, maybe we have to combine it with certificates.
Blockchain is a step ahead of certification. What is demand for certification today in India on a scale of 1-10.
|- By Mr. Rahul Desai (IIG)|
GemAtlas Co. Private Limited, a company incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 vide CIN - U14220MH2013PTC241314, having its corporate office at 309, Mehta Bhavan, 311, R.R.M. Roy Road, Opera House, Mumbai – 400 004, (“Company” or “We”) owns and operates www.gematlas.com (“Website”) which is an online platform for a range of advisory and consultancy service providers and provide services for a fee (“Subscription Fee”) pertaining to gems and precious stones and metals industry including sourcing mines, trading, gem manufacturing services, jewellery manufacturing services, polishing, jewellery marketing services, certification services, consulting services, courier services, insurance services, customs and KP certification services, banking and financing services, tax consultancy services, training institutes for skill upgrades, travel & booking services during exhibitions and events, human resource consulting services, IT consulting services offered by various experts in the jewellery industry both online and offline from all over the world (“Services”).
SCOPE AND APPLICABILITY OF THIS POLICY
This Policy summarizes what type of Personal Data or Information (as defined hereinafter) We collect about You, purpose of collection, storage and usage of such data or information, to whom such data or information may be disclosed/transferred and how We protect Your privacy.
TYPES OF PERSONAL DATA OR INFORMATION WE COLLECT
The term “Personal Data or Information” in this Policy refers to personal information which does and/or is capable of identifying You as an individual. The types of Personal Data or Information that We collect consist of personal information relating to You:
name, gender, home address, telephone number, date of birth, marital status, email address, emergency contacts or other contact information (including the gender, age, nationality and passport information of any relatives and beneficiaries); or
affiliations, interests, work history, technical skills, educational background, professional certifications and registrations, language capabilities, or
voicemails, e-mails, password, correspondence and communications; or
any detail relating to the above clauses as provided to the Company; or
any of the information received under above clauses by the Company for collecting, receiving, possessing, using, processing, recording, storing, transferring, dealing, handling and disclosing under lawful contract or otherwise.
This Policy does not apply to any information that You may disclose publicly and which is freely available or accessible in public domain or furnished under the Right to Information Act, 2005 or any other law for the time being in force and such information shall not be regarded as Personal Data or Information for the purposes of this Policy. Further, Your Personal Data or Information shall not be disclosed to any third person unless the said third person is required to have the Personal Data or Information of You to provide required Services to You and/or with Your permission and/or to help investigate, prevent or take action regarding unlawful and illegal activities, suspected fraud, potential threat to the safety or security of any person, violations of the terms and conditions of use of the Website or to defend against legal claims and special circumstances such as compliance with the rules of any stock exchange, subpoenas, court orders, requests/order from legal authorities or law enforcement agencies requiring such disclosure. We share Your information with advertisers on an aggregate basis only.
Further, any Personal Data or Information disclosed by You to any service provider or trader that You connect with through the Website, the Company shall not be responsible and/or liable to treat the same as the Personal Data or Information to be protected by the Company.
You are providing Your consent by providing Your details on the Website (“Consent”) with respect to the purpose of usage of such Personal Data or Information.
If You give Your Consent, it is construed that You have done so freely and voluntarily and agree to this Policy. You always have the right to refuse or withdraw Your Consent for the Personal Data or Information sought to be collected or withdraw Your Consent given earlier to us. We will always respect such a refusal or withdrawal, but it might mean that We are unable to perform all the Services, arrangements or contracts with You and will have the option to discontinue the same. We will inform You of these inabilities, if they occur. However, We reserve the right to retain such Personal Data or Information as may be necessary for providing our pending Services to You and in accordance with this Policy and/or if legally required.
You are aware of the:
fact that the Personal Data or Information is being collected;
purpose for which the Personal Data or Information is being collected;
intended recipients of the Personal Data or Information; and
name and address of the agency that is collecting the Personal Data or Information and retaining the same.
We respect Your privacy, therefore, the Company will observe the following guidelines when collecting, receiving, possessing, using, processing, recording, storing, transferring, dealing, handling, and disclosing:
Personal Data or Information will be collected, received, possessed, used, processed, recorded, stored, transferred, dealt, handled and disclosed in compliance with the local laws/regulations in India including IT Act;
Personal Data or Information will be relevant/necessary to/for the purposes for which it is collected and used;
Personal Data or Information will be current and accurate with reasonable steps taken by the Company to rectify or delete inaccurate Personal Data or Information;
Personal Data or Information will be kept only as long as necessary for the purposes for which it was collected and processed; and
Reasonable measures will be taken to prevent unauthorized access or use, unlawful processing, and unauthorized or accidental loss, destruction, or damage to such Personal Data or Information.
PURPOSES FOR COLLECTION, STORAGE AND/OR USE OF PERSONAL DATA OR INFORMATION
The primary purposes for collection, storage and/or use of Personal Data or Information is for:
our business processes, operations and management including but not limited to performance of the business, operation of the Services, entering into or performing any contract, maintaining quality of the Services, providing support to the Services You have obtained from us, managing company assets;
processing Your order, corresponding with You, fulfilling Your transaction requests and delivering the programs, information, and Services requested by You or other Services related inquiries;
managing Client contacts profiles, administering and providing You with information, services that You request from us or which We feel may interest You,
record keeping and other general administrative and Services related processes;
ensuring the safety and protection of the rights or property of the Company or its business;
complying with applicable legal requirements in India including but not limited to governmental reporting, etc. and fulfilling statutory/legal obligations as a service provider under applicable laws, adhering to judicial or administrative orders, compliance with laws;
contacting You via surveys to conduct research about Your opinion of current Services or of potential new services that may be offered by us;
monitoring or recording of certain calls, chats and other interactions relating to the online transactions which may involve You calling us or us calling You and online chats for staff training or quality assurance purposes or to retain evidence of a particular transaction or interaction;
while conducting daily business/operations such Personal Data or Information may be provided to affiliates and group companies, employees/staff of the Company and Third Party's for the purpose of processing such Personal Data or Information for or on our behalf including but not limited to helping us to perform statistical analysis, send You email or postal mail, provide clients and/or prospective clients the support/support services, arrange for deliveries of programs, information, and services, etc.;
operating Website, improving the content of our Website to offer You better Services and to ensure that content from our Website is presented in the most effective manner for You; and in connection with the business of the Company.
DATA COLLECTION DEVICES
We will make best efforts to do so but do not warrant that any of the websites or any affiliate site(s) or network system linked to our Website is free of any operational errors nor do We warrant that our Website will be free of any virus, computer contaminant, worm, or other harmful components. Our Website contains links to other sites which are not owned or operated by the Company. The Company is not responsible and makes no guarantee for the privacy practices or the content of such websites. These links are provided only as a convenience to You. Neither, the Company nor any of its affiliates are responsible for the availability of such Third Party websites or their contents. The Company will not be liable for Your Personal Data or Information transmitted over networks accessed by You on these sites or otherwise connected with Your use of the services. You understand, acknowledge and agree that neither the Company nor any of its affiliates are responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss of any sort caused in connection with your use of or reliance on any content of any such site or services available through any such site.
You acknowledge that the Services, content, site and/ or any software are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis, without warranties of any kind, either express or implied, including, without limitation, implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose. Although the Company has taken adequate safeguard and in case of any breach the Company may take action to remedy such breach. In addition to taking all the reasonable precautions as required under law, the Company expressly disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, including, without limitation: (i) The Services and/ or software will be free of all viruses and hacking. (ii)The software will work on all mobile phones, will be compatible with all mobile phone networks and/or will be available in all geographical areas.
(iii) Any service will be uninterrupted, timely, secure or error-free for any reasons whatsoever including but not limited to overload/breakdown of receiving network, servers or applications; system failures out of the Company’s control or due to heavy traffic on network.
DISCLOSURES OR TRANSFER OF YOUR PERSONAL DATA OR INFORMATION
The Company will transfer, with Your Consent, the Personal Data or Information to any other Third Party in India or overseas, that ensures the same level of data protection that is adhered to by the Company as set out herein for fulfilling any contractual obligation.
We will disclose or transfer Your Personal Data or Information in accordance with this Policy and all applicable legal requirements in India.
Your Personal Data or Information will be disclosed or transferred, as may be required from time to time, as follows:
For Business Purposes: to (i) the appropriate employees/staff/persons in our offices; (ii) our affiliates and group companies; (iii) from one office within the Company to another office in India or overseas in accordance with the IT Act; (iv) to any third party, in the event of a proposed or actual business transfer; and (v) in connection with our business and Services provided by the Company.
To Third Party's: working with us or on our behalf in different industries and categories of business. We will disclose, share, transfer Your Personal Data or Information to any Third Party or provide Your Personal Data or Information to any Third Party in connection with our business requirements or for the purposes indicated herein. Such Third Party's are required to process Your Personal Data or Information they receive from us in a lawful, safe and responsible manner in accordance with this Policy and the prevailing laws and take all appropriate security and confidentiality measures such that they do not use Your Personal Data or Information for their own purposes or disclose Your Personal Data or Information to others. Neither the Company nor any Third Party will publish Your Personal Data or Information.
For Legal Requirement: to any court of law and/or government agencies/entity as may be required under law and/or statutory authority, Reserve Bank of India and Credit Information Bureau India Ltd. (“CIBIL”) or in response to a legal process, for the purpose of verification of identity, or for prevention, detection, investigation including cyber incidents, prosecution, and punishment of offences and/or to any third party by an order under the applicable law or if We determine it is necessary or desirable to comply with any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request or to protect or defend our rights or property including compliance with accounting and tax rules and regulations or to investigate, detect, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, security or technical issues or situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person.
For Centralized Data Processing Activities: We have centralized certain aspects of our data processing and administration in order to allow us to better manage our business. Such centralization may result in the transfer of Your Personal Data or Information: (i) from one country to another; (ii) to our employees/staff of the affiliates/group companies of the Company in other locations, etc. However, whenever Your Personal Data or Information is transferred within the Company, it will be processed in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Policy.
REASONABLE SECURITY PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES AND AUDITS
We seek to ensure compliance with the requirements of the IT Act to ensure the protection and preservation of Your privacy, therefore We take reasonable security measures to protect Your Personal Data or Information against unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure or destruction. We have a number of physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards/measures in place to actively protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of Your Personal Data or Information, including a comprehensively documented information security programme and a strict security policy that contains managerial, technical, operational and physical security control measures for protecting such data or information. We have implemented standard or code of best practices for data or information protection.
We limit access to Your Personal Data or Information to members of our team/employees of the Company/Third Party's who We believe reasonably need to come into contact with that information for the purpose of performing their duties and rendering services to You. We have strict confidentiality obligations that apply to such members/employees of the Company/Third Party's. Failure to meet these obligations may result in disciplinary and other actions, including dissolution of a contract, termination of employment and criminal prosecution.
We conduct training to authorized users regarding the lawful and intended purposes of processing Your Personal Data or Information, the need to protect and keep information accurate and up-to-date and the need to maintain the confidentiality of the data or information to which such authorized users have access. Authorized users will comply with this Policy, and We will take appropriate disciplinary actions, in accordance with applicable laws in India, if Your Personal Data or Information is accessed, processed, or used in any way that is inconsistent with the requirements of this Policy.
UPDATING OR REVIEWING YOUR PERSONAL DATA OR INFORMATION/ QUESTIONS OR COMPLAINTS
You may by a written request review the Personal Data or Information provided by You. We will ensure that any Personal Data or Information about You which is found to be inaccurate or deficient shall be corrected or amended as may be feasible.
You expressly state that Personal Data or Information provided by You to us is correct and complete in all respects and does not contain any false, distorted, manipulated, fraudulent or misleading facts. We expressly disclaim any liability arising out of the said data or information provided by You to us. Further, You expressly agree that We are not responsible for the accuracy and authenticity of such data or information provided by You to us and You agree to indemnify the Company for all losses incurred by the Company due to any false, distorted, manipulated, defamatory, libelous, vulgar, obscene, fraudulent or misleading facts made by You to the Company.
In case of any discrepancies or grievances with regard to the processing of Your Personal Data or Information, please contact the “Grievance Officer” at email@example.com. Further on receipt of any concerns or complaints the Grievance Officer will employ all commercially reasonable efforts to address the same within One (1) month of receipt of same.
All the Company’s affiliates/group companies will ensure that this Policy is observed. All employees/staff of the Company and Third Party's who have access to Personal Data or Information are required to comply with this Policy.
All Third Party's shall only process the Personal Data or Information in accordance with the Company's instructions or make decisions regarding such data or information as part of the delivery of their services. In either instance, the Company will select reliable Third Party's who undertake, by contract or other legally binding and permissible means, to put in place appropriate technical and organizational security measures to ensure an adequate level of protection of such data or information. The Company will require Third Party's to comply with this Policy or to guarantee the same levels of data protection that is adhered to by the Company when handling/processing such data or information. Such selected Third Party's will have access to such data or information solely for the purposes of performing the services specified in the applicable service contract and are legally and contractually bound to maintain the privacy of such data or information shared with them and will not disclose it further. If the Company concludes that a Third Party is not complying with these obligations, it will promptly take appropriate actions to remedy such non-compliance or implement necessary sanctions.
Additionally, our team members/employees/staff are bound by internal confidentiality policies. Any team member/employee/staff found to have violated this Policy or any other policies will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment including penalties under applicable laws in India.
All Third Party's and our team members/employees/staff do hereby specifically agree that he/she/it shall, at all times, comply with the requirements of the IT Act, while collecting, receiving, possessing, using, processing, recording, storing, transferring, dealing, handling and disclosing Personal Data or Information. The said Third Party's and team members/employees/staff do further unequivocally declare that in case he/she/it violates any provisions of the IT Act, he/she/it shall alone be responsible for all his/her/it acts, deeds and things and that he/she/it alone shall be liable for civil and criminal liability there under or under any applicable Indian law for the time being in force.
MODIFICATIONS TO THE POLICY
The Company reserves the right to update, change or modify this Policy, from time to time, without prior notification. The Policy shall come into effect from the date of such update, change or modification.
We will inform You regarding any such changes by updating this Policy and will post all changes to the Policy on relevant internal and external websites.
Effective with the implementation of this Policy, all existing intra-group agreements and the applicable Company privacy guidelines or practices relating to the processing of Personal Data or Information will be superseded by the terms of this Policy and modified accordingly. All parties to any such agreements will be notified of the effective date of implementation of the Policy.
If any of the terms or definitions used in this Policy are ambiguous, the definitions established under the IT Act shall apply.