Botswana’s Diamond Strategy Shifts Amidst Growing Supply

Botswana is set to create an additional diamond sales route following its recent deal with De Beers. Find out more about this development here.
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Botswana's prominent diamond industry is gearing up for transformation as the Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) adapts its sales approach in response to an impending influx of precious stones. This adjustment comes on the heels of a multi-year deal inked between Botswana and De Beers in July, which is set to significantly increase diamond supply.

Okavango-Diamond-Company

Steering Toward Diversification: ODC's Changing Sales Strategy

Currently, the Okavango Diamond Company sells a quarter of the gems produced by the Botswana government's Debswana joint venture through an auction process. However, with a new agreement in place, ODC's share of rough stones from Debswana is set to double to 50% over the next decade.

This ambitious expansion is driven by Botswana's collaboration with De Beers.

Navigating Challenges Amidst Uncertainty

Although the prospect of an increased supply is promising, ODC faces substantial challenges in selling larger volumes of diamonds. The uncertain economic landscape and the emergence of competition from lab-grown gems complicate the scenario.

These hurdles underscore the need for innovative sales strategies to effectively manage the surge in supply.

DeBeers Diamonds

Strategic Optimization: ODC's Vision for the Future

Mmetla Masire, the Managing Director of ODC, emphasized the need for strategic optimization in the face of changing dynamics. He noted that the current auction process must be reevaluated and refined to align with the evolving industry landscape.

Mmetla Masire, Managing Director of Okavango Diamond Company

ODC aims to balance risk and diversify its customer base through alternative selling channels.

Complementary Approach: Coexisting Channels

ODC is not discarding its existing open tender model; rather, it is embarking on a complementary approach that works alongside auctions. The goal is to establish a parallel sales channel that enhances the efficiency and adaptability of the diamond sales process.

This dual-channel approach seeks to mitigate challenges and maximize opportunities.

Steadying the Course: De Beers' Role

De Beers, a key player in the diamond industry, has a selling approach that involves offering unpolished gems to specific customers at regular sales events. This strategy aims to maintain stability in a fluctuating market.

The collaboration between ODC and De Beers is set to provide ODC with more direct selling capabilities, fostering a more balanced and consistent market presence.

CEO of DeBeers Bruce Cleaver20 Carlton House Terrace. 30/10/18

Market Realities: Navigating Price Fluctuations

The central bank's data revealed a 17% drop in Debswana's rough diamond sales during the first half of the year, attributed to plummeting diamond prices. The market's sensitivity to price fluctuations highlights the significance of ODC's strategic adaptations in safeguarding its market position.

Anticipating Transformation: ODC's Path Forward

As Botswana's diamond industry braces for change, ODC's dynamic shift in sales strategy underscores the industry's agility in adapting to evolving circumstances. The collaboration with De Beers offers the promise of a more stable market presence, enabling ODC to navigate the peaks and troughs of diamond sales while driving long-term growth.

Tumisang Bogwasi
Tumisang Bogwasi

2X Award-Winning Entrepreneur | Empowering Brands to Generate Leads, Grow Revenue with Business Strategy and Digital Marketing | Founder, CEO of Fine Group