> Smart Talk
By Bernardette Sto. Domingo •
25 March 2020
Diamond industry expert Mahiar Borhanjoo, CEO of Uni Diamonds, talks about his pioneering initiatives such as the Uni Diamonds “ecosystem,” which offers smart solutions to the diamond trade.
JNA: Please tell us more about the Uni Diamonds platform.
Mahiar Borhanjoo: We have four prongs within the ecosystem. First, we provide data to update the trade on pricing, goods availability and demand. This, alongside the information on every diamond that we sell, which is captured in the Uni passport, feeds into the sales component, which is done online and offline through our platform to ensure maximum value for our partners. There's also Uni capital, which provides upfront financing of up to 50 per cent of the value of the diamonds, with the remainder to be paid when the goods are sold. We consider ourselves a fintech (financial technology) company focused on the diamond sector where the diamonds serve as collateral. We believe in using the inherent value of diamonds to provide financing in the industry. Finally, we offer smart logistics through our partnership with Malca-Amit. This means all diamonds on our platform are available 24/7, 365 days a year.
JNA: What makes this initiative unique?
Borhanjoo: We look at Uni not as a diamond trading platform but a fintech ecosystem. We obtain diamonds from partners around the world, place the stones on our platform and sell those downstream to retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers. We do quality control, validation and grading of every stone. When you trade within the ecosystem, any data within it will be shared with you at no additional charge to promote transparency in the trade.
JNA: How does the financing work?
Borhanjoo: Diamonds brought to Malca-Amit for Uni are graded based on about 34 unique parameters, which help us identify the stones' pricing based on market indicators. Based on our costing, we will give the diamond seller 50 per cent upfront financing, which can be used as capital to aid its business or streamline operations.
JNA: What are your other competitive advantages?
Borhanjoo: We have a global sales team traveling around the world to analyse demand downstream. We can most likely get the stones to buyers in 24 to 48 hours if they request it. We're minimising the waiting time and other challenges. Everything is fully insured through Malca-Amit. The grading is carried out by a third-party gemmological lab, which we'll announce soon. The certification/traceability of the diamonds is done through Uni passports. We are also located in strategic places around the world – the US, Europe, Hong Kong, Israel and the Middle East. We positioned the diamonds where demand is strongest. Majority of the business is in the US and Hong Kong since the US and Asia still account for about 60 per cent of global demand.