After dedicating 48 years of my career to IGI, it is time to embark on a new chapter in my life. As such, on September 30, 2023, I will stop my activity as CEO.
Reflecting on the remarkable journey we’ve had together it fills me with immense pride to witness the growth of IGI from a small team of three individuals to a workforce of nearly a thousand colleagues. Today, IGI stands tall as the second-largest gemological institute in the world, and this achievement is confirmation of our collective efforts.
Our path to success has been paved with numerous challenges that we had to overcome. Merely a decade ago, few in the diamond industry could have imagined IGI becoming the epitome of trust and confidence in the jewelry sector.
A significant milestone was the decision to establish a presence in India, even when the notion of India becoming a dominant trading center seemed implausible. In 1999, many questioned this move, insisting that India was solely a manufacturing center and major decisions were made in Belgium and the United States. Yet, we persisted, and today India plays a pivotal role in the global gem and jewelry trade.
Another pioneering moment for us was the certification of lab grown diamonds back in 2005. We recognized these diamonds as distinct from natural diamonds, but equally relevant. Other gemological laboratories were initially skeptical, and several industry leaders expressed discontent with our decision. However, we firmly believed in progress, and now lab grown diamonds have become a significant focus across the industry.
At IGI, we have always prioritized catering to the needs of consumers and not just businesses. We were among the first to adopt a “B to C” (business-to-consumer) mindset and adapted our services accordingly. A prime example of this approach is our range of educational courses, including online options, tailored for both salespeople and consumers.
Throughout my tenure as CEO, IGI has been at the forefront of innovation and progress within the industry. However, the time has come for me to step aside and let others carry the torch forward. I am delighted, knowing that a capable team of executive leaders is now in place. I have full confidence in Tehmasp Printer, our new CEO, Deborah Pienica, the COO, Arnaud Lorie, the CMO, and the other branch leaders, Avi Levy, Bob Van Es, Shaunak Shastree and Yongwoon Sim, among many others. Together, IGI will undoubtedly emerge as the leader in the world of gemology.
There are countless individuals inside IGI, but also in the industry, deserving my recognition for their contributions to this success story, but listing them all here would be impossible. Therefore, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for the unwavering support you have provided me throughout these years. With optimism, I look forward to a bright future for IGI and the gem and jewelry industry as a whole.
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