Ari Jain '18 MPS '19

Courtesy of Ari Jain

Ari Jain '18 MPS '19

February 16, 2020

Family Business Spotlight: House of Diamonds

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House of Diamonds is not your average family business.

Correction appended.

A far cry from the homely mom and pop pizza shop or the humble bodega, House of Diamonds is a global diamond wholesaler with stores in the U.S.,Thailand, Hong Kong, India and mainland China.

Selling to some of the biggest names in the industry, the diamond company supplies brick and mortar jewelry stores, online jewelry retailers and jewelry designers with loose diamonds and designer diamond jewelry. The company was founded in New York 25 years ago by Sanjeev Jain, the father of Cornell alum Arihant Jain ’18 MPS ’19. Arihant comes from a lineage of jewelry merchants spanning eight generations.

Arihant is currently the chief marketing officer of the company. After graduating from Cornell, Arihant completed his Master of Professional Studies in applied economics and management before returning to his family’s business.

Despite Arihant’s final decision to take on a leading role at House of Diamonds, Arihant’s family never pressured him into taking over the business. When he first arrived at the University as an undergraduate, Arihant considered several different career paths within finance.

“My parents made it very clear to me from the start that they wanted me to do what was the best for myself,” Arihant said. “Coming into Cornell, I was considering a career in investment banking or venture capital.”

However, he later decided to return back to the family business because it allowed him to pursue his ambitions.

“In the family business, I have the chance to express my creative potential and leadership abilities,” Arihant said. “I am really happy with the position I’ve been put in at House of Diamonds because it allows me to achieve the maximum personal and career growth.”

Only six months into his new position as House of Diamonds’ chief marketing officer, Arihant has already implemented a substantial change to how the company prices its gemstones to fulfill ambitious growth plans. According to Arihant, the major game changer is an artificial intelligence and machine learning-based algorithm that uses characteristics such as shape, quality and size to competitively price each gemstone at the best price in the market.

After the success of his pricing algorithm, Arihant plans to capitalize on new technology and propose an audacious shift to his family’s business model to foster more growth. By entering the lucrative direct-to-consumer market, Arihant hopes to reap the benefits of a completely untapped revenue stream.

Direct-to-consumer companies remove the middleman — in Arihant’s case, the middleman is major retailers like Walmart and Macy’s — and sell online products directly to consumers to command higher profit margins while still keeping prices low. Famous examples of this business trend include Allbirds, Warby Parker, Casper and Glossier.

Arihant sees this market as a source of rapid growth for the company as well as an opportunity to give customers massive discounts on diamond jewelry, “ranging from 50 percent to 300 percent cheaper than what retailers and big brands will charge them.”

The newly minted chief marketing officer also addressed one of the foremost controversies of the industry: conflict diamonds. Commonly referred to as “blood diamonds,” conflict diamonds are specifically mined to fund warfare in already battle-ridden areas such as central and western Africa.

To combat this issue, each of Arihant’s company’s diamonds is sourced according to the Kimberly Process Certification, which is a trade regime covering 82 countries that allows diamond trade only between its own members and promotes more transparent shipment practices. This process ensures that all of the firm’s diamonds are conflict-free and ethically sourced.

Arihant also shared what he believed was a common stereotype — that heirs to family businesses have the privilege of resting on their family’s laurels and living an easy life.

“It’s actually the exact opposite,” Arihant said. “I have a desire to grow [the business] much more than my dad has, just like my dad had the desire to grow the business much more than my grandpa had. [This desire] can be attributed only to the love we all have for the business.”

Though he’s just in his early twenties and fresh out of graduate school, Arihant can assertively suggest and implement bold changes to his family’s business. He credits his time at Cornell as the source of his confidence.

“After going to Cornell, it makes me feel like I can honestly do anything in the world,” Arihant said.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that House of Diamonds was founded 40 years ago; it was, in fact, founded 25 years ago. The article has since been updated.