Name: Benny and Yossi Meirov
Company: M.I.D. House of Diamonds – Owners
1. What prompted you to pursue a career in the diamond industry?
We entered into this business by chance. Initially, our uncle asked us to join his diamond business. It was luck—he could have chosen somebody else instead.
2. Do you have a business philosophy that guides you in your work?
Our motto is that our customers must make money. If our customer is not making money, he has no reason to come back to us.
3. What would you say differentiates your company from other companies?
Over the years, we have invested tremendous energy and resources into marketing. Our merchandise is not significantly different from that of our competitors; however, we have learned how to market the right goods to the right customers. Additionally, we have opened numerous offices around the world to be closer to more perspective clients, and we have recently been investing in online marketing as well. Marketing is key – if a person knows how to market, he will succeed.
4. The industry has been struggling over the past few months. Do you have any advice for how to manage during tough times?
During the 2008 financial crisis, the industry suffered terribly. Prices plummeted 50 percent, and even at 50 percent, people weren’t buying. Many people almost lost everything. The bad years teach you how to appreciate the good years. We learned that when you have a good year, you have to appreciate your company, your customers and your workers.
5. What expectations do you have for the Hong Kong show?
We have great expectations for the Hong Kong show, which has always been a very successful show for us. But you cannot live off of a show alone. Shows are only extra business. How much can a company profit from a show? At most, two percent of total sales. However, shows like Hong Kong set the mood for the industry. In addition to trading and fostering relationships, the purpose of the Hong Kong show in particular is to paint a picture of what the business will be like towards the end of the year.
6. How has the diamond industry in Israel changed since you started over 30 years ago?
There used to be over 20,000 manufacturing employees here in Israel. Today, there are only 200 such employees. The whole manufacturing business has moved to India. In my opinion, the Israeli market today is simply the international broker for the Indians, Russians and South Africans. The goods come to Israel, and we sell the merchandise. We are now primarily doing the marketing for the industry – selling the right goods to the right people. Israel can’t make money in manufacturing any more, as it once did, due to the lower labor costs in India.
7. What advice would you give to someone starting out in the diamond and jewelry sector?
That is a tough question. We would not recommend young people to come into this business today. It is a very tough industry. That being said, the younger generation is what will drive the industry forward. They have the power, the wisdom and the drive to push the industry to new heights.
We would not have succeeded to the extent that we have if our children had not joined the business. Do you think we could still attend seven or eight shows a year at our age? Do we have the power and energy for that? No, of course not. But our children are pushing us. They want to prove to us that they can do this job even better than us, and they are succeeding. They brought the company to levels which we had never dreamed of.
8. Where do you envision your company in ten years?
Ten years ago, we did not imagine that we would reach this point. We had hope, but we did not know that we would succeed. And we certainly did not dream that we would reach the status we have since achieved.
Looking towards the future, we wish that our children and the whole family will always be together, united. They have to be united and to work well together. We have given them the education, but everything else is really in their hands. If there is unity within the family, the sky is the limit.