Kuropatwa Brothers offers
Key competitive advantages for local and International retailers:
- The full range of colours and clarities. KB offers a full range of 0.70ct-2.00ct: loose single diamonds and calibrated options. When manufacturing 3/8gr: full range from 0.10ct up.
- The full range of cuts. All conceivable shapes and qualities.
- 100% South African manufactured diamonds. South African diamond material is believed to be the best in the world. KB ensures that it continues to promote this perception as well as promoting its 100% genuine South African manufacturing – no polished buying or dealing - and 100% South African beneficiation.
- Absolute consistency of quality and make. A consistently high quality SA make is still an unusual and compelling proposition.
- Full range of qualities and a broad range of certificates as required. KB offers its retail customers a full range of qualities from‘excellent’ to ‘very good’ and below, depending on requirements. Very few companies in South Africa have the ability to make GIA excellent/excellent.
- Specialisation in the local 60/60 make. This SA make supports not only local clients who depend on branded 60/60 makes such as ‘The South African Ideal Cut’ and ‘Heritage the make’, but also overseas retailers who are looking for a differentiated South African product.
- Best fancy polishing options available. Any conceivable fancy shape in existence can be polished. KB also offers unique cut development to jewellery customers. For example, KB is working with one of SA’s leading jewellery groups to develop a unique cut as part of their specifically South African offering. This will be marketed both domestically and internationally.
KB’s “stone by stone” service offer has been developed in line with its “stone by stone” manufacturing focus.
- No minimum turnover entry level for customers. Kuropatwa Brothers does not reject potential customers on the basis of company or order size thereby encouraging smaller customers into the market.
- “Stone by stone” tailoring of assortment. Kuropatwa Brothers encourages stone by stone choice of assortment. Recognition of the belief that flexibility of supply and a non-commoditized product can enhance customer profitability.
- “Stone by stone” pricing based on manufacturing margin. Kuropatwa Brothers transparent pricing structure encourages close and open working relationships with customers. To incentivise development of smaller clients, and encourage loyalty, KB also offers discounts dependent on turnover.
- Full range of certificates as required. Every stone can be certificated irrespective of stone size or quality. Certificated smaller sizes from 0.10ct to 0.70ct and down to I2 purity are obtained from 3/8grs and tops salvaged from 2.5-4’s. These products are very popular with retailers and often serve as an entry point to goods over 1.00ct.
- Stability and consistency of offering. Kuropatwa Brothers offers an unusually high level of consistency of offer in terms of both product and price. Although SA has clearly matured as a competitive market for rough, it is still insulated to some extent from extreme market swings and our customers know they are able to rely on our consistency.
In addition to the above, Kuropatwa Brothers offers its retail clients:
- Educational workshops for retail staff. Kuropatwa Brothers runs workshops for staff training and development of local jewellery companies. This generates greater diamond understanding / enthusiasm and strengthens partnerships / relationships with customers.
- Access to technology and expertise. Association with diamond experts and manufacturing footprint gives confidence and security, especially to smaller clients. Recently, KB was paid a particularly fine compliment when one of our new small local retail customers claimed at a trade fair that they actually worked for us. Our sales team is composed of skilled diamond manufacturing staff that we have trained, for example as markers, then re-trained in sales.
- Factory visits. Kuropatwa Brothers offers factory visits for local jewellers wishing to showcase Cape Town’s leading factory to tourists. Due to the popularity of this tourist attraction locally, visits to the KB factory have proved to offer a strong competitive advantage.
Kuropatwa Brothers retail customers often draw on their association with KB as a ‘leading South African diamond manufacturer’ and KB has allowed some of its customers to use this ‘partnership’ in their above-the-line consumer advertising.
- Rapid local response if required to close a sale. Local jewellers serving tourists in the Cape Town market recognise KB as a key supplier for any stone between 0.18ct and 2.20ct. KB is usually able to provide the product in order to close the sale while the customer is still on site.
- Assistance with business analysis and forecasting. Using proprietary models and analysis of market trends combined with customer sales analysis, KB helps customers predict requirements and thereby gain the confidence to buy COD. This has proven particularly relevant for those retailers that have become accustomed to taking the majority of goods on consignment.
All these services are supported through:
Relevance of Offer
- Premium relationship building. Key to the success of the business is that the senior owner management of Kuropatwa Brothers is available to all customers for account management purposes.
- This face to face contact between owner management on both sides has been successful in building relationships.
The strong growth of Kuropatwa Brothers business in this customer segment demonstrates the relevance of the product and service offering as described above.
To ensure that the offer remains relevant, Kuropatwa Brothers has developed a rare ability to make rapid short-term adjustments to its product offering according to customer needs and market trends.
Kuropatwa Brothers rapid feedback model is embedded in its proposition and relies upon the following elements:
1. Maintaining market awareness through:
- Close dialogue with clients. Close dialogue with all of our clients ensures that we are constantly aware of shifts in consumer requirements
- Market research and analysis of broader trends. We continue to invest in market research and analysis to stay ahead of broader consumer trends.
2. A business designed specifically to enable rapid transition when required:
- Unusually low polished inventory supported by rapid, fragmented COD sales. A very short polished pipeline can be rapidly replaced with an adjusted product as required in line with demand.
- Head office and management located at the sole manufacturing plant. Head office and management are operationally managed out of the same location. This promotes communication and enables instant feedback between sales and factory management.
- Stone by stone manufacturing emphasis allows flexibility. KB’s manufacturing process allows KB to produce a slightly varied product for different clients simultaneously without the need to set up different production facilities for each individual offering.
Kuropatwa Brothers is differentiated from its competitors in terms of product, service and approach to business:
In the local South African market:
Kuropatwa Brothers would argue that it has transformed the face of the polished trade in Cape Town.
- Kuropatwa Brothers represents the first serious manufacturing competitor to the established polished wholesalers in South Africa. By offering a full range and no minimums, KB has become a genuine alternative to the wholesale offer.
- Kuropatwa Brothers offers unique local knowledge. Our reputation in South Africa is that we are a home grown company that has a unique understanding of the local market
- Kuropatwa Brothers represents a genuine South African proposition. All our customers are attracted by the genuine 100% South African ownership structure and quality SA based manufacturing profile and quality make. In contrast, by virtue of Head offices located overseas, few manufacturers in SA are considered to be truly South African.
Locally and Internationally KB is differentiated as follows:
- Kuropatwa Brothers is now the largest individual producer of SA certificated polished. KB is the biggest customer and supporter of the Jewellery Council laboratory of South Africa (soon to become GIA South Africa). Therefore is the leading manufacturing supplier to the SA trade.
- Kuropatwa Brothers is a young, fast growing, SA manufacturer with a uniquely successful manufacturing profile. KB represents a unique opportunity for customers to partner with an extremely fast growing ‘large scale’ (by SA standards) producer country manufacturer when many other South African based manufacturers are contracting and exporting their polished product.
Kuropatwa Brothers has been successful in operating at scale in this segment on a COD basis.
Value delivered via customer segment:
- Fragmented customer base reduces business risk. In what continues to be a fragmented market, no customer represents more than 20% of overall turnover in any given month and most customers make up less than 5-10%.
- Sales to retailers offer stronger margins and increased fragmentation. By developing sales direct to retailers KB generates improved margins compared with wholesale and greater efficiency and compression of its route to market.
Value delivered via business model:
- COD sales ensure positive cash flow and financial strength. Maintaining COD relationships with retailers delivers financial health for KB as well as better prices for the retailer. KB passes on the benefit of having lower credit facility expenses.
- Low polished inventory enables rapid response to market trends. Capital typically utilized for high polished inventory is invested at KB in higher stocks of work-in-progress (and better rough analysis / preparation). KB’s strategy results in a stable offering without the need for over-correction of polished stock.
- “Certificates for all sizes” promotes negotiation and improves margins. By certificating, major premiums are obtained especially for small sizes (KB’s investment in auto-polishing enables manufacturing smaller sizes at a profit).
- Education, training and factory visits develop customers’ understanding and promote loyalty. By educating the retailer about different makes and certificates across the full range of sizes and qualities, KB certificated goods are selected in preference to alternatives.
Ultimate value capture for KB is in delivering exceptional, sustainable, economic returns while retaining status as 100% equity stakeholder in the producer country context.
Loose Polished Diamond Customers
- Kuropatwa Brothers focus on education and understanding diamonds has improved jewellers’ offerings. KB’s education focus has improved jewellers’ offerings to consumers in the form of better advice, makes and even more reliable certification. Buying diamonds can be a stressful experience for consumers when a high level of spend is coupled with limited knowledge. Reassurance and education of the customer to achieve confidence in their purchasing decisions delivers category enhancement and incremental sales growth. KB’s experience shows that customers’ enthusiasm for diamonds is enhanced through greater understanding.
- Visits to KB’s factory have inspired retailer and consumer interest in diamonds. KB has witnessed the dramatic interest and enthusiasm shown by consumers when they visit the factory. The technical processes involved seem both to fascinate and inspire more confident purchases.
- Increased local certificating volume generated by KB has helped develop the South African market. Since KB’s arrival in Cape Town, EGL have opened a local branch office. Industry competition generally precipitates a wide range of benefits to consumers.
- Kuropatwa Brothers has developed local players. The encouragement of smaller customers has developed new businesses into the market that are likely to generate incremental sales. In addition, by providing access to a consistent supply, a new concept: “ a loose diamond store” has opened in Cape Town.
Kuropatwa Brothers sells 100% South African diamonds, manufactured in their own director-managed South African factory, to Independent retailers.
The vast majority of customers in this segment are Independent retailers in South Africa.
Kuropatwa Brothers is now the leading manufacturing supplier to the South African Jewellery trade and represents access to a welcome and substantial, local manufacturing support structure, in what was an under-served market.
Kuropatwa Brothers offers Independent retailers significant assistance in selecting stone-by-stone tailored assortments to suit their businesses as well as access to KB’s factory and manufacturing expertise.
Kuropatwa Brothers has more than 100 South African retail accounts.
Kuropatwa Brothers has total penetration of the South African branded wholesale market.
Kuropatwa Brothers provides them with:
- Genuine South African product
- South African makes and cuts e.g. South African Ideal Cut, Heritage
- Stone-by-stone assortments, sizes >70pt
- Full range of certificates
- Consistent pricing derived from manufacturing margin
- Access to the factory and manufacturing expertise
Kuropatwa Brothers sells to large international wholesalers. The added value for the International buyer:
- The mystique of buying “from the source”.
- Kuropatwa Brothers young, dynamic, South African company
Large wholesalers are particularly open to building strong relationships with South African manufacturers. Kuropatwa Brothers professional and dynamic approach to building its business and its young team is extremely attractive and unusual in the local context.
Contact Oliver Kuropatwa for more information.
Read our Company Milestones here.