Munirah Desai | Diamonds Africa
My love for diamonds started when, as a young bride, I received a dowry. I wanted to spend part of it on a diamond so I contacted the De Beers head office. They were a little nonplussed that I hadn’t gone directly to a store, but I was adamant that my diamond had to come from De Beers. After pestering them for a few weeks, I was given the name of a dealer from whom I could buy a De Beers diamond.
My visit to the dealer changed my life. Over the years he became my mentor and my very good friend. At our first meeting, we came to an agreement that I would sell some of his stones for a small profit while learning about the nuances of the diamond trade. Initially, it was just a hobby but when my children had grown up I decided to turn it into a career. I completed the course offered by the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Trading School and also qualified as a GIA graduate. It was a beautiful time in my life.
I knew that if I wanted to buy and sell diamonds seriously I needed a partner. At that point, I was advised to approach Raizcorp. Little did I know that it would be the best thing to ever happen to me.
When I started on the De Beers Enterprise Development programme, I was an unpolished diamond. My computer skills were lacking and I had very little idea about proper financial accounting or how to keep financial records. I found it hard to do presentations or talk easily and confidently about my business.
Thanks to the guidance I have received on the programme, I have learned how to better manage my finances and to put the money I earn back into the business. I have learned to communicate more effectively and I even carry myself differently. Raizcorp doesn’t tell you what to think and they don’t prescribe how you should behave. Instead, they offer guidance on the best business practices which has an impact on the way you behave and the way you think about doing business. The process used by the Guides is incredibly good! Not only have I seen my own business grow as a result, but my peers have also seen tremendous growth.
This experience has taught me that the definition of failure is the failure to try. My goal is to achieve a level of success that will enable me to give back to others. I want to give back to the people of my community, to people who share my passion for diamonds and to people who don’t have the means to follow their own dreams.
I am very grateful to De Beers and Raizcorp for the support and guidance I have received on the programme. It really has been life-changing experience for me!