Mr. Pornsit Sriorathaikul, Chairman of Beauty Gems Group
"Being Slack" Is Not "Beauty Gems"
If you Compare each Thai gem and jewelry business to a unique "gemstone", with different beauty, one gemstone that brilliantly shines and attracts many people is "Beauty Gems Group." Besides being outstanding in Thailand, the firm is also extensively recognized in the global market. The man behind this gemstone’s attractiveness is Chairman of Beauty Gems Group, "Mr. Pornsit Sriorathaikul," who has been in the gem and jewelry industry for 5 decades.
5 Decades in Gem Industry
I am the third generation of my family engaged in the gem business. It has been almost 50 years since I started working in the business.
Throughout that period of time, the Thai gem and jewelry industry has constantly evolved. 50 years ago, Thailand had gem deposits in Trat, Kanchanaburi, Phrae, and Chiang Mai.
The deposits yielded different varieties of gemstones --blue sapphires in Kanchanaburi and blue sapphires and rubies in Trat. Rubies from Trat were well-known globally, and were known as Siamese rubies,
which were very popular 3 decades ago. Now they have become rare and scarce.
Regarding Beauty Gems Group business, Mr.Pornsit said that during his time at the company, Beauty Gems Group focused on export-oriented manufacturing and placed importance on personnel development specifically for the industry.
"At Beauty Gems, we have our own school. We teach every process concerning gem and jewelry production, starting from raw material selection, to jewelry production. Artisans are taught the tasks required for jobs such as jewelry makers, polishers, jewelry assemblers, and jewelry designers. I think we have produced thousands of skilled personnel for the jewelry industry."
In the past, everybody had to work in the same compound. Now the industry has changed. Some workers can work from faraway places. Machines have been brought in to facilitate manufacturing. However, Mr. Pornsit believes that workers remain essential for the industry, as some processes still require craftsmanship.
"Before a gemstone is recovered from the earth and becomes a price of jewelry for people to buy, it has to undergo value-added processes by hundreds of workers. I think jobs in the industry suit the Thai people’s refined and creative natures. These jobs can add value and generate favorable income for Thai workers. Modern technology such as the Internet and communication tools enable designers to work from home or anywhere and submit their works to various companies," Mr. Pornsit explained.
However, he reaffirmed that working in the industry requires genuine "devotion" and eagerness to learn in order to keep up with changes in the world and customers’ demand.
"Workers of the gem and jewelry industry have to love what they do and possess passion and understanding (for their jobs). Each day we have to inspect diamonds and gemstones as well as other attractive items. If we get tired of or do not like our job, we will not be able to fulfil the ultimate goal. Polishers and cutters have to love their work. They need to understand and focus on their tasks, because mistakes once made, cannot be reversed. Designers need to know what to do to attract buyers. We must be aware of ever-changing demand to stay competitive in the markets."
Throughout the past 50 years, Beauty Gems Group and people in the gem and jewelry industry have gone through ups and downs and faced many different challenges. However, we have successfully overcome them because we know how to adjust and cope with obstacles. We have also received strong support from the Thai government.
"We have to think every day, always readjust, and constantly develop. Our industry cannot be inactive. If a problem arises, we should fix it right away. But we need to know and understand what is appropriate for business development."
Thailand to Become Gem and Jewelry Hub of the World
As a person who has long experience in the industry, Mr. Pornsit understands the nature of the gem and jewelry industry of Thailand and the world thoroughly.
He thinks that Thailand has the potential to become the world’s gem and jewelry trading and manufacturing center. The country’s strength and capacity in various aspects of the industry,
and the fact that gem and jewelry products’ are among the country’s top 5 exports as well as the presence of a qualified workforce, solidify Thailands place in the jewelry industry That is bolstered by educational institutes
that produce personnel specifically tailored for the jewelry industry : design personnel by Silpakorn University, management personnel by Srinakharinwirot University, mining personnel by ChiangMai University,
and gem enhancement personnel by Burapha University.
Moreover, we have the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) or GIT, which plays a pivotal role in researching, analyzing, and certifying the quality of gem and jewelry products with global recognition. GIT’s missions are vital in promoting the Thai gem and jewelry industry’s sustainable growth.
“The gem and jewelry industry has generated a tremendous amount of revenue for Thailand. There is potential for the industry to grow a lot more. The Thai government has been well aware of the industry’s significance and consistently specified supporting measures such as import and export duty measures and systematic exemption of VAT. Such measures encouraged foreign traders to come to Thailand for the gem and jewelry trade. We hope that the industry will continually receive supports from the government,” Mr. Pornsit explained.
In addition, he also emphasized that if Thailand wants to truly become a trading hub, the country needs to encourage more seamless transportation of goods. Unrestricted logistics like those in place in Hong Kong are needed. Traders want to do business with companies in Hong Kong since importation and exportation can be done smoothly.
"No matter what it is. If the government and private sector can join hands, everything is possible. I believe that Thai business operators are competent. They just need opportunity. For the industry, if the public sector wants to support Small and Medium Enterprise, platforms to showcase their products and channels for product distribution are needed. If the government wants to produce designers, contests must be arranged for them to show their capability. If Thailand truly wants to become a trading hub, logistics systems have to be less complicated. All of these depend on the government’s protocols," Mr. Pornsit concluded.