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A Company’s 40th Anniversary We Can All Learn From

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I was at the Bangkok Gem and Jewelry Fair on Sunday and had the opportunity to attend the 40th anniversary celebration of the Pranda Group. The company is best known in the United States for its Ariva line of sterling silver. It is widely known throughout Asia for its Prima Gold 24K jewelry, as well as its 24K gold Prima Art. And it has several European lines.

The coolest thing I saw during the evening’s festivities was a presentation by a sand artist. (Don’t know what it is? Search for “sand art” on YouTube. It was new to me.) Essentially, the artist stands above a black table, pouring and rearranging sand to create a series of images. The jewelry twist here? Instead of sand, he was using thousands and thousands of cut gemstones. It was both mesmerizing and mind-boggling.

It kept reminding me of the time I was in a diamond company’s office in Mumbai and was shown a parcel of melee, where sticking a finger in would come up with a fingertip coated with diamonds, the way confectioner’s sugar might do the same.

While that was fascinating to watch, the real impression I was left after hearing about the company and reviewing exhibits that featured its brands and history was of the Pranda Group itself.

&#8220 Pranda Group cared about its staff and surroundings.&#8221

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Here is a company founded in Thailand by Prida Tiasuwan 40 years ago with a first order bound for the U.K. worth about $40. It has grown to a publicly traded company of 5,000 employees working in eight factories spread over five countries, producing 8 million pieces of jewelry a year. Throw in an employee turnover rate of less than 2 percent, and Pranda is obviously doing something astronomically right.

The company attributes its success to Prida’s long-held beliefs regarding social and environmental issues that have now come to be known as good corporate governance and corporate responsibility.
In short, Pranda Group cared about its staff and surroundings.

Factories have medical, educational, nursery and sports facilities. Employees are encouraged to seek educational opportunities. They are rewarded and publicly acknowledged for their years of commitment. Additionally, the company has adopted the United Nations’ “Caring for the Climate” program in an effort to reduce its impact on the environment.

A company we could all learn from, perhaps? Do you offer health insurance, GIA or sales training, help with daycare or local gym membership to your staff? Do you have a company recycling program or contribute to local conservation efforts? Maybe you’re a Pranda Group in the making.

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