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In the spotlight with Veronica Favoroso, CEO of GemCloud

More businesses rely on the internet to go to market, generate sales and provide customer service. This means professional inventory management is increasingly being considered as a necessity and GemCloud, as the sector leader, has taken tremendous steps to bring the coloured gemstone industry online. The tech company has recently unveiled its new gemstone inventory management software, to help gem traders increase the efficiency of their operations and boost their sales channels. 

Already deployed and connecting with some of the leading names in the industry, GemCloud provides a range of services for buyers and sellers including a universal grading standard for coloured gemstones. Users can also have exclusive access to an online marketplace providing competitive pricing, traceability, and a completely secured and vetted environment. 

Founded by a team of gemstone experts from key areas of the industry, we spoke to Veronica Favoroso, CEO and co-founder of GemCloud, about the company’s latest technological innovations, and its vision to become the leading marketplace and tech provider for the gemstones industry. 

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1) What is your background?

I’m a trained attorney but also come from a business background. I read an MBA in London after 5 years working in the booming landscape of China during the Olympic games and the expo. I learnt about gemstones with Fabergé and Gemfields where I worked for about 5 years, and where I met my husband and co-founder Philippe Ressigeac. 

2) What led you to launch GemCloud? Tell us a little about this.

The core founders have been working in the gemstones and in the tech industry for over 20 years. Noah Severs and Junaid Atkar are veterans in the tech and created one of the most complete software for the jewellery industry. Having diverse backgrounds led us to apply business models from other industries which strive for efficiency and modernity. From our experience we learnt that the gemstone industry is highly fragmented and traditional and we were well aware of the challenges of both vendors and brands. Hence, we saw a market opportunity, and a very interesting space for improving the industry, and also bringing it to a more efficient stage. Our goals are to create an efficient marketplace with a common language and to help increase responsible sourcing standards, whilst helping small vendors to fast track their digitization and improve their sales. 

3) What are the advantages of using GemCloud inventory management software?

Our software automates a lot of time consuming tasks, reducing “human” mistakes and provides very useful sales tools. Thanks to the barcode scanning, we made daily operations very quick and smooth. It ultimately helps traders to increase the efficiency of their operations and increase the number of their sales channels. Being built on the latest technology it is user friendly and highly intuitive. 

4) How does GemCloud allow its stakeholders to run their gemstone businesses online?

Our vendors do not typically have their own website. One of our key features is the ability to select stock and create instant mini websites in a few clicks, which they can share with their clients. On top of this, our users can upload their stock to the GemCloud powered marketplaces where they can expose their gems to reach global clients and increase the visibility of their inventory. At the same time, they can avoid the hassle of establishing and managing their own e-commerce site, customer service, fraud control, technology and maintenance. 

5) Can vendors upload their own gemstone photographs onto the system? If so how do you achieve consistent photography and visuals on the platform for every vendor?

Vendors can upload their own photos & videos into the system for use on their own business. Nevertheless, for syncing the product to the GemCloud marketplace, we require high resolution standardized visuals which are generated by our authorized gem laboratories. 

6) Can rough gemstones and jewellery be uploaded into the inventory?

Yes, GemCloud can certainly be used to upload rough gems. The jewellery version is in progress and will be live by the end of the year. 

7) Do you assess the products uploaded onto the platform?

Before being able to sync their inventory to GemCloud powered marketplaces, we have a double degree of verification: Firstly, each gemstone needs to undergo a verification process through an authorized laboratory. For now, we require all the gemstones on our platform to have a gem lab report. Secondly, our partner vendors go through a KYC and a third party verification. GemCloud is a partner of the Colour Gemstones Working Group (CGWG) which has recently launched the Gemstones and Jewellery Community Platform (GJCP), an initiative to help traders improve their responsible sourcing practices. We require each vendor to become a member of the GJCP and go through an assessment. 

8) How do you ensure traceability information is provided?

Our software digitally maps the path of the gemstone through the cutting process etc. which gives our users the ability to track the past history of any items entered into the system. Once a stone is entered into our system, it creates a unique digital identity for this item and any documentation attached to this item will remain with it even if you recut the stone. You can then access all the past history and documentation attached at any step in just a click. 

9) Could you tell us more about the mobile app you will be launching?

We are launching our app in the next quarter. 

10) How do you think GemCloud will redefine and change the global jewellery industry?

This is a very traditional industry where memory based operations are very common. Many businesses are being handed over to the new generation and there is a huge need for technology. Making a website is only the outer layer of digitization and the real value of our business is that we enable the full value chain to transition online. 

11) GemCloud has been shortlisted in the JNA Honouree list and you’re also nominated for the Industry Innovation of the Year JNA awards. How do you feel?

JNA is one of the most prestigious and coveted awards programs in the international jewellery and gemstone industry, and we are very proud of being shortlisted for Digital Innovator of the Year. As the new kid in the block we are quick and flexible and innovation is our daily fuel. Working with my team was such an intense learning experience and we have made huge steps in relatively short time, and we have literally dedicated ourselves to making GemCloud successful and good for our clients. So the fact that such a jury found our company a good candidate for the title made us really proud. Nonetheless, we must admit that being up against two giants as KGK and De Beers Company like Tracr make us even more excited! 

12) Where in the world is GemCloud used?

Currently, we are in over 10 countries: Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, UK, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, South America, USA & Israel. 


Interview conducted and written by gemologist, blogger and journalist, Isabella Yan

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