“Traversing the Swat Valley”
In June 2018, TDI embarked on an exciting field trip to Swat Valley, Pakistan.
I had been working for several months with our clients MYNE London, a start-up fine jewellery brand with a mission.
They had a clear vision of establishing a source for emeralds from Swat Valley, with an ambition of female economic empowerment.
Having completed desk-research, I’d identified suitable potential sources for them and now it was time to send the team in to see conditions on the ground. I needed a mining engineer and a gemmologist.
Swat Valley isn’t the most straightforward of locations to visit, or on most people’s destination ‘bucket-list’.
However, TDI’s own mining engineer Joshua Read and Gem-A’s Charles Evans aren’t most people. A pair of experienced and adventurous souls, they readily accepted the challenge and we set about preparing them for the trip. A flurry of visa applications, security briefings and supplier meetings were arranged before we packed them off, excited to hear about their discoveries.
Joshua and Charles assessed the mines and the gem-cutting workshops, and back in the office, we analysed the data they collected. Throughout the field trip, they were in regular contact and sent photos and videos (when they had reception or wifi!).
What followed was a wonderful supplier engagement process, where we secured stunning emeralds for our client and met with visionary business people in Pakistan.
The lapidary workshop where the gems are polished has a female dominated workforce. (I was delighted to meet one of the directors recently, who told me that since the trip this has now reached 80% female employees).
Not only were we impressed by the organisations that we visited, but both Charles and Joshua spoke of the wonderful impression that Pakistan had made on them and what a stunning and hospitable country they found it to be.
Thanks to Gem-A’s Charles Evans for writing up his field trip in the winter issue of Gems & Jewellery magazine (for a copy please see Gem-A’s website) and to MYNE London for inviting us to support their exquisite brand.
For more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org