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Today’s gem is this 2015 article titled How Indian Families Took Over the Antwerp Diamond Trade From Orthodox Jews.
When you hear “outsource to India” what comes to mind? IT? Call centres? …well how about diamonds?
The article is an interesting read on how Indian families arrived in Antwerp (the diamond capital of the world), and eventually took over the diamond trade. A key ingredient to their success was outsourcing the diamond processing to India to capitalize on cheap labour. They were able to undercut local diamond processors and generate more profits.
Outsourcing the diamond processing was so successful that India has grown to become the largest diamond exporting country in the world.
I’m definitely no stranger to using outsourced labour. I initially saw the power of it at my first job, Deloitte. The firm utilized teams in India in order to 10x the output of local staff.
This inspired me to heavily utilize outsourced labour throughout my entrepreneurship career. It’s been a significant value unlock for me.
A core part of Atlasview Equity’s playbook is implementing offshore labour in the companies we acquire. We work with trusted teams in Eastern Europe and Asia to augment R&D, sales/marketing, accounting and administrative work. Even in 2023, it still feels like an under-utilized arbitrage.
P.s. if you want to check out another story on how Indian families came to dominate another industry, check out Patel Motel Cartel.