It can be tricky to wear multiple hats in your career, but when they all work for the same passion, the same objective and the same values, the outcomes can be extraordinary! A perfect example of this is Rami Baron, CEO of Q Report. (He wears other hats too.) Laura Moore talks Rami about discuss his passions and how Q Report came about.
Rami, you have been an instrumental figure in the jewellery industry for many years, building companies, building groups, connecting and mentoring people. What keeps you driven to assist the industry as you do?
There is nothing more enjoyable and satisfying than helping others. In the early days when I was developing my businesses I had several people who were very generous with their time and were happy to give me advice. I would go out and literally search and ask questions from people 10 to 20 years older than me. The advice they gave me saved me a lot of pain.
The problem that I found in the jewellery industry was that it was very insular – nobody wanted to share information. People had this crazy idea to let the other guy fail and learn the hard way, like they did. I always found it so frustrating and mind-boggling that they didn’t understand the benefit of sharing. Not every part of the industry was like that – the jewellers of the bench were totally different, they were always happy to share their knowledge and skills. It was the businesspeople and the owners who just saw everyone else as competition.
When I made the transition from jewellery retailer to focus on jewellery in the insurance industry, I saw that I could help so many people, and particularly youngsters, from a business perspective. Those who I mentor in the industry often see themselves in me and appreciate that I have been where they are, and so my advice is so relevant because I understand the obstacles they are facing specific to the jewellery industry and family businesses.
You started Q Report in 2004 and it’s grown to represent some of the most amazing jewellers in the country. How have you built such a strong client base over the years?
There are three simple components that we stuck to and repeated. Firstly, you need to build trust that you will deliver on your promises – in our case it was to make the claims process and result bulletproof. That meant ensuring the customer was returned to their original jeweller and the full amount of the insured value was paid out to that jeweller in the case of a total loss. The second rule is being available. If one of our jewellers contacted us on a weekend because that’s when their customer had a loss, we had to be prepared to jump into action and again deliver on our promise.
The third component is a little trickier, and it comes from the same core that I discussed previously. Prior to Covid it wasn’t uncommon for me to travel four times a year around the world. I would be visiting jewellers, seeing the latest technology, and being party to incredible conversations about our industry’s direction and the latest developments. I felt that if I could bring more value to our clients by sharing this information, with no strings attached, it would enable our customers to see that we were more than just insurance. Everyone needs help, and when that person is someone who has an intimate knowledge of your industry the information is so much more tangible.
Insurance always seems to be a confusing area for many businesses. Why is it so important for jewellers in particular to have
cover for themselves and also their customers?
There really are two different types of insurances that were talking about. Jewellers Block insurance covers the wholesaler/
retailer and that’s about their stock, safety and cyber security. Cover for the customer falls under the domestic insurance area, and Q Report kicks in. There is no magic when it comes to insurance. You either make a commercial decision that you are not prepared to take a risk, that should you be robbed or have some scenario occur to you, that should you suffer such loss you want to have the peace of mind that you will be financially compensated appropriately – or you want to take a risk and roll the dice.
It’s all about person’s appetite for risk.
What I can tell you is that if you sat in our chair and heard every day stories of rings being damaged, handbags being left behind, watches being brought, rings disappearing after a day at the beach, you begin to understand how likely it is that your customer may make a claim. The one positive part that we experience, is that without a doubt the majority of our claims are legitimate, which has to do with our years of experience and some very sophisticated methodologies and software that we have developed in-house.
Q Report operates quite differently to other insurers. From a jeweller’s point of view, why would they want to sign up to Q Report?
That’s very easy to answer. The alternative to Q Report in real terms is home insurance. Home insurance thinks about all your
valuables like a paper bag full of stuff. They don’t differentiate between your TV and your diamond ring. To the home insurer it’s just something that has a value, but which they need to replace – at the lowest possible price.
Q Report only insures jewellery – nothing else. We don’t just look at the specifications of your jewellery or what’s written on a GIA certificate, we want to know who made the ring, how it was manufactured, the reputation of the jeweller and any unique features which this item jewellery may possess that will make it difficult to replace if it was lost, damaged or stolen in the future. It’s this intimate knowledge and appreciation of jewellery which tells every serious jewellery retailer they would be crazy not to sign up with us.
Q Report is not just about protecting their customers, it’s about protecting them. If they went to enormous effort to source something special for the customer, or maybe that complex gallery on the underside of the ring was hand pierced and not just a CAD, you need someone at the other end of the phone who understands and appreciates why this will cost more to replace, and not have to argue with someone who is ignorant to the work involved in crafting fine jewellery.
Do you integrate the knowledge you have from other jewellery projects into the Q Report brand?
Of course. Everything you learn, particularly in business, has the ability to cross pollinate other businesses. What we’ve managed to do with a number of our jewellers is work closely with them on marketing ideas and look to see how we can contribute and add additional value.
This comes back to your earlier question about looking for ways to mentor and assist the industry. Many of the ideas that we suggest to jewellers have no direct benefit to Q Report. If we are able to provide great contacts both locally and overseas for jewellers to source products and services, we are saving them time and money. Truth of the matter, there are very few consultants who have the network that we do and have worked both directly and indirectly with these people so that we know their ability, capacity and have seen the results. So I guess you can appreciate that we clearly are integrating our knowledge from other projects indirectly into our brand.
Knowing that you don’t stand still and are always striving for a better industry, what’s on the cards for you and Q Report in the short term?
You obviously know us too well, Laura. There are never less than ten projects that we work on. In the short term we have rewritten our policy and possibly by time this article will be published, the market will see benefits written into our policy that do not exist in any jewellery insurance policy worldwide. We currently employ five full-time developers so as to bring on software features which make our customers life easier and create a better customer experience. In the wall on our office, we have painted a quote; “It’s simple. We always think about the customer first.” This is the company ethos.
It’s not an accident that we have over 800 five-star Google reviews. Just prior to Covid we launched in Singapore. In the next few years, we should be in two to three additional countries. In our newsletters we are constantly sharing the average price of diamond rings seen in each of the different states around Australia. This gives our jewellers a benchmark for them to measure themselves and their margins. After an email like that I always have a number of jewellers call me later saying “we are too cheap” so they realised they were just undercutting themselves.
As many of your readers may know, a number of years ago I developed a group known as the Young Diamantaires. This is a group of people in the diamond and diamond jewellery space worldwide who understand and appreciate the need to talk to people from around the world and understand the different perspectives, opportunities and issues we all face. Today this group numbers close to 500 in just over 20 countries. My goal was to listen to what the next generation wanted and help them achieve as well as create a runway from which they can ultimately take the reins of the industry themselves. The age limit for the group is under 45. I guess they forgot to look at my birthdate.