His background – inspired by his mother to pursue business and growing up in Tenerife, Spain – gives his story a tinge of exoticism, augmented by his flourishing diamond ecommerce business.
Real Business caught up with Dominguez on his childhood, inspiration and how he grew Vashi.com.
I’ve been passionate about diamonds all my life. When I was a child, I loved looking at my grandmother’s jewellery. I could not get my head around why something so small could be so valuable.
What was growing up in Tenerife like?
I loved growing up in Tenerife. It’s a small island but it’s a beautiful place and the weather was great. I was always interested in learning new things. I used to have my projects and enjoyed growing them, seeing them through to fruition. My parents always did their best to ensure I had a good education and that I had all the opportunities I needed to succeed.
My mum has always been a big influence in my life. She became the most successful insurance broker in the island and she taught me the importance of aiming high and of hard work.
What launched ‘Diamond Manufacturers’, your first diamond business?
I created Diamond Manufacturers Ltd in 2007 with the goal of providing a solution to an unanswered problem in the market. Diamonds have always been sought after precious stones and therefore very expensive. Diamond Manufacturers Ltd sourced diamonds directly from the cutters and sold them to the end customer. By cutting out the middle man, it allowed us to sell diamonds at a much more affordable price, 71 per cent cheaper, than the high street.
We also pushed to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction. [And] we can’t forget that [diamonds] are a highly emotional purchase. Customers need reassurance and to be taken care of at all times. I remember one time when a customer purchased a ring and needed it within six hours, as he had a flight to catch where he planned to propose to his girlfriend. In order to deliver the ring we had a member of our staff to deliver it by taxi.
After a few successful years we decided to re-brand Diamond Manufacturers Ltd to Vashi.com.
Renaming a company with your first name is a pretty bold branding decision, what inspired it?
After a few successful years growing Diamond Manufacturers, we decided to change the name to Vashi, to give the brand a more personal touch. I have a very hands-on approach to business and I’m very involved in its different departments. I handpick all diamonds that we purchase. Renaming the brand to Vashi highlighted the direct involvement in my brand, as well as the high standards we have.
You said buying jewellery is an emotional process: how do take care of customers?
When a customer has decided to purchase an engagement ring or any other diamond jewellery item, there are two main things the customer needs. On the one hand, the customer needs someone they can rely on, who’ll answer any product-related questions and make any necessary arrangements to ensure the chosen jewellery piece is flawless and delivered in a timely manner. Having a single point of contact that they can have regular updates from will pre-empt any questions they could have.
Secondly, time is of the essence. We respond immediately to any enquiry or issue that our customers raise, ensuring that they don’t spend any unnecessary time waiting for a response.
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