Rapaport Magazine

India

By Zainab Morbiwala
Increased Activity

Feedback from the 2016 India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) was mixed for India’s gems and jewelry industry. While there was not much demand for loose diamonds, interest in bullion, gold and diamond jewelry was encouraging.

Market Dynamics
   The overall market dynamics, according to Vasant Mehta, director, Asian Star, seemed positive, with demand from the U.S. stronger than ever before. In an exclusive interview with Rapaport Magazine, he noted, “The U.S. market looks good for diamonds and diamond jewelry. Markets other than the U.S. are a bit slow, but then the demand from the U.S. market is making up for the lack of demand elsewhere.”
   Commenting on the positive phase in the industry, Praveenshankar Pandya, chairman, Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), shared, “IIJS is an event that kick-starts actual sales for gems and jewelry in India. For the past two months, the overall mood in the industry was not encouraging. However, there has been a positive turnaround in the past month. We have had confirmed news of people being able to sell their goods. Exports have picked up as well.”
   Pandya feels that the month of September will be crucial for the industry if the demand is sustained. He adds, “If this phase continues, the next few months of 2016 will indeed be very good for the industry. To be honest, I see no reason for the spirit to be dampened, keeping in mind the series of shows we have —the Hong Kong show followed by the Bangkok show and then we have the Christmas season coming up. The industry is in for good times.”

IIJS Feedback
   Overall, sentiments at the show this year were much better than in 2015. Dinesh Lakhani, director, Kiran Gems Pvt. Ltd., noted, “For us at Kiran Gems, IIJS was good. There were inquiries and people were willing to buy. We saw demand for commercial goods –VS to SI clarities across star, melee and pointer goods. Diamond jewelry also did well and that eventually will have a positive impact on loose diamonds.”
   Although he did cite “good jewelry sales,” Mehul Choksi, chairman and managing director, Gitanjali Group, reported less overall business in diamonds. He attributed this to the heavy rainfall that caused fewer people to attend the show.
   Three Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) were signed during IIJS. One was with De Beers for the promotion of diamond jewelry in India. The others were with the Guangdong Gems and Jade Exchange (GDGJE) and the Guangzhou Diamond Exchange (GZDE), which are two of the biggest gems and jade trading gateways in southern Mainland China. The latter two MoUs are designed to establish cooperation and facilitate collaboration between the parties, on a nonexclusive basis, in areas of mutual interest and understanding in the diamond industry, promotional activities and trading.

GJSCI Initiative
   The Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI) is working to improve the skills sets of people in the gem and jewelry industry, especially those who have fewer opportunities to learn. Binit Bhatt, chief operating officer, GJSCI, said, “As the Indian industry today is competing with the best in the world, their requirement for trained and skilled personnel will increase. To bridge the gap, GJSCI is not only working toward creating a skilled workforce, but we have also recently launched India’s first job portal dedicated to the gem and jewelry industry at gjscijobs.com. One site feature, Digital JRSA (Jewellery Retail Sales Associate), an e-learning application, is aimed at improving skills at the retail level.

Jewelry Park
   In a positive development that would boost the manufacturing standards of gems and jewelry in India, GJEPC is working toward developing India’s first industry park that would enable small-scale jewelry industry members to manufacture plain gold and studded jewelry under one roof. The park is expected to be equipped with the latest technology and high-efficiency machines to improve the work environment and raise industry standards. GJEPC received support for the park from India’s Ministry of Commerce to pursue the idea in line with other industrial zones in India, such as those in the software, leather and textile sectors.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - September 2016. To subscribe click here.

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