IIJS Registers Record-breaking Sales
The overwhelmingly positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors pegs IIJS 2017 as one of the best ever. Though gold jewellery sales shot through the roof, good sales were reported across the categories of studded diamond and gemstone jewellery as well a
The 34th edition of the GJEPC’s flagship trade show, the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) Premier, was held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre from July 27th to 31st 2017. Over 1,200 exhibitors from across the country converged in Mumbai to showcase their strength in gems and jewellery to the 35,000 trade visitors from India and abroad.
The country’s premier jewellery show has been expanding year-on-year but still commands a long waitlist thanks to the high rate of booth retention at the show. This year, the GJEPC enhanced the IIJS's capacity to include 160 new booths, primarily offering manufacturers who have been on the waiting list for many years, space at the show. The expansion took the total number of booths to 2,200. The show also expanded the booth space for its existing exhibitors.
Last year, the machinery section was relocated to The Lalit Hotel to accommodate more machinery exhibitors and to carve a dedicated space for machinery and technological updates. This year, too, the machinery section was housed at The Lalit Hotel from July 28th to 31st, and hosted more than 120 exhibitors from India, Italy, Turkey, USA, Germany, UK and UAE.
GJEPC pledges $2mn to DPA
The show was inaugurated by Manoj Dwivedi, joint secretary, department of commerce, ministry of commerce and industry; Alan Chirgwin, vice president, sales and marketing (copper and diamonds), Rio Tinto; and singer Anuradha Paudwal.
During the opening ceremony, the GJEPC signed an MoU with the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) and pledged $2 million towards the promotion of diamonds across the world, thus pushing the DPA’s total spend in 2017 to $59 million. DPA’s CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr had announced the night before at the Prelude to IIJS event that the DPA would roll out a diamond promotion plan for India in the month of October this year.
In his keynote address, GJEPC chairman Praveenshankar Pandya was happy to announce that the Council had been working closely with DPA to take diamond promotions to another level. Pandya said, “IIJS not only showcases the needs of the markets, but presents innovative solutions and methods to be one step ahead of the competition. It is the nerve centre for innovations and new developments in the gem and jewellery industry.”
Pandya added, “The Indian industry has the largest workforce for making handcrafted pieces in the gold jewellery segment. There is an urgent need to upgrade these workers at par with their diamond industry counterparts. The building of
This year, the GJEPC enhanced the IIJS's capacity to include 160 new booths, primarily offering manufacturers who have been on the waiting list for many years, space at the show. The expansion took the total number of booths to 2,200. The show also expanded the booth space for its existing exhibitors.”
modern, well-equipped factories and jewellery parks is a must! A plan to achieve this goal is also on the anvil.”
Welcoming Alan Chirgwin, Pandya noted, “Our country is thankful to Rio Tinto for providing large quantities of rough for the last three decades. And we, in turn, have been able to turn ‘near gems’ to gem-quality diamonds and have been providing large quantities of smalls to the world. This has created a huge labour force in India.”
He also urged the banks to extend loans to small and medium businesses in the industry to help the overall growth of this sector. In keeping with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pandya said, “By 2022, I would like India to be the top gold jewellery exporter in the world.”
While acknowledging that the industry had achieved great milestones, Dwivedi called on its leaders to aim for even greater heights. “The government is interested in sectors that generate employment, especially the SMEs, as this is in the best interest of the economy. The government is constantly engaged with the industry to make several reforms successful, including the recently introduced GST.
“It’s a big reform and the transitional phase poses several challenges, but this is essential as we need to grow with transparency, generating employment by taking the small partners along.”
The call to promote handmade jewellery, SMEs, and introduce an element of design and finish to make us internationally competitive are three goals that our PM wants us to collectively achieve, Dwivedi noted.
IIJS generated a positive vibe on the show floor with many exhibitors from the gold section having done 100% business with all stocks ordered! In general, feedback from exhibitors and visitors was extremely positive, Pandya noted, adding, “This time around the larger customers seem to have a big appetite and footfalls, too, are much higher than last year.
“Jewellers and manufacturers have faced several issues in the past twelve months such as demonetisation followed by GST, but it hasn’t dampened spirits. In fact, demonetisation has increased transparency and e-business via bank transfers and has reduced dependency on cash transactions. We are having teething problems with the introduction of GST, but they are not insurmountable. We only need to iron out the procedural aspects and I’m confident that they will be resolved in the next few months.”
Pandya informed about the formation of the International Diamond Monitoring Committee (IDMC), whose main goal will be to create a separate footprint for natural diamonds away from synthetic diamonds. The Committee, which will convene in Hong Kong during the September show, will comprise bodies such as the DPA, WFDB, AWDC, Signet, BDB, GJF and GJEPC among several others.
WFDB president Ernie Blom said, “I am delighted that we reached a number of decisions regarding the new panel’s aims. It will have comprehensive objectives, including the monitoring of trends and instances of non-disclosure of synthetics, threats to the polished diamond sector, and agreeing on the most effective detection devices for trade members.
“We stress that we do not have any objection to trading in synthetic stones, only that they are fully disclosed so that consumer confidence in our product is not damaged in any way. I am very pleased to support this initiative proposed by the GJEPC, which is a WFDB member, together with the BDB. These are the kind of steps that will enable consumers to have full confidence in diamond jewellery.”
Design was the focus and key sales driver at the premier show. Most manufacturers that Solitaire met in the Couture segment had something novel to offer in terms of design, techniques or innovation. With GST coming into force, and price points on precious metal having evened out across the country, design in jewellery seems to be the only differentiator that attracts buyers.
Jewel Ace, Jaipur, introduced a new brand titled Nazakat that consisted of polki jewellery enhanced with detailed chitrai work. Justin Varkey, founder and CEO of the company, informed, “We have been using the highest quality of polkis, original African longido stones and South Sea pearls with fine enamels to heighten the beauty of the pieces. A lot of geometric patterns have also been introduced in our thewa collection. In the diamond range, we presented a variety of coat pins and cufflinks for men, and 300 small designer jewellery items for women – from earrings that have flip-over posts to rings that can be worn in three different ways and more.”
N.M. Karel, New Delhi, showcased a fresh collection of bangles and lightweight necklaces between 60 and 80 grams. Owner D.D. Karel said, “Lightweight jewellery below R2 lakh moved well because of the PAN card restriction. Consumers today want to buy jewellery under this
With GST coming into force, and price points on precious metal having evened out across the country, design in jewellery seems to be the only differentiator that attracts buyers.”
Renowned jewellery designer and gemmologist Farah Khan Ali launched Independent Gemological Laboratories (IGL) education programmes for the trade as well as consumers during the IIJS. The designer wished IGL success with its educational programmes at the launch. IGL offers comprehensive graduate programmes in diamond grading, gemstone identification, jewellery design and retail selling skills. Tailor-made courses and retail sales development programmes are also available on demand.
Devika Gidwani, COO of IGL, Mumbai, noted, “Education, training and integrity are essential for a successful career in the gems and jewellery business and Independent’s Lab classes will focus on these very aspects and help people with an interest in gemmology to become masters of the trade – confident of their skills that will help them to go out and build successful careers with knowledge, skill and confidence. Hands-on training and one-onone instruction will help students gain knowledge and experience to be successful in our industry.”
price bracket, but also want good design elements and they prefer buying a variety of smaller jewellery pieces rather than investing in an expensive piece. Fusion jewellery, which we have been doing for many years, is becoming popular. On the other hand, enamelled jewellery is not commercially viable – at least for us.”
PGI India’s Evara bridal line veered towards an “out of the locker” and youthful jewellery collection with minimal elements with the thrust on wearability quotient. Two-tone bracelets and rings consisting of pink gold and platinum, matte finish pendants, and platinum ball chains that twinkled like diamonds were on display.
Clean lines and an aesthetic combination of geometric patterns and organic motifs were trending at the show. The millennials prefer unfussy and simple silhouettes, noted Manish Shah, owner of The Cappuccino Collection. Apart from the big three gemstones, Shah said, pink colour gemstones are in vogue. South Sea pearls and Japanese ball chains were teamed with diamond motifs to amplify the piece and offer value to price-sensitive consumers.
Keeping with the times, Intergem Exports, which is known for its natural fancy colour diamond jewellery, presented a dainty but affordable designer collection under R1 lakh. Sudeep Sethi, marketing head, informed that they also had a range of sapphire- and tsavorite-studded jewellery among others.
Rajesh Jain, director, Gurjar Gems, stated that their expertise lies in offering jewellery set with EF VVS diamonds. The company has a new range on display highlighting geometric and floral motifs. The south Indian haarams that are generally crafted in gold, were made of white gold and encrusted with diamonds and gemstone accents. The high-on-design waist belts, necklace sets and bracelets were also preferred by customers at Gurjar. The company’s brand Saanvi offers lightweight designer jewellery starting from R10,000 upwards. “Buyers were very happy to see such a wide range that caters across a wide price bandwidth,” Jain informed.
A spokesperson of Haritsons Designs Pvt. Ltd. (Symetree) said that the show
Anuradha Paudwal, Alan Chirgwin and Manoj Dwivedi inaugurate IIJS 2017 in the presence of GJEPC officials.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr and Russel Mehta at the announcement of GJEPC’s $2 million contribution to the DPA. Mansukh Kothari of Vasupati Jewellers along with Anuradha Paudwal at the Solitaire booth.
Farah Khan launches IGL Education Programme