SNEHAL CHOKSEY

Part­ner, Shobha Shringar, Mum­bai

Solitaire - - COVER STORY -

IIJS for us is a rit­ual. We have to ful­fil our in­ven­tory re­quire­ments that are very spe­cific. We like to meet new and old ven­dors who sup­ply com­po­nents from up­coun­try re­gions as th­ese are not avail­able in Mum­bai. Since we man­u­fac­ture and as­sem­ble jew­ellery in-house, keep­ing the fu­sion trend in mind, we buy pen­dants, neck­laces from south In­dia or Jaipur or north In­dia and give it our spin – we mix and match var­i­ous ele­ments that rep­re­sent an­cient crafts of our coun­try in a unique way. I buy any­thing that ap­peals to me and I don’t come to IIJS with any pre­con­ceived no­tions or re­quire­ments. I like to be sur­prised with new finds. was su­perb and that they re­ceived a great re­sponse for their new jadau col­lec­tion which fea­tures carved aqua­marines and rubel­lites, as well as for their English Vic­to­rian line. They met buy­ers from across In­dia par­tic­u­larly high-end bou­tiques from Mum­bai and Pune.

Gold rush

The show saw a huge re­vival in buy­ing sen­ti­ments and while the over­all de­mand tilted more to­wards light­weight for­mal and daily wear jew­ellery with clean, simple, bold and geo­met­ric de­sign ele­ments, many ex­hibitors re­ported strong sales in the bri­dal seg­ment as well.

Manikan­tan, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Emer­ald Jew­ellery, in­formed that the show gar­nered a good re­sponse across all cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing bri­dal and tem­ple col­lec­tions. Emer­ald’s new Nxt col­lec­tion fea­tured fun and flirty ele­ments to tar­get mil­len­ni­als. Trendy and youth­ful, the col­lec­tion has ele­ments that move with body move­ments. The trick has been achieved af­ter a lot of tech­ni­cal re­search, and starts from 14 grams. The light­weight nov­elty was a hit at the show.

Oro did not see a dull mo­ment at the show. With an ar­ray of new col­lec­tions, vis­i­tors gave it two thumbs up. Av­inash Pahuja, di­rec­tor, Oro, said that thanks to the in­tro­duc­tion of the GST, it had opened up many av­enues – buy­ers who were limited to buy­ing jew­ellery only from their re­gional of­fices to avoid in­cur­ring additional tax, were now freely pur­chas­ing in­ven­tory from Mum­bai.

Oro’s Iris col­lec­tion con­sisted of or­na­mented open-work cuffs that come with in­ter­change­able coloured leather bands to add a base colour. The cuff can be worn with or with­out the leather base bands. This col­lec­tion was very well ap­pre­ci­ated by buy­ers. En­lace, a col­lec­tion of ‘ half ban­gles’ topped with dec­o­ra­tive mo­tifs, started from as lit­tle as 20 grams. Ik­tara set with cu­bic zir­co­nia or ac­cented with di­a­mond cuts on gold fea­tured pin­holes and started from the 40 gram range. Oro’s plat­inum col­lec­tion for men and women was avail­able with gold fused with plat­inum, plain plat­inum, or plat­inum with gold and di­a­monds. Plat­inum ban­gles with rose gold al­loy were very pop­u­lar.

In­no­va­tive prod­ucts stood out at the show and at­tracted many buy­ers. Krown Jew­els had a range of ban­gles with elec­tro­formed mo­tifs that are rarely used in In­dia. The ban­gles were made at­trac­tive with rhodium pink, blue and bronze colours. A com­pany spokesper­son said, “At this show, we get more time with our vis­i­tors and this time, we had an un­prece­dented num­ber of new buy­ers in the first two days of the show it­self.”

“The vis­i­tor foot­fall was higher this year,” ex­claimed Vi­raj Thadesh­war, owner

of Shringar House of Man­gal­su­tra Pvt. Ltd. “Clients came with a pos­i­tive ap­proach and were de­ter­mined to scour for new lines. I would eas­ily say that this was one of the top three IIJS shows we have ever had.” Shringar spe­cialises in man­gal­su­tras and has a good range from 2 grams to 300 grams and this year, sales queries were su­perla­tive across the board.

First-time ex­hibitor, Palak Jewellers Pvt. Ltd. had a phe­nom­e­nal run at the show. The com­pany makes 22-karat and 18-karat jew­ellery in light­weight and bri­dal range. Shailesh Daga, di­rec­tor, said, “We re­ceived tremen­dous re­sponse from the north­ern region for our Kolkata and Ra­jkot jew­ellery.”

Shaikh A. Rehman of Gold Ar­tism pre­sented shee­sham wood and gold jew­ellery ac­cented with khakha mo­tis and Swarovski crys­tals. The stylish wood ele­ments were en­graved with gold as well. “This time, we re­ceived all new clients who liked our light­weight range be­tween 50 and 55 grams.”

In the in­ter­na­tional pavil­ion, Itan Jew­els – the brain­child of Haresh Pahuja in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Sudesh Pahuja and Arun Pahuja – lit­er­ally struck gold. Their prod­ucts were the right bal­ance be­tween del­i­cate crafts­man­ship and new age tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate ex­quis­ite jew­ellery that tran­scends fash­ion and trends. The unique gold ban­gles and rings span­ning across a va­ri­ety of or­nate styles and de­signs adorn the wrists of women through­out the world. Arun Pahuja in­formed that old and new clients were plac­ing or­ders for jew­ellery across their prod­uct lines. “Mar­kets have opened up and re­tail­ers are in the mood to buy jew­ellery. We have got buy­ers from across the coun­try. Be­cause of our new lo­ca­tion in Hall 2 at the show, our clients were mak­ing it a point to ask for us at the in­for­ma­tion booth to spe­cially meet us,” said Pahuja.

Mak­ing a de­signer piece of jew­ellery with just one gram of gold can be a tricky propo­si­tion, but not for RP Or­na­ments. One of In­dia’s largest whole­salers in light­weight, Ra­jkot style gold jew­ellery, the 57-year-old com­pany comes up with novel con­cepts each year at IIJS – a per­fect har­mony achieved with hand­craft­ing and tech­nol­ogy-driven man­u­fac­tur­ing. Pro­pri­etor Bhavik Shah re­vealed the thrust was on baalis (hoops) and pen­dant and ear­ring sets in 18- and 22-karat gold. “We in­cor­po­rated Indo-Ital­ian tech­niques to achieve unique tex­tures in our jew­ellery, and ma­jor­ity of our jew­ellery is priced un­der R1 lakh.” As for GST, Shah has his

Clients came with a pos­i­tive ap­proach and were de­ter­mined to scour for new lines. I would eas­ily say that this was one of the top three IIJS shows we have ever had.”

Women’s Jew­ellery As­so­ci­a­tion - In­dia hosted an event at the GIA Booth yes­ter­day to in­au­gu­rate a cof­fee-ta­ble book Around The Neck au­thored by renowned ed­i­tor Preeta Agar­wal. The book was launched by Nirupa Bhatt, GIA man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, In­dia and the Mid­dle East, Premku­mar Kothari, chair­man of GJSCI and Binit Bhatt, CEO, GJSCI in the pres­ence of WJA mem­bers, in­clud­ing de­sign­ers, en­trepreneurs, ed­u­ca­tion­ists and other in­dus­try dig­ni­taries. The book takes the reader through var­i­ous aspects that go into the de­sign and man­u­fac­tur­ing of neck­laces, com­pli­mented with spec­tac­u­lar il­lus­tra­tions from 55 Jew­ellery Book Launch at WJA – In­dia in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned jew­ellery brands such as Bayco, Bird­hic­hand Ghan­shyam­das Jewellers, Boucheron, Magerit, Mi­rari, Payal New York and many more. Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, Nirupa Bhatt noted, “No one can grow in iso­la­tion. WJA mem­bers should learn to col­lab­o­rate ef­fec­tively. We as women must make a mark in the in­dus­try. WJA of­fers a unique op­por­tu­nity to all the en­trepreneurs to syn­er­gise and cap­i­talise on each other's strengths.” Prais­ing the ef­forts of GJSCI for ini­ti­at­ing Vaanika, a jew­ellery mak­ing mod­ule that helps tribal women,

the pro­gramme to train women in­mates in Ti­har jail, and the Hupri project that col­lab­o­rates with lo­cal women to make sil­ver ghun­groos (bells), Bhatt said that it was im­por­tant to iden­tify our her­itage arts and crafts which, if not re­vived, may grad­u­ally die. Premku­mar Kothari added, “In­dia has so much to of­fer — we have a rich cultural her­itage that we must take for­ward.” The event was con­cluded by Navin Sadarangani, a re­tail jew­ellery con­sul­tant, who out­lined the mis­sion and new vi­sion of the In­dian chap­ter of Women’s Jew­ellery As­so­ci­a­tion. On the side­lines of the event, Toshiba Jari­wala, owner of Zun­daa, a cou­ture jew­ellery man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany, said that WJA - In­dia was an im­por­tant net­work­ing plat­form. “I like meet­ing peo­ple with dif­fer­ent skill sets and there is so much to learn from each other to take us all ahead.” Vibha Gala, a jew­ellery man­u­fac­turer, and a WJA mem­ber said that there were mul­ti­ple ben­e­fits of be­ing a mem­ber of this knowl­edge-shar­ing fo­rum. An­jalee Rach, owner and de­signer of Jhoomer, a di­a­mond jew­ellery brand, said that it was in­ter­est­ing to meet so many like minded peo­ple. There are op­por­tu­ni­ties ga­lore for growth through the WJA plat­form. I am happy that I am a part of this large group of tal­ented women.”

own acro­nym to boot, call­ing it ‘Good Sales Turnover’. “I wel­come GST with all my heart. We still do not know the ben­e­fits that we will reap from of­fi­cial trans­ac­tions, but I am sure in­ter­state jew­ellery sales will get a big boost. We have met a num­ber of new clients at the show and our or­ders are bet­ter than last year. The show has been fan­tas­tic for us.”

Gem-set jew­ellery

Many ex­hibitors were sur­prised by the vis­i­tor turnout and were of the opin­ion that this was by far one of the best shows in nearly 15 years. Busi­ness was brisk across all cat­e­gories – be it gold, loose gem­stones or stud­ded and cou­ture seg­ments. The mood was up­beat and above all, it has am­ply demon­strated the resilience and adap­tive na­ture of the in­dus­try – ex­hibitors have been sur­prised that buy­ers are will­ing to do busi­ness only through in­voices/billing just weeks af­ter the an­nounce­ment of GST.

Ankit Lodha of GIE Gold Cre­ations in­formed that he has met new clients from Ban­ga­lore, Mum­bai and Delhi. “Jew­ellery be­low R5 lakh is mov­ing fast, and earrings in the R2- 3 lakh price bracket are be­ing snapped up. We had come with a few state­ment lar­iat neck­laces at the show, and we have al­ready got mul­ti­ple or­ders for them. Tas­sels and jhumkis are ex­tremely pop­u­lar this time,” Lodha noted. “We fo­cus on gem-stud­ded jew­ellery and use a lot of par­tash work. Our de­signs are ex­tremely well-re­searched and take time to ex­e­cute.”

Av­inash Gupta of Mam­raj Mu­sad­di­lal Jewellers de­clared that the show was su­perb. “The in­dus­try has ab­sorbed the ef­fects of GST well and there is no down­side to the new tax law. In fact, the 1% in­ter­state duty has been done away with and as a re­sult re­tail­ers can buy jew­ellery from man­u­fac­tur­ers in any state. That is a big plus point.”

Ac­cord­ing to Spark Jew­els, 22-karat malas strung with pearls and faceted gold

beads and multi-row gold neck­laces were the fastest sell­ing items. Owner Dilip Jain said that they re­ceived many or­ders from north In­dia buy­ers at the show.

For Yash Vad­her of RK Sil­ver and Gold Jew­ellery, the show was spec­tac­u­lar. By day two the com­pany had sold out via or­ders all its stocks. “If th­ese or­ders ma­te­ri­alise, we will have no stock left.” The com­pany’s Ena col­lec­tion con­sisted of long neck­lace sets strung with laser-cut round or ge­o­met­ri­cally shaped balls in­ter­jected with pearls and laser en­grav­ing on the re­verse. The jew­els could be worn ei­ther way to give more value and va­ri­ety to the con­sumer. The Eva col­lec­tion of sin­gle line bracelets and laser-cut fine lacy kadas with­out di­a­mond ac­cents were pop­u­lar with buy­ers from north and south In­dia.

In the in­ter­na­tional pavil­ion, Euro Gems that man­u­fac­tures its jew­ellery in Italy was sat­is­fied with the foot­falls. “This was our sec­ond stint at IIJS. In­dia is a lu­cra­tive mar­ket and we would like to tap this mar­ket. We deal mainly in colour stone jew­ellery. Cur­rently, multi-line baguette bracelets are pop­u­lar. Il­lu­sion-set jew­ellery is also in de­mand as the jew­ellery pieces of­fer a big­ger look at af­ford­able rates for price­sen­si­tive con­sumers. We met buy­ers from north and south In­dia as well as bou­tiques from Mum­bai,” noted Bhavya Jain.

In the same pavil­ion, Stu­dio Reves, which has its man­u­fac­tur­ing unit in Mum­bai and a base in Toronto and San Fran­cisco, sells jew­ellery across the globe. “We tar­get a niche au­di­ence and our jew­ellery is prod­uct-cen­tric. We do clas­sic lines which have an In­dian touch. We use all the tech­nol­ogy and ma­chin­ery avail­able to cre­ate jew­ellery that is thought through for com­fort, for look, feel and build. It

is im­por­tant to plan the tran­si­tion of a jew­ellery piece from paper to bench. We have been fairly busy tend­ing to buy­ers although we will only be able to judge our suc­cess once the show is over,” in­formed Ni­raj Menda, di­rec­tor of the brand.

Loose stones

This year around, mar­ket sen­ti­ments in the loose di­a­mond sec­tion was up­beat. Loose di­a­mond com­pa­nies have come with in­no­va­tive tech­no­log­i­cal aids to help them pro­mote their brands.

Venus Jewel in­tro­duced the Venus Di­a­mond Viewer – a novel view­ing screen at IIJS that show­cased the di­a­mond’s en­tire jour­ney vir­tu­ally from rough to the fi­nal polished state. The 3D viewer has a user-friendly in­ter­face that al­lows the cus­tomer to check the map­ping of how the di­a­mond was cut from the rough, its carat weight, facets, colour and in­clu­sions. “Venus Jewel wants to cre­ate a space to al­low its buy­ers to have an ex­pe­ri­ence that even a con­sumer can ap­pre­ci­ate. Our de­sire is to al­low the in­dus­try to start think­ing dif­fer­ently and push the value chain to pro­vide a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence for the new gen­er­a­tion. It is im­por­tant that the buyer has a dif­fer­ent story to share with the con­sumer as in this case, the story of each di­a­mond be­fore it is set in a piece of jew­ellery,” noted Rajesh Shah, part­ner at Venus Jewel. “Our cus­tomers have in­stant ac­cess to Venus Jew­els’ 7,000-plus in­ven­tory at the touch of a screen or on our hand help ap­pli­ca­tion, which is avail­able to our part­ners any­time, any­where.”

Divine Soli­taire’s di­rec­tor Jig­nesh Metha was happy with the show. “We

don’t par­tic­i­pate in the show to hard sell our prod­uct. We fo­cus on mar­ket­ing more than sell­ing and we have been able to plan many co-pro­mo­tion of­fers with our clients at the show. We have part­nered with 130 se­lect jewellers in 86 cities. The de­mand for our soli­taires is ris­ing. To­day, con­sumers want the best and the bright­est di­a­mond; they want to have the con­fi­dence that their di­a­mond is a safe as­set. We have done re­search and found that 65% of peo­ple who do not own a di­a­mond have the will­ing­ness and abil­ity to buy a di­a­mond but are afraid be­cause of lack of trans­parency. Divine Soli­taires ad­dresses th­ese prob­lems through its strin­gent 123 pa­ram­e­ters and through its stan­dard­ised price in­dex.”

Shree Ram Kr­ishna Ex­ports (SRK) took po­ten­tial buy­ers on a vir­tual tour of their fac­tory in Su­rat through a 360-de­gree vir­tual re­al­ity viewer as well as an in­ter­ac­tive game which al­lows a per­son to sort, plan, cut and pol­ish di­a­monds dig­i­tally. Kalpesh Bhatiya, busi­ness mul­ti­plier - cer­ti­fied soli­taires, SRK, in­formed that they re­ceived a good re­sponse at IIJS this year. “We met many clients in­clud­ing new ones from Delhi and Kolkata as well as a few from Chen­nai. In In­dia, J-K colour di­a­monds are mov­ing,” noted Bhatiya.

Pad­ma­vati Ex­ports was ex­tremely happy with the re­sponse at IIJS. “We met in­ter­na­tional buy­ers from Europe, China and Hong Kong. Di­a­monds with I colour and lower with SI clar­ity are in de­mand as well as VS di­a­monds. There is de­mand for di­a­monds across In­dia but our clients are only pur­chas­ing as per their need and do not want to stock up on ex­tra in­ven­tory even if they are get­ting it at a cheaper price,” in­formed Prasham Shah.

Kaus­tubh Kuwa­dia, sales and mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive at Asian Star in­formed that foot­falls on the first day were good. Post the im­ple­men­ta­tion of GST, it has be­come one big mar­ket and prices are go­ing to be more com­pet­i­tive. Cer­ti­fied dossiers and VVSVS in stars and melees are in de­mand. We have re­ceived buy­ers from north In­dia as well as a few from Chen­nai and Ban­ga­lore.”

Man­ish Shah of Blue Star com­mented, “The mar­ket sen­ti­ments are pos­i­tive. There are more en­quiries for fancy shape di­a­monds this year. Also, we are pro­mot­ing and ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple about Ar­gyle Pink di­a­monds. Soon, we plan to pro­mote pink di­a­monds in a big way.”

In the coloured gem­stones cat­e­gory, emer­alds still rule, es­pe­cially those in un­usual shapes. Melon cuts, long beads, smaller emer­alds set in tas­sels, cush­ion cabs adorned the dis­play shelves at the show.

Anub­hav Kha­to­ria of Shri Kr­ishna Gems in­formed that small to medium size emer­alds are in de­mand. Clients are look­ing out for emer­alds to be set in fancy de­signer jew­ellery hence they are look­ing for cuts that are dif­fer­ent from the usual rounds and pears.

Pankaj Patni of Patni Gems, too, said that un­usual emer­alds – melon cuts, hexagon shaped emer­alds, etc – in all qual­i­ties are in de­mand. “This IIJS has been bet­ter than last year and we did get queries from new clients at the show,” said Patni.

Gold Ar­tism Va­su­pati Jewellers

Manoj Dwivedi (cen­tre) in­au­gu­rated the Ma­chin­ery sec­tion of IIJS at Ho­tel Lalit.

Jew­ellery Book Launch By WJA - In­dia

For the first time, the Tribal Co­op­er­a­tive Mar­ket­ing De­vel­op­ment Fed­er­a­tion of In­dia (TRIFED) has taken part in IIJS. TRIFED was founded in 1987 and is a na­tional-level apex or­gan­i­sa­tion of the In­dian Min­istry of Tribal Af­fairs. Head­quar­tered in New Delhi, TRIFED has 13 re­gional of­fices across the coun­try to pro­mote the arts of In­dian tribes. With 40 out­lets sell­ing artis­tic prod­ucts, in­clud­ing jew­ellery, TRIFED pro­vides a plat­form through which tribal prod­ucts can be mar­keted in re­tail di­rectly to con­sumers and in the process en­sures that ar­ti­sans get a fair price.

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