Jewellers Give ‘Water’ Lessons to Rural Clients as Business Falls
HEAT STROKE Shops plan to extend biz hours to 10 pm to help buyers
Kolkata: With Maharashtra reeling under drought and with very little demand for gold from rural India, jewellers are a worried lot.
They fear that the current market situation will affect gold and silver offtake during Akshaya Tritiya, mostly in rural India, which is a major consumer of both metals. India consumes 950-1000 tonnes of gold annually, and rural India accounts for 60% of this.
“Extreme heat wave has resulted in less footfalls in stores. In fact, from 12-4 in the afternoon, there’s hardly any activity at stores. We plan to extend business hours to 10 pm, depending on the store location. It is a tough time for the industry,” Sreedhar GV, chairman, All India Gem & Jewellery Trade Federation, told ET. Some jewellers from Maharashtra, are trying to connect with customers by doing some social activities. Saurabh Gadgil, MD of Punebased PN Gadgil Jewellers, said they are giving lessons on water conservation to people who reside close to their stores. Samir Sagar, director of Mumbai’s Manubhai Jewellers, said they have water kiosks in front of their stores to provide drinking water. “There’s liquidity crisis and the drought has dampened the mood further. We feel that light weight jewellery will move this Akshaya Tritiya, which falls on May 9,” said Gadgil, who is the vice-president of India Bullion & Jewellers Association.