Jew­ellery Sec­tor Has A Bright Fu­ture In In­dia: Yo­gesh Mu­dras

Yo­gesh Mu­dras, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, UBM In­dia, talks to Soli­taire about the im­por­tance of trade shows in fur­ther­ing the jew­ellery in­dus­try in In­dia.

Solitaire - - CONTENTS - Yo­gesh Mu­dras

The gems and jew­ellery sec­tor plays a sig­nif­i­cant role in the In­dian econ­omy. What is UBM’s con­tri­bu­tion to the growth of the jew­ellery sec­tor? In­dia is one of the largest ex­porters in the gems and jew­ellery cat­e­gory, which is con­sid­ered to be a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to the econ­omy and to­tal for­eign re­serves of the coun­try. The sec­tor con­trib­utes around 7% to the coun­try’s GDP and 15% to In­dia’s to­tal mer­chan­dise ex­ports, and is one of the fastest grow­ing sec­tors. The in­dus­try is ex­tremely labour­in­ten­sive, and there­fore, pro­vides em­ploy­ment to over 4.64 mil­lion work­ers in the or­gan­ised as well as un­or­gan­ised sec­tors. The in­dus­try is ex­tremely frag­mented, with lo­cal play­ers con­sist­ing of about 80% of the to­tal sec­tor in In­dia who lack cap­i­tal sup­port and tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions to as­sist in pro­cesses and make them cost-ef­fec­tive.

As the lead­ing ex­hi­bi­tions or­gan­iser in In­dia, it is our re­spon­si­bil­ity to con­trib­ute our bit to­wards this sec­tor and the econ­omy of the coun­try. Over the years, we’ve cre­ated a plat­form in ev­ery re­gion of In­dia – north, east, south and now west – for in­dus­try play­ers such as prime jewellers, im­port & ex­port mer­chants, and key in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tions to con­nect and net­work, while show­cas­ing the lat­est trends and ma­chin­ery to boost the morale of a sec­tor that has seen a fair share of volatil­ity in re­cent times. UBM In­dia de­rives its un­matched ex­per­tise from its global jew­ellery port­fo­lio and has cus­tomised it to match the needs of mul­ti­ple cities such as Delhi, Hy­der­abad, Kolkata, Chen­nai and Mum­bai. What is UBM’s per­spec­tive on pro­mot­ing GI tags on jew­ellery to fetch a pre­mium? West Ben­gal and the south­ern re­gions of In­dia are known for their in­tri­cate crafts­man­ship and jew­ellery pieces in­clud­ing tem­ple jew­ellery, vanki or­na­ments, odd­iyanam, chur, chand­balis and polki sets among oth­ers and a sig­nif­i­cant amount of gem­stones too which are a no­tice­able con­trib­u­tor to­wards In­dia’s recorded gem and jew­ellery mar­ket value of $60 bil­lion in 2017. There is a craze for these pieces among for­eign buy­ers and not only does adding GI tags to them add a pre­mium, but it also fends off copied de­signs. In­dia has a rich cul­ture and his­tory, with ev­ery piece of jew­ellery con­nect­ing back to its roots. With the in­tro­duc­tion of GI tags on these prod­ucts, we can pro­tect the ori­gin and the skilled ar­ti­sans of the state. De­spite chal­lenges, are gold and jew­ellery the best in­vest­ment op­tions? Gold is still con­sid­ered as a pre­serve of wealth and value, es­pe­cially in un­sta­ble times as those be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced in the In­dian stock mar­kets by in­vestors to­day. Gold has his­tor­i­cally been con­sid­ered as the best hedge against in­fla­tion. In­di­ans have been strong be­liev­ers in the in­vest­ment of gold and jew­ellery through­out his­tory due to aus­pi­cious fes­ti­vals like Ak­shaya Tri­tiya, Dhanteras, Dussehra and many more.

Be­ing a com­mod­ity, the de­mand for gold in In­dia rose to 338.7 tonnes be­tween Jan­uary and June 2018. Based on its po­ten­tial for growth and value ad­di­tion, the Govern­ment of In­dia even de­clared the gems and jew­ellery sec­tor as a fo­cus area for ex­port pro­mo­tions. These are in­di­ca­tors that this sec­tor has a bright fu­ture in In­dia, and is a vi­able op­tion for in­vest­ment.

How many jew­ellery shows does UBM hold in a year? Which was the first ever ex­hi­bi­tion held? Could you tell us the growth tra­jec­tory?

UBM or­gan­ises flag­ship and lead­ing jew­ellery fairs in In­dia, which of­fer the best op­por­tu­ni­ties for jew­ellery and gem sup­pli­ers and cus­tomers to trade. Our first jew­ellery fair in In­dia was Hy­der­abad Jew­ellery Pearl & Gem Fair way back in the year 2008. The jew­ellery port­fo­lio of UBM In­dia now in­cludes six shows an­nu­ally with the in­tro­duc­tion of the bian­nual Chen­nai Jew­ellery & Gem Fair and Mum­bai Jew­ellery & Gem Fair; at­tract­ing more than 1,20,000 trade buy­ers and 11,000plus ex­hibitors from around the globe. Our key shows in­clude Kolkata Jew­ellery & Gem Fair; Hy­der­abad Jew­ellery, Pearl & Gem Fair; Delhi Jew­ellery & Gem Fair; Chen­nai Jew­ellery & Gem Fair (in March & Oc­to­ber); and Mum­bai Jew­ellery & Gem Fair.

In the com­ing years, growth in the gems and jew­ellery sec­tor will be largely con­trib­uted by the de­vel­op­ment of re­tail­ers and brands. Our B2B shows en­able them to con­nect di­rectly, which ul­ti­mately re­sults in the growth of the jew­ellery in­dus­try. Just to give an ex­am­ple, the Hy­der­abad Jew­ellery Pearl and Gem Fair (HJF) 2018 had over 135 dis­trict as­so­ci­a­tions from Andhra Pradesh, Te­lan­gana, Kar­nataka and Tamil Nadu. Fairs such as these are a gate­way to the In­dian jew­ellery mar­ket while sup­port­ing the back­bone of the In­dian econ­omy – the gems and jew­ellery in­dus­try.

Do you feel that B2B shows are the best way to pro­mote the sec­tor?

In­dia is one of the world’s largest and fastest grow­ing gem and jew­ellery mar­kets and is home to over 3,00,000 play­ers with ma­jor­ity be­ing the small play­ers. The $60 bil­lion mar­ket as of 2017 is ex­pected to reach $100 bil­lion by 2025. The Govern­ment of In­dia is also plan­ning to bring a com­pre­hen­sive gold pol­icy to pro­mote the in­dus­try and aims to cre­ate more jobs in the gold sec­tor.

The ex­hi­bi­tion in­dus­try plays a crit­i­cal and strong part in the growth of any sec­tor or in­dus­try. With more than 700 shows or­gan­ised in In­dia, we pro­vide a great plat­form for com­pa­nies to en­gage and meet po­ten­tial cus­tomers face-to-face.

UBM has a strong pres­ence in the jew­ellery space na­tion­ally as well as glob­ally. The re­cent merger with In­forma in June 2018 has led to a mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of $10 bil­lion and a team of 11,000 mem­bers. This will help us pro­pel the jew­ellery sec­tor fur­ther through our un­par­al­leled rep­u­ta­tion as the prime trad­ing plat­forms for fine jew­ellery, raw ma­te­ri­als, fash­ion jew­ellery and ac­ces­sories, while in­vest­ing in tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments to cre­ate a bet­ter plat­form for knowl­edge shar­ing for at­ten­dees.

While the chal­lenge lies in cre­at­ing cost-ef­fec­tive pro­cesses in this in­dus­try, B2B ex­hi­bi­tions like ours can con­nect thought lead­ers through in­sight­ful sem­i­nars to a large au­di­ence who are al­ways look­ing for im­prove­ments. Not only do we host an ex­hi­bi­tion, but we also in­cor­po­rate el­e­ments to re­ward the ex­cel­lence and ef­forts of in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions in the re­tail jew­ellery busi­ness through our jew­ellery awards, and due dili­gence ini­tia­tives like In­dia’s Most Pre­ferred, that in­spire oth­ers to do bet­ter. Our shows also in­clude hosted buy­ers, buyer-seller meets, net­work­ing nights, ar­ti­san zone, spe­cial pavil­ions, de­signer con­claves, and live demon­stra­tions of ma­chin­ery among other fea­tures to cre­ate an un­matched plat­form for sourc­ing, con­duct­ing busi­ness and dis­cussing mar­ket trends. We have elab­o­rate ma­chin­ery pavil­ions dis­play­ing lead­ing tech­nol­ogy, ma­chin­ery in jew­ellery mak­ing and al­lied ser­vices to show­case in­no­va­tive prod­ucts that re­de­fine the sec­tor in In­dia.

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