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.
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.