IIJS Proves Its Might
Generates I8,000 crore order book
The 35th edition of the India international Jewellery Show ( IIJS), organised by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), concluded with a note of positivity and cheer for the entire trade. The fair saw many firsts – a special preview day was added to the regular five- day show, a new 10,500 sq m Hall 7A was introduced, and a record 35,000 visitors pre- registered for the event.
The show floor was buzzing with activity across all sections on all six days of IIJS Premiere, indicating that the buying season has started in earnest for the year. The 1,300 exhibitors at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, The Lalit and The Leela were happy to entertain a total of over 49,000 unique visitors, of which more than 1,000 were from overseas.
The 35th edition of IIJS was inaugurated by guest of honour Gaetano Cavalieri, president of CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, along with GJEPC chairman Pramod Agrawal, GJEPC vice chairman Colin Shah, and GJEPC convener of national exhibitions, Shailesh Sangani.
Expectations were low before the show started, but the buying spree has boosted trade sentiments tremendously. Colin Shah said, “This year, the total volume of business generated in this event has grown by 20% with an order book of R8,000 crore. This has come at a time when the industry needed it the most due to prevailing headwinds that the trade has seen over the past 12 months.”
Union minister of commerce & industry and civil aviation, Suresh Prabhu, who couldn’t attend the inauguration as he had to fulfil a parliamentary obligation, told the gathering in a taped video address that the commerce ministry has formed an ad hoc committee of 12 members from the gem and jewellery industry who will form the structure for the Gold Council in India. Prabhu said, “In India, one finds a jeweller in every village who
handcrafts customised jewellery for his clients. This combination of customisation and handmade jewellery has a huge potential in the global market. And we are promoting these various skills by setting up training institutes and Common Facility Centres (CFCs).”
In his keynote address, Agrawal noted that India was aiming to achieve an export target of $70 billion in a few years’ time and the industry is gearing up to get to that number. Agrawal added, “We welcome the announcement and express our thanks to the honourable minister for taking the great initiative of reforming this industry to take it forward. We will continue such efforts and create infrastructure to train people in jewellery manufacturing. With IIJS this year we have yet again been able to showcase to the world our ability and preparedness for continuing to be the number one gem and jewellery sourcing destination in the world.”
Gaetano Cavalieri pledged CIBJO’s support for India’s gem and jewellery industry in his speech at the opening ceremony. Addressing the assembled gathering, Cavalieri congratulated the GJEPC for its ongoing work in the development and promotion of the Indian gem and jewellery sectors. Cavalieri said, “India has been a critically important player in our industry for decades already, but initially was regarded predominantly as a production centre. Today, it is one of a handful of countries, together with the US and China, whose presence is felt in all stages of the chain of distribution, both driving and satisfying demand.”
India has been a critically important player in our industry for decades already, but initially was regarded predominantly as a production centre. Today, it is one of a handful of countries, together with the US and China, whose presence is felt in all stages of the chain of distribution.
Cavalieri added, “But not only is India important to our industry, our industry is critical to India, contributing about 7% of its GDP, about 16% of its total merchandise exports, and employing more than 4.64 million workers. With almost 18% of the world’s population, India is a country that conclusively demonstrates that, while precious gemstones and jewellery may be non-essential luxury items, the jewellery and gemstone industry is an indispensable part of the global economy.”
Shailesh Sangani rounded off the inauguration ceremony with a vote of thanks, and noted that the IIJS has become one of the busiest shows in the world and one of the largest gem and jewellery trade fairs in Asia. “We will continue to invest in technology, staff and organisation of the event. With the expansion of the show by 10,500 sq m, the long waiting list has come down to 100 companies,” he said.
New Ideas, New Edge
IIJS flaunted the country’s design strengths and catered to varied tastes across the domestic and global markets. The ever observant manufacturers acknowledged the changing economic scenario and cultural trends, and presented collections that matched the aesthetics of the modern woman.
Walking across the spacious aisles and browsing through the decked up booths, one got a
quick overview of what’s new at the show. In general, exhibitors showcased an interesting interplay of textures in nearly all diamondset gold jewellery. Pink or rose gold jewellery were trending heavily, with a smattering of diamonds and textural play. Surat-based Sphere, a debutant at IIJS, displayed some dainty and youthful rose gold trinkets with a silken satin finish and a garnishing of VVS, FG colour diamonds.
Diamond jewellery in prêt wear saw a sweep of floral and geometric motifs in a multitude of rings, earrings and slim bracelets. Lightweight jewellery under R2 lakh was highly popular, so was jewellery set with fancy-cut diamonds complemented with coloured gemstones.
Kundan-meena bridal jewellery is going through a renaissance moment. Pastel shades
Diamond jewellery in prêt wear saw a sweep of floral and geometric motifs in a multitude of rings, earrings and slim bracelets. Lightweight jewellery under K2 lakh was highly popular, so was jewellery set with fancy-cut diamonds complemented with coloured gemstones.
including sea green, aquamarine, powdery blue and pink, cobalt, and others are dominating motifs in this segment. Large, statement ear studs – embellished with pearls and gemstones, matha pattis (head ornaments) in heavy and light formats are in. Layered necklaces are trending, too.
Sanskriti Jewels, Mumbai had a huge collection of pink coloured jewels, including pink pearls, pink coral, tourmalines, pink opal and more. “Pastel shades are a hit with customers today,” said co-owner Karan Garodia.
Jaipur Jewels, Jaipur presented a range of art deco earrings and brooch-cum-pendants called Gradient that featured ombré baguette-cut emeralds, amethysts, rubies, green and pink tourmalines, peridots and citrine set in gold. “It took us six years to get the perfect gradient shades of each gemstone and then calibre cut them to get the desired tapered baguette shape,” informed Vaibhav Dhadda, creative head and co-owner of the company.
In gold, fusion formats in a mix of old and new motifs were back. Mumbai-based ace designer Anand Shah presented chandelier earrings weighing from 22g to 50g peppered with emerald and tourmaline briolettes. His bridal collection with long necklaces featured pearl rows, uncut diamonds, and Russian emeralds.
Vasupati Jewellers, Mumbai displayed a range of bridal sets from kundan-meenakari work to grand necklaces that featured gemstones encased with filigreed trimmings.
Abdul Rehman Shaikh of Gold Artism, a Mumbai-based gold jewellery brand, unveiled a lightweight collection below
R2 lakh, the highlight being kundan-set polkis, diamonds patterned with pressure and invisible settings.
Buyers Vote For Gold
jewellery, helped in part by lower domestic prices, saw a resurgence in demand at IIJS. Deepak Choksi, owner of CVM Exports, Junagadh, remarked that the mood had revived. “We have seen great demand from across India for our handcrafted jewellery set with polkis, from rings retailing upwards of R8,000 to large festooned necklaces and bibs that are arranged with graduated polkis.”
Vijay Jain of VK Jewels, Mumbai was delighted at being allotted a booth at IIJS for the first time. His wide range of jewellery from kundan-meena to handmade diamond jewellery was appreciated by tier 2 and tier 3 city retailers from southern India. Naresh Parmar of M.R. Gold Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai stated that lightweight mangalsutras weighing between 7g and 12g were favoured by most buyers.
Ashwin Shah, director, Ansaa, Mumbai said that visitors had begun buying for the upcoming festive and wedding seasons. Although his acrylic and gold diamond necklaces were appreciated by many, he confessed that buyers settled for lightweight, handmade jewellery sets weighing between 80g and 200g.
Rakesh Sanghvi, director, Union Chains, Mumbai showcased innovative (patent pending) gold fabric woven with pearls and Swarovski crystals. “Due to the hike in import duties, the local manufacturing industry has got a tremendous push. Our indigenous manufacturing of world-class jewellery is a shining example of ‘Make in India’,” Sanghvi added. He noted that following GST, demonetisation, and digitalisation, conducting business has become easier and more transparent.
Tejas Shah of RR Jewellers, Rajkot, said this IIJS has received a better response than last year and his lightweight jewellery made with Italian technical know-how was being supplied to markets across India. Even his typically traditional Rajkot jewellery that was impacted by the three-month slump, was now doing well.
Mehul Solanki of Solanki Jewellers, Mumbai, noted that coming to IIJS felt as if business was normalising. His antique jewellery weighing between 50g and 350g was picking up. Pramod Mehta, partner, Shilpi Jewellers, Mumbai, was happy with the new location in Hall 7A and was all praise for the preview day as it gave him a chance to interact with clients at a leisurely pace. He said, “IIJS 2018 is a hit! Every single 22-karat product as well as our platinum jewellery has received a superb response.” K. Srinivasan, managing director, Emerald Jewel Industry India Ltd., who had a range of lightweight collections, said they sold especially well in Mumbai, Delhi and the southern region.
Jainish Zaveri, partner of brand Abhishek Zaveri, Ahmedabad, noted that right from the preview day, they saw a good number of queries. “Buyers across the nation are placing orders for antique bridal jewellery, which is our speciality.”
Anand Kulthia, owner of Kulthiaa Jewel Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata, who has been specialising in diamond jewellery, unveiled a bridal gold collection at the
show. Kulthia noted that their handmade gold collection received a tremendous response from buyers. “We have been participating in IIJS for seven years and we have grown exponentially over this period.” Vijay Chordia, partner, Valentine Jewellery, Jaipur, exclaimed, “It’s a positive show and retailers have come with a positive mindset. The show will make the market upbeat across the country.” Valentine Jewellery’s new kundan-meena line and the diamond jewellery collection under R3 lakh received a lot of buyer interest.
For Kama Schachter, while the first quarter was slow, retail has picked up in the last 20 days and the appetite to stock up is palpable, informed Ami Gokani, vice president-sales. “Platinum is a growing category and our platinum collection bearing accents of gold are doing well, especially in the South.”
Krown Jewels, Mumbai, introduced 22-karat electro-formed hollow bangles, necklaces, and rings in various shades of gold including bronze, yellow, rose, and more. Owner Pankaj Kodnani sees a big future in jewellery with an Italian finish as it satisfies Indian sensibilities of wearing chunky pieces while keeping the gold weight down. “The buying quantum has come down because the youth no longer seem interested in investing in jewellery. However, the show has been exceptionally good for us,” he said.
Brothers Jaydeep and Yash Vadher of R.K. Silver & Gold, Rajkot, informed that they were left with less than 5kg of stock by day four. Their lightweight jewellery collections were a great draw at the show. Made with Italian technology, the company offered collections in 22-karat gold with Indian concepts.
Nina Ganatra, partner of Hemraj Jewellery Craft, Cuttack, informed that buyers from Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Bangalore and two large corporate houses of India booked orders for their handmade silver components such as pendants, bell motifs, etc. in tarakashi work.
The improved ambience, brisk sales, unprecedented footfalls at IIJS has yet again revived the market sentiment in India. Let the good times roll!
Due to the hike in import duties, the local manufacturing industry has got a tremendous push. Our indigenous manufacturing of world-class jewellery is a shining example of ‘Make in India’.
(Facing page) Gaetano Cavalieri at the ribboncutting ceremony, joined by Sanjay Kala, Ashok Gajera, Colin Shah, Pramod Agrawal, Shailesh Sangani and Ashok Seth. (Below) A view of the new hall 7A.
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