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The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) was set up by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India (GoI) in 1966. It was one of several Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) launched by the Indian Government, to boost the country’s export thrust, when India’s post-Independence economy began making forays in the international markets. Since 1998, the GJEPC has been granted autonomous status.
The GJEPC is the apex body of the gems & jewellery industry and today it represents almost 6,000 exporters in the sector. With headquarters in Mumbai, the GJEPC has Regional Offices in New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Surat and Jaipur, all of which are major centres for the industry. It thus has a wide reach and is able to have a closer interaction with members to serve them in a direct and more meaningful manner.
Over the past decades, the GJEPC has emerged as one of the most active EPCs, and has continuously strived to both expand its reach and depth in its promotional activities as well as widen and increase services to its members.Promotional Activities
As its name suggests, the primary goal with which the GJEPC was set up was to promote the Indian g & j industry and its products.
Various promotional activities undertaken by the GJEPC, over the years, have significantly and positively impacted the increase of exports of gems and jewellery from India. Overall exports have risen from US$ 28 million in 1966 -67 when GJEPC was first set up to almost US$ 35 billion in 2013-2014.
The GJEPC’s promotional activities include organising a number of important trade shows held in the country like the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), Signature IIJS, India Gem & Jewellery Machinery Expo (IGJME). The IIJS is the largest gems & jewellery fair in the country and amongst the foremost internationally. It attracts visitors and buyers from all across the country and from several countries in the world. Signature IIJS, a smaller-scale version of the IIJS was set up as a boutique show and has gone on to develop its own niche. IGJME, a more recent addition to the bouquet of shows, filled in an important gap – a trade fair totally devoted to technology – thereby enabling companies of this large manufacturing centre to access the cutting edge developments in the field in a convenient manner.
On the international front, the Global Gem & Jewellery Fair (GGJF) was organised in Dubai in association with DMCC. The GJEPC also organises India Pavilions – participation of a number of companies under the GJEPC banner - at various leading international shows like JCK Las Vegas, Basel, Vicenzaoro, the Hong Kong Show and several others worldwide.
The GJEPC, on occasion, ties up with other government bodies for special initiatives. The India Gems & Jewellery Fair, for example, was organised in New Delhi in 2013 as a joint venture with the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO). The Council has tied up in the past with the Ministry of Tourism for jewellery promotions on international platforms, too.
The India International Jewellery Week is a jewellery fashion extravaganza highlighting the design capabilities of the jewellery industry, attracting both fashion enthusiasts and buyers from India and abroad.
Various region-specific Buyer-Seller Meets; delegations to important gems and jewellery centres in other parts of the world, are some of the other trade promotion activities undertaken by the Council.
The Mines to Market conferences both for the diamond industry as well as for the coloured gemstone industry have served as significant platforms of interaction between the main stakeholders in both areas.
All these are fora through which the abilities and capabilities of the India centre have been showcased effectively and prominently.
The Council produces a spectrum of published and digital material both as part of its various activities (mentioned above) as well as standalone publications. These include Solitaire, the magazine of GJEPC, various brochures and event-specific publications and websites for all its main activities, events and projects and some films about industry and the Council. The body also advertises its activities and highlights the industry in international media throughout the year.Government liaison and representation
As the singular apex body of the gems and jewellery export industry in India, the GJEPC is the voice of the industry, taking its issues to the government and seeking appropriate measures for resolving them.
It also makes representations to the GoI from time to time for policy intervention and to shape the EXIM policy of the country. It plays an advisory role when the Government calls upon it for information or advice on matters related to the gems and jewellery industry internationally.
The GJEPC also represents the industry to various other Administrative and other government bodies.
It has been mandated by the GoI as the nodal agency for the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), and plays a key role in maintaining the data and paperwork of the flow of all diamonds certified as “conflict-free” going in and out of the country.Fostering Industry Development
A crucial aspect of the GJEPC’s functioning relates to various measures undertaken to upgrade, upskill and generally improve the industry’s standards and products.
The Council has set up various institutes across the country, foremost among them the Indian Institute of Gems & Jewellery (IIGJ) imparting international quality courses for training artisans and designers for this industry.
The various gemmological institutes under its umbrella like the Gemmological Institute of India (GII), Gem Testing Laboratory, Jaipur and the Indian Gemmological Institute, New Delhi and Indian Diamond Institute in Surat, undertake research, training and certification activities.
The GJEPC interacts closely with the National Skill Development Council (NSDC), an initiative of the Government of India, to take the latter’s programme to the gems & jewellery industry. It has played an important role in setting up the Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI) recently.
Regular seminars and conferences organised by the Council impart knowledge about latest developments or issues in related fields. From time to time the Council has also undertaken campaigns and held seminars to encourage companies to follow the highest standards in business practices and ethics, thereby maintaining the best standards in the industry.
The India Gem & Jewellery Awards has over the years been a recognition of achievement and excellence of the leading companies within the industry and acted as a spur to improve performance to others. New categories like Woman Entrepreneur, Socially Responsible company introduced recently have kept the Awards categories relevant and up to date with the current environment.
In order to encourage artisans, craftsmen and designers to aspire for ever higher heights in innovation and design creativity, the Council has been holding an annual design competition which has today evolved into The Artisan Jewellery Design Awards.
The GJEPC itself has directly launched its own CSR activity – Jewellers for Hope -- with an annual Charity Event, which makes a donation to one particular Charity Organisation every year.
Taken together, through its various functions and activities, the GJEPC helps forge a fitting atmosphere to provide a boost for gems & jewellery exports: by creating an enabling environment through its interaction with the Government and other agencies and bodies; by creating awareness and branding of the Indian industry and its products in India and abroad; and by providing the necessary inputs for both the industry and its product to keep developing and improving.