Aug 12, 2019

The Show Goes On

The Indian gems and jewellery industry had been waiting with bated breath for the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) Premiere 2019, which started with a Preview Day on August 8, 2019 and concludes today, August 12, 2019. Now, they can sigh with something approaching relief as the show turned out to be better than the expectations of most – that was the feedback from exhibitors over the last few days.   

The reason for the apprehension regarding the show was the combination of a depressed market in the last quarter of 2018 and the first few quarters of this year; and the high gold prices in the recent weeks. 

Saiyam Mehra of Unique Chains Pvt Ltd. Mumbai opined that the show was good overall and there were “enough people” attending.  A wholesaler of gold jewellery, Mehra said that items with a 5% and below labour cost were moving well.

Raman Solanki of Sangam Jewels N Gold LLP felt the show was “better than expected”. Prior to the show, they had been worried as price of gold had gone up. But people were still placing orders he said, due to the coming season. However, he said that buyers were purchasing roughly 20%-25% less than capacity, so as to avoid holding too much inventory.

Mahaveer Bothra, White Fire, Chennai also said the IIJS show has been very good for them and for most jewellers who are dealing with gold and diamonds. “Demand for our range of products – mainly larger jewellery pieces for weddings and traditional occasions studded with higher quality diamonds – is strong and not affected much by price movements,” he said.

Further, he added that when buying this kind of jewellery investment is also an important consideration. He said that gold prices have risen significantly in the last few months and prices of higher quality diamonds continue to be strong, so consumers have confidence that they are good investments and demand has not been impacted.

In fact, the hike in gold import duty has brought some immediate benefits for jewellers who found their stocks suddenly gaining in value when duty was increased by 2.5%, he asserted.

A jeweller who did not wish to be named said that many jewellers had purchased gold for creating lines for the forthcoming season even before the hike in duty last month. So, they have an extra margin now when current gold rates have risen which enables them to give better deals for large orders and trusted clients. He also opined that expectations are that the prices may rise further; people put off purchases of jewellery only when expectations are that the price will drop.

Deepak Seth, of S.K. Seth Jewellers, Mumbai said the IIJS Show has been very good for them as always, and the gold jewellery section did brisk business from Day One. He was very satisfied with the response to their jewellery – the demand for well-designed Indian ethnic jewellery with some contemporary styling remains strong and is not significantly affected by gold price movements, he stated.

Himanshu Gandhi of Shairu Gems, Mumbai, said they were offering IGI certified goods (diamonds), which were more popular in the Indian market. The show had been good for the company he said as they had received several enquiries as well as had their regular clientele visiting. According to him, the 3-carat range, but of cheaper variety – which translates to lower colour and clarity – was the most popular.

Charu Sarawgi of Darpan, Jaipur which was displaying a vibrant range of jewellery said they had received good enquiries and were expecting these to convert to firm orders. “The current trend is for smaller, delicate items, in the Rs. 1 lakh range” she said. “Pastels are doing particularly well.”

Bhavesh Sakariya of Ratna Shilp, Mumbai, said the show had been good for his company, but less so than last year. He estimated that there was a 30%-35% drop in the volume of buying than in the previous year. “Before IIJS we were worried at the rise in gold prices and as to how it would impact business at the show. But it has not been so bad,” he said. Jewellery items in the range of 10 gms to 30 gms, and sets of 25 gms - 50/60 gms were doing the best, he felt.

Chetan Trivedi of Mahendra Bros, Mumbai said though the show was “pretty good”, some sections of buyers – notably from Kerala (which is facing floods as are other parts of the country) – were not to be seen. He felt that though there was a good crowd overall, the mood was a bit dampened and people were not in a “buying mood”.

However, the crowds inside and outside Zar, mainly known as manufacturers of gold bangles, belied the lack of enthusiasm felt here and there by other exhibitors. The company has recently ventured into manufacturing casted jewellery (earrings and rings) as well -- earlier it mainly produced machine cut bangles – and has found a good response at the show. According to Aman Takhtani it was the quality and assured purity of goods that made their product so popular. “Buying gold is the safest bet,” he said, discounting price issues. 

There were several large diamond manufacturing companies which have launched diamond jewellery lines and have been making rapid strides on that front. Rosy Blue is one such, and a few years back it launched Banas Jewels. Neeraj Zhaveri of the company said that the show had been “decent” for the company on both fronts --   diamonds and diamond jewellery, and they had some good enquiries.  

One thing that was amply evident is that participants at the IIJS have indeed come a long way. So whether is companies offering traditional and antique gold jewellery, those displaying diamond jewellery, or the more eclectic ones which include gemstones, enamel work etc as well; whether it is houses offering  couture and high end creations, or jewellers selling the medium  range, more affordable jewellery – all have developed a greater eye for, and sensitivity towards, design. And this was evident in many small and big ways in the jewellery on display at the IIJS – from simple shapes of rings and earrings to the manner in which the elements that go into creating large gold pieces, are thought out and conceived.  

One very striking collection was that of cocktail rings by Sara Jewels of Jaipur. The multitude of large statement rings featured polki diamonds, enamel work, gemstones all worked together in some very attractive and elegant designs. The enamel is in most cases of non-traditional colour, with a lot of use of soothing pastel hues. While the ring collection was launched in 2017, and a bracelet collection was launched in 2018, this year they have some earrings and are teaming ring and earrings.  Manas Kala tells us that the concept has been very popular and has done well at the show.

All in all, the IIJS seemed to have worked for those who work smart. This was clear as some stalls were constantly busy with visitors from across the country who could be observed earnestly examining collections and doing business.

Now, everyone is waiting for this interest to translate into concrete business, which could augur some hope for the coming months and the coming season.