Sep 11, 2019

US Buyers Say India-USA Jewellery BSM Provides Ideal Foundation for Long-term Relationships

A team of US buyers, including prominent retailers, wholesalers and distributors, as well as representatives of large and small chains, currently in India to attend the first-ever India-USA Jewellery Buyer-Seller Meet has said that the event has helped provide a strong basis for building long-term relationships between the two sides.

“The interaction with the Indian manufacturers has been very positive,” said Peter Luplow, Vice-President, Merchandise Manager at US jewellery chain Ben Bridge while speaking at a media interaction held at the venue on Day Two. “We have seen quite a few suppliers with products that we can possibly use in the US; and hope to shortlist at least three or four as possible long-term sources.”

Anjanette Sinesio of Gem-Water, a creator of designer jewellery, who also addressed the media, said, “This show has helped transform some of my misconceptions about Indian jewellery manufacturers. The quality of the designs and the finish is far superior to what I had imagined I would find.”

On a similar note, Trish Roberson of Roberson’s Fine Jewelry told the press meet, “The show has given me a lot of confidence – I can deal with the suppliers I have met here knowing that they are part of a large trade body.”

Most of the buyers found at least a couple of companies with whom they have had multiple interactions over the past two days and many of them will probably visit their manufacturing facilities as well, the visitors said.

GJEPCs US Coordinators, Nancy Robey and Holly Granosfsky also confirmed that there have been quite a few relationships established over the past couple of days that could potentially transform into long-term business ties. “Having brought the two sides together, it is now up to them to take this forward.”

They also said that size was not really an issue in business-matching, stating that in some cases, smaller retailers who need only a limited number of pieces had held good discussions with larger manufacturers. “If there is a willingness to do business, some common ground can be found that will be mutually beneficial to both sides.”

All three buyer representatives who addressed the media were of the opinion, that the show had been held at an opportune time since Chinese jewellery would now have an added 15% tariff due to the ongoing US-China trade disputes. “Indian manufacturers would now have the added benefit of a ‘price advantage’, a commercial edge that could be crucial when other things are equal,” they felt.

GJEPC Vice Chairman Colin Shah said that the first ever India USA Jewellery Buyer Seller had been a step in the right direction. “The last few days have been very positive, and opened out some new avenues for Indian manufacturers.”

Shah too said that the Council was keen to take advantage of the sudden opportunity presented by the increased tariff on Chinese jewellery. “We exported under US$ 2 billion of jewellery to the US last year, and hope to see a significant jump in those numbers this year.”

Roberson and Sinesio pointed out that certain product categories were underrepresented at the show. They said that some of the buyers would have also been happy to interact with manufacturers of 24k plain gold bangles and chains, or even suppliers of a range of precious and semi-precious gemstones.

The Council would gather feedback from participants and fine tune further initiatives for the US market while also continuing its efforts to develop new markets, Shah stated. “There will be more interaction with US buyers over the coming year, possibly taking the form of product category specific BSMs that will help in correct mapping of buyers and sellers. So we could look at say a separate Gemstone BSM, as well as separate ones for Silver Jewellery and Diamond Jewellery,” he said.

Pic caption: Trish Roberson, Anjanette Sinesia and Peter Luplow from the USA addressing the media at the India-USA Jewellery BSM in Mumbai