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‘Great things are in store for the jewellery industry, but consistency will be the key’

Retail Jeweller India

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‘Great things are in store for the jewellery industry, but consistency will be the key’

The pandemic is in its endgame now, but it has effectively done sensational things for the jewellery industry. Gone are the days when real estate and gadgets ruled people’s ‘priority buys’ list. Jewellery has edged into other markets’ shares and turned this year into a golden one. The sentiment echoed loud and clear when Samarth Prakash, owner of Alankaar jewellers in Meerut, Subhas Kamath, proprietor of Aabharan Jewellers in Karnataka and Anand Prakash from Agra’s Aabhushan Jewellers, spoke to Samit Bhatta, publisher of the Retail Jeweller India magazine. All three jewellers were upbeat about the upcoming IIJS Signature in Mumbai — the second jewellery show by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, India. Excerpts from the interview:

https://bit.ly/3ekUYKW

What are your expectations from the IIJS Signature 2021 that is happening in Mumbai?

Samarth Prakash: The IIJS Signature 2022 is a great opportunity. Any event which involves many people from the industry always benefits the industry. If we see it from the post-pandemic perspective, its going to be one of the few big shows to be allowed after that, so a lot of people will attend it. However, we at Alankar don’t always look for new vendors, but maintain a great relationship with our old hands. Most of our vendors have been associated with us for 15-20 years. We expect them to understand our priorities and needs, and come up with new designs in a bid to maintain the relationship even better.

Subhash Kamath: Since gold prices went up by 25-30% post-Covid, we need affordable, lightweight, trendy, and innovative jewellery. Affordability is high on our list, since we have mandatory hallmarking and the Rs 2 lakh limit that kicked in. Customers are also becoming more aware and demand transparency. We will also look for gemstone jewellery like kundan in different ranges.

Anand Prakash: We have two stores in Agra so the need for fresh designs is always high. I am excited about a Mumbai show again. It is the nerve centre of the trade. The industry has gone through a robust phase in the past six months. So, going into the show, I expect to meet suppliers and vendors geared up to meet the hunger for new creations, designs and goods. With the diamond market being as volatile as it has been over the past 2-3 months, I am looking for vendors who are ready for a challenge and can consistently customise designs and deliver on time. Our forte is bridal and we are very particular about timely delivery.

What categories are you looking at from manufacturers?

Samarth Prakash: We will look for new innovations in diamond, kundan and polki. In the last season, we saw a huge demand for new designs and categories in the kundan segment. There is a volatile diamond market, so the vendors must be on their toes. There will be a huge demand in all categories. The timeline will be a big challenge. Consistent players will do well.

Diamond prices have gone up in last 6 months, both rough and polished. Do you think this will have an impact on demand?

Subhash Kamath: Post-Covid, diamond jewellery has been doing great. We had better sales than last year. We may have to absorb some costs to keep the tempo going. I don’t think there will be big impact. The customer is ready to pay for quality designs.

We have seen a huge upsurge in jewellery business in the past 5-6 months and IIJS-Bangalore took it up a notch. Now, we have the first show of 2022, which is supposed to be a big year for the gem and jewellery industry. What do you think the customer preferences will be like?

Anand Prakash: The pro point to diamond prices increasing is that customers are aware of it, and so, they are making very quick purchase decisions now. On the bridal side, polki and kundan rule, but there is a strong undercurrent of diamond jewellery coming back. I am looking forward to diamond jewellery with coloured stones taking over the market.

Samarth Prakash: Consistency will be a winner for the industry in the coming days. Because of the volatility, things are going up and down, so jewellers providing timely service will emerge victorious.

What are your expectations for the jewellery industry in 2022?

Subhas Kamath: We are hoping for a good year. Gold jewellery is an asset. Despite the price hike, the condition of the economy is such that people want to invest in gold now. Everyone wants gold jewellery, so the future looks good.

Anand Prakash: I am very positive about the upcoming year. It’s a golden phase for the industry and I am hoping we don’t lose its steam because it will be an opportune two-three upcoming year. We are hoping to remain consistent to make the most of it.

Samarth Prakash: It will be a great year ahead. We are going into it with positivity and expectations. A new variant is on the rise, but people are investing in gold and diamonds again, so this has been a blessed time.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News

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