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Budget for wedding jewellery likely to increase as outlay for other expenses goes down

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by Suneeta Kaul

The Big Fat Indian Wedding does not exist only in movies – it is a reality that spans metros, smaller cities, towns, and even villages. According to a KPMG report released in 2017, the Indian wedding industry is estimated to be around $40-$50 billion in size. The sheer size and scale of a typical Indian wedding is mind-boggling, with no expense spared for factors such as venue, decoration, catering, entertainment, and of course, the Big One, namely, jewellery. Such is the robustness of the Indian wedding that it is often considered to be a recession-proof industry.

Weddings in COVID-19 times

But that was before the COVID-19 disaster struck the world. The pandemic has changed all facets of existence so comprehensively that nothing seems to be the same, not even the famed Indian wedding. With concepts like stay-at-home, social distancing, masks and sanitizers becoming a ubiquitous part of our life now, the mega gatherings that used to be an intrinsic part of our weddings have had to be drastically cut in size.

The scary part is that there is still no end in sight, and this scenario is very likely to persist for quite a while, even if a vaccine is found. This can have far-reaching implications for the wedding industry. The scale and grandeur will have to be mandatorily cut down as authorities insist on smaller gatherings for weddings and public functions.

Bad as the situation is, there might be a flip side to it. With invite lists getting smaller and smaller, budget allocations for associated wedding expenses, such as catering, venue, decor and entertainment, are bound to come down. And the big gainer is all set to be the jewellery sector, as that’s where the funds are likely to be diverted.

According to Kailash Kabra, Director, KK Jewels, Ahmedabad gold has given the best and craziest returns in this time, a rise of 40% in the gold price has driven the faith of the jewellery buyer to buy more gold now and may convert them into jewellery as per their need.

 

“I always believe that anyone who comes to buy bridal jewellery never wants many small pieces, they want 1 big legacy piece and feel proud owing that piece, doesn’t matter if it’s not used many times, the cost of a Rolls Royce is 10 crore in that same amount one can even buy 10 Merc S Class, but the pleasure of owning and getting out of a Rolls Royce is unmatchable, last week we got an order for a 50 lacs plus diamond necklace set,” Kailash says.

Agrees Rajendra  Agarwal, Owner, Sona Chandi Jewellers, Kanpur, “After reopening of the stores, we have seen that the weddings which happened during the lockdown became a small affair due to government restrictions. So, I am hoping that the jewellery budget during weddings will increase by at least 30%-40% in the future. The gold rates are also increasing day by day, so I am positive that people will turn to gold from the investment angle as well. However, if the present situation stretches for along time, things will become difficult.”

Unfounded apprehensions

A couple of months ago, when the true extent of the pandemic was just unfolding, the jewellery sector looked like it was going to be hit so badly that a recovery in the near future would be impossible. While the industry has, doubtless, suffered a set-back, there is also a silver lining in that the budget for jewellery is actually increasing.

Explains Ramesh Narang, Director, Hazoorilal Legacy, New Delhi, “A few months ago, there were apprehensions that the jewellery budget of the customers would go down by almost 50%, but that didn’t happen. And in most cases, I have seen my customers actually expanding their budget. Due to the coronavirus, many industries have suffered, and people related to those industries may face some financial issues, but overall, not everybody has suffered losses, and many people have gained out of the present situation.”

Prerna Khurana, Director, Khurana Jewellery House, Amritsar, agrees with this observation. “The increase in gold rates has been good for us, as it is the only commodity whose value rose due to the coronavirus crisis. I am hopeful that people will invest more in jewellery than before. With weddings becoming more of a personal affair, people would like to spend more on jewellery because it is a safe investment option. So, instead of giving four jewellery sets to the bride, the family might give five sets.”

Adeesh Nahar, Owner, Rosentiques Fine Jewellery feels that the money spent during the weddings should go into jewellery and once the market settles down customers would like to buy gold jewellery as well as studded  diamond and polki jewellery.

“People haven’t spent for the last 6 months due to the lockdown so, I am assuming that once normalcy returns, customers will come out and buy jewellery. As far as diamond and polki jewellery is concerned, demand will come for more spreader-look jewellery. The global pandemic has hit people very hard and they have realised that their hard-earned money should go into something which has value,” Adeesh says.

In the end, coronavirus or no coronavirus, weddings will continue to take place in the country, and jewellery will continue to be an intrinsic part of weddings. But contrary to expectations and apprehensions, the jewellery industry might actually benefit from the pandemic.

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

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