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COLIN SHAH – CHAIRMAN, GEM & JEWELLERY EXPORT PROMOTION COUNCIL WINS THE EXCEPTIONAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE GEM & JEWELLERY INDUSTRY

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Colin Shah took over the chairmanship of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic. He was elevated from the position of vice chairman.

Responding nimbly to the changed economic and social scenario, the GJEPC under Mr Shah’s leadership created two first-of-a-kind trade shows. IIJS Virtual, in September 2020, and IIJS Virtual 2, in 2021, helped fill the gap left by the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS Signature), an in-person event that could not be held. These shows have revolutionised B2B buying and selling of jewellery in India and expanded the scope of a process long subject to touch-and-feel.

Mr Shah followed this up with an array of overseas B2B meets, of which Indian Global Connect 2020 and IIJS Dubai in 2021 are two glittering examples. Relocating IIJS Premiere to Bengaluru in 2021 was another historic decision, one that has given the trade a fine locational alternative to NESCO, Mumbai. Responding to another challenge, last year Mr Shah organised virtual meets and rallied for the suspension of tariffs on jewellery shipped from India for up to 180 days by the United States Trade Representative His efforts eased Indian jewellery exports. His support for a voluntary ban on rough imports has helped stabilise polished gemstone prices.

Mr Shah took a lead role in ensuring pan-India mandatory gold hallmarking and forged a crucial partnership with the World Gold Council (WGC) to market gold jewellery to millennial consumers. In 2020 he instituted the first Artisan Awards with the objective of motivating students and designers to reach their true potential and gain recognition in the industry.

As a progressive leader, Mr Shah supported the Government of India through two momentous changes in the 2021–22 Union Budget: a reduction in the import duties on gold and silver from 12.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent, and on cut and polished diamonds from 7 per cent to 5 per cent. Easing diamond prices has materially strengthened the diamond sector in India.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India

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