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Debut edition of IIJS Tritiya records Rs 15-17,000 crore in sales

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Leading manufacturers and retailers say the show perhaps needs a different timing and may benefit by being positioned as a South-specific show

The inaugural edition of the IIJS Tritiya show,organized by the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), turned out to be a grand exhibition with 1,500 booths, 800 exhibitors and around 15,000 visitors from India and overseas. While fluctuating gold prices dampened the buying sentiment to some degree, show exhibitors sold a sizeable amount of gold and final volume of business stood at Rs 15-17,000 crore. Most retailers and manufacturers outside the South could strike new partnerships with South India-based companies.

MIXED RESPONSES TO THE SHOW

The first edition of IIJS Tritiya evoked mixed responses from leading manufacturers and retailers. Manish Jain, Proprietor of Royal Chains, Mumbai, qualified IIJS Tritiya as a “great show” that exceeded his expectations. “We got a great response there, and retailers’ ordered a substantial volume of merchandise,” he said.

Even Khushboo Ranawat, Director of Swarnshilp Chains and Jewellers,for whom IIJS Tritiya turned out to be “average” with regard to footfalls, claims to have met new buyers from South India. “Though we added a few new customers from the South, we had expected to meet more,” said Ranawat. On his part, Vikas Mehta, Director and CEO Achal Jewels, termed the show “very niche”, with low participation from outside the southern region. “We took extra inventory to IIJS Tritiya and deputed a large team for the show, thinking there would be footfalls from all over the country, but met mostly retailers from the South, among them a few new buyers whom we had not met earlier,” he said.

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Rajendra Agarwal, the owner of Sona Chandi Jewellers, Kanpur, who visited the show to buy gold jewellery primarily for the mass market, met some new vendors, including wholesalers and manufacturers, especially those offering south-centric designs. Interestingly, he says he has ‘started work with some new Mumbai vendors as well’.

He believes that in the future, the participation of more manufacturers from the South would make the show better. Meanwhile, for Pratap Kamath, MD, Abaran Timeless Jewellery, Bangalore, IIJS Tritiya turned out very convenient, as he could send more people to the show held in his city. “Our people got to see a wide range of designs and connected with all their vendors,” he said.

Another South player who attended the show in full force is Varghese Alukka, Managing Director of Jos Alukkas from Thrissur, Kerala. “A team of 12 buyers visited the show for three days,” he said. The team spotted many new trends and selected new designs for test marketing at the stores.

Summing up the inaugural IIJS Tritiya show, Nirav Bhansali, Convenor, National Exhibitions Sub-Committee of GJEPC, said that while it turned out very well in terms of logistics and execution, gold prices shooting up had a significant effect on the show. “I would sum it up as an excellent show. But due to the way gold prices moved up in the preceding ten days and during the first day of the show, we were short by maybe 10-15% on business that we had anticipated from the show. Still, it was very encouraging,” Bhansali stated.

BUYING AT IIJS TRITIYA

Manufacturers like Swarnshilp Chains and Jewellers had taken much South-centric jewellery to the show, planning stocks according to the customers they had invited. “The majority of visitors were from the South, and 22K gold was in demand as yellow gold sells in the South,” said Ranawat, who went well prepared to cater to the regional demand.

Rajendra Agarwal bought jewellery primarily for middle-class customers’ requirements, ‘as the market was very active until the sudden rise in gold rates,’ he says.

Varghese Alukka said that at IIJS Tritiya, the buying team endeavoured to spot new trends and find unique styles that his company could introduce. “We sent a team of 12 people to the show – we were trying to find new vendors, new products, especially 18 K gold products for our younger clientele.” He claims to have bought a lot of jewellery for his newly launched sub-brand targeting new-age customers.

Asked about the total quantum of business at IIJS Tritiya, Nirav Bhansali said, “Before the show, we had anticipated Rs 20,000 crore worth of business from IIJS Tritiya. I don’t think we have achieved that much, but we did business to the tune of Rs 15-17,000 crore.”

THE Way forward

One point that came up in conversations around IIJS Tritiya was the increasing number of exhibitions and the ability of manufacturers to keep up with them. “There’s a discussion in the industry as to why so many shows exist. Three shows by GJEPC and two by GJS – that becomes too much,” said Manish Jain. Khushboo Ranawat also felt that IIJS Tritiya could be timed better.

Vikas Mehta said having a short window after IIJS Signature meant they could only develop a few new products. “The timing must change, and Akshay Tritiya’s buying happens much earlier than 30 days before the festival. In fact, at IIJS Signature, people were already making purchases for Akshay Tritiya,” he said.  

The close of the financial year in March, when people have tax outgo, is also a factor to be considered for the show’s timing. The show also suffered to some extent because Ugadi fell immediately after it, which kept South Indian jewellers busy in their showrooms, catering to their customers.

The IIJS Tritiya was no doubt suitable for South Indian jewellers. Still, many participants felt increased marketing combined with precise positioning as a south-specific instead of a pan-India show may yield better results. “A theme-based show will be easier to prepare for as both manufacturers and buyers will plan their buys accordingly,” said Mehta.

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