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Design Graduates gets a new platform to exhibit their skills.



GJSCI and WJA hosted the first-ever Design Connect 2019 for the enthusiastic designers to showcase their artistry to the prospective recruiters.

Gem and Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI) and Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) India Chapter for the first time collaborated to create a platform for the jewellery designers across India to meet and connect with manufacturers and retailers. This platform will enable them to showcase their portfolio to the manufacturers and collectively learn from industry experts. The event supported by GJEPC, GJC, GIA, and IBJA was conducted at Hotel Sahara Star on June 26, 2019. The event was witnessed by nearly 50 reputed companies and more than 130 jewellery designers. 

The event started with a panel discussion on the topic, “Designers – Path to Success” and the speakers include Poonam Soni (Designer); Vaishali Banerjee (Managing Director, India) Platinum Guild International; Aftab Bandukwala (Director) Ventures India Corporation Pvt. Ltd. and Colin Shah (Founder and Managing Director), Kama Schachter, and was moderated by Nirupa Bhatt (President), WJA.

Amazing insights, perceptions and unmatchable designs- the show brought a novel element onboard and emphasized on the need for industry exposure for the budding designers.

“For many years, we were contemplating as to how we can promote designers. Often, talented designers are unable to approach jewellery manufacturers. Similarly, manufacturers fail to recognise the importance of design and access the right candidates. To bridge this gap, GJSCI and WJA with the support of GJEPC, GJC, IBJA and GIA have come together and organised Design Connect 2019,” said Nirupa.

Highlighting the need for deciphering latest market trends, Vaishali said that the most integral part of jewellery designing is understanding the consumer. “A designer must know for whom he is designing and for what occasion. The consumer these days is fast-changing and you must spark that temptation and desire within the consumer and turn that into acquisition. Design is just an idea and is valuable only if it’s implemented well, so knowing the manufacturing process is equally important. So the success mantra is to really go out there and continuously learn, know your market well,” she explains.

She further added that “Knowing the basics is very important but it should act as a springboard for inspiration, not as shackles or constraints. In a country like ours, we are targeting young consumer and therefore we need to think beyond and give the designers the liberty to explore new horizons.”

Adding to it, Poonam said that only continuous learning and evolution can give you clarity on how you want to shape your career. “We all dream of becoming entrepreneurs but it’s when you face the real world, you face deadlocks. In today’s world, being jack of all trades doesn’t work; you need to excel in one area.”

“India has an abundance of talent that creates excellent jewellery design. For many years, the International market has taken inspiration from Indian culture and motifs; the royals have adorned our jewellery pieces for generations. The world is ready for us, it is time for us to go out there and claim our position,” she added.


Welcoming young and fresh talents into the industry, Colin said that “We are a creative field, and are in constant need of new concepts and designs. Though experience has its own benefits, young talent is more about experimenting and innovation. We have been quite successful with interns, some of them staying for even 20 years. Though basic knowledge about the industry is must, we do provide 5-6 months of rigorous training to new joinees.”

Coming from architecture and interior designing background, Bandukwala shared some meaningful insights. He explained that there’s almost no dissimilarity between jewellery designing and designing in other sectors. “As an outsider, I feel jewellery designs have made some ground-breaking progress and it has completely changed my perception. Coming from dinosaur mindset, the amazing creativity and diversity has inspired me and exposed me to plethora of exciting unprecedented designs,” he said.

Summing up the session, Nirupa Bhatt reiterated the importance of a designer’s role in jewellery making and how this platform will shape the future of many budding designers. The panel discussion was followed by one-on-one mentoring sessions for designers to seek guidance, and interview desks providing exciting career opportunities.


Courtesy: Neha Taneja Malik



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