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With correct form, process and tech, IIJS 2021 paves path for post-pandemic B2B resurgence in fine jewellery

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With correct form, process and tech, IIJS 2021 paves path for post-pandemic B2B resurgence in fine jewellery

IIJS 2021 was much beyond a B2B trade show. For exhibitors and buyers, this was a triumph over the festering pandemic crippling business since two years. The scale, process and safety measures allowed serious trade to happen and GJEPC is already preparing for the Signature show in January 2022. Shubham Dasgupta analyses the key factors leading to the success of the 5-day mega- show in Bengaluru this year.

Design Disruption

Gold became the fastest moving segment at IIJS this time, thanks to the rising investment sentiment amongst customers and increased confidence in the metal post-covid. Gold manufacturers presented a wide range of innovations addressing the demand for pocket friendly fashionable everyday wear collections. 

Emerald Jewel Industry Ltd. (EJI), the largest gold jewellery manufacturer is reshaping the millennials’ perspective on the yellow metal with its new collections. Under the banner of the ‘Stay Ahead’ initiative EJI, presented a tech-enabled huge reserve of 6,00,000 designs to suit needs of every gold jewellery retailer. The manufacturer promises retail partners customized collections based on their market requirement.

Italian jewellery, according to Vinod Jain from V Chains, a specialized gold chain manufacturer from Mumbai, witnessed a demand revival. V Chains launched 15 new collections with focus on rose gold for an interesting tweak to everyday luxury. On the other hand, manufacturers such as Lotus Jewellery Creation rooted for a more Indian concept in this Western jewellery category. “We are fusing Indian and Italian design aesthetics. This is because the modern Indian women is impressed with Indian design showcased in the sleek Italian foundations,” said Vineet Vasa, Lotus Jewellery Creation.

Bengaluru being the hub of temple jewellery, there was an extravaganza of South Indian traditional jewellery at the event. Pan-India affinity for traditional South Indian adornments spurred innovations in weight. Deep nakaashi craftwork, popular across Southern states, found place in Bengaluru based gold manufacturer Thirumala’s jewellery. Mehta Gold brought out a range of bridal South Indian range starting from 80 grams to 200 gram sets. “The demand for big- size temple earrings is more in North India, whereas in South India small- sized temple earrings are the most popular,” said Sandeep Mehta, Owner, Mehta Gold.

Detachable bridal jewellery gathered a strong ground . Talking about the changing preferences, Akshit Patadia, Proprietor, Suvarnam Jewels, said, “Unlike previously, when the brides used to wear heavy jewellery only during the wedding day and keep it in the lockers, today’s brides look for bridal sets which can be worn on different occasions. The jewellery range is in 22K gold with weight around 200-250 grams.”

Moving up the ladder of ticket price, premium gold bridal jewellery experienced infusion of a lot of colour gemstones. Even in antique jadau ranges, Mansukh Kothari of Vasupati Jewellers displayed colour stones and beads. Fancy antique and jadau jewellery are the two most important trends in bridal necklace, feels Kothari.

 Going bullish on colour stones was Savio Jewellers, Jaipur, which presented breathtaking ranges of tanzanite, sapphires, Russian and Zambian emeralds and rubies to make the modern bride-to-be look ethereal.    

High gold rate has triggered demand in lightweight, everyday wear jewellery and designs across categories underwent successful manufacturing experiments to overcome this challenge. Anmol Jewellers from Hyderabad displayed chaandbaalis as light as 6 grams and gold necklaces of 15 grams to serve that segment.

Everyday polki became the latest trend to fly off the shelves, according to Rahul Soni of Mohanlal Narayandas Jewellers, Bikaner, who had fused Italian rose gold chains with polki pieces to make dainty necklaces, earrings and pendants. “The category has been performing superbly, because it is the fusion of Indian heirloom jewellery with the foundation of Western fashion. This is a new concept. Retailers placed orders very fast,” said Soni. A similar approach was adopted by Rambhajo’s, who created kundan, meena and polki in a very lightweight range of gold bangles that sold out really fast.

In diamonds, there is a stark contrast in design demand. Non-bridal diamond jewellery, as per Lalith Saklecha of Saklecha Diamonds, is doing well with simple designs, while retailers are not minding to pay extra for theme-based, design-heavy bridal jewellery. In terms of diamond couture, Mitesh Gajera, Laxmi Diamonds, Mumbai, said that a combination of fancy cut and round cut diamonds did really well with buyers at IIJS.

Buyers Captivated

It is the sheer diversity of inventory across verticals that increased the buying list of retailers this time. Varda Goenka of Diagold Jewels, Kolkata, spotted a humongous reserve of gold and diamond jewellery at the show. Agreeing to her view was Hitesh Adesara of Keshavji Chhaganlal Jewellers, Jamshedpur. “There was overwhelming inventory in gold jewellery, for which many manufacturers were over-booked within the first two days,” said Adesara.

Saumitra Saraf, Partner, Aisshpra Gems and Jewels, Gorakhpur, pointed out the increase in transparency in gold jewellery this time. “In studded jewellery like kundan polki with colour stones, the gold weight was always a question mark. There used to be a difference of at least 10-15% in the weight but this year, a lot of the vendors committed to a 99.9% accuracy in gold weights, which I believe is a good trend,” he said.

Deepa Agarwal, Sona Chandi Jewellers, Kanpur, said the exhibitors didn’t hesitate to experiment on ideas such as converting antique jewellery into lightweight ranges. “This has helped me a lot to stock my inventory to meet the demand for the upcoming festive season,” she added.

The Winning Strategy

Infrastructure was, by far, the biggest positive factor second to safety protocols at the show, and GJEPC walked the talk with over 77,520 square meter area, which is the biggest ever spatial allotment to a B2B trade event ever in the history of Indian jewellery industry. Dedicating such a massive space catered to the prime objective of safety as visitors and exhibitors were able to maintain social distancing within and outside booths and around food counters.

Talking about the breakthrough success in infrastructure, designer Pallavi Foley said that the GJEPC app guided visitors even before entering the venue. “It took exactly 5 minutes for me to enter. The show is so well-organised. The booth of every exhibitor can be spotted accurately and fast through the app,” she said.

“Although two online shows had happened post-pandemic, the response to the physical show was well above expectations even before the start of the show,” said Mohanlal Seth, of SK Seth Jewellers, Mumbai. This encouraged a decent footfall and intense buying at the show.

The domestic industry took cognizance of the efforts by the entire team of GJEPC to make this post-pandemic show a reality. Speaking about the success of the show, Sabyasachi Ray, executive director, GJEPC, says, “More than 11,000 companies have visited IIJS. Over 2,500 stalls were booked within seven days of us opening pre-booking facilities. Such enthusiasm has been unprecedented in IIJS,” said Ray, adding that the team had visited 300 cities in the form of roadshow promotions, as a result of which people from over 800 cities have visited the show across India.

Mahendra Kumar Tayal, chairman, Southern region, GJEPC is happy with the turnout and the way trade has taken place in the first four days. “The pleasant weather of Bengaluru and the spacious facility at BIEC have positively impacted trade pace at IIJS. A lot of visitors and exhibitors we see this year couldn’t attend IIJS before because of the location. Also, major exporters and visitors hail from South India, who participated in large numbers, increased footfall, and ensured the success of the show,” said Tayal.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News

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