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GJCs’ Gems and Jewellery Banking Summit sparks urgent call for sector financing 



GJCs’ Gems and Jewellery Banking Summit sparks urgent call for sector financing 

Over 200 delegates actively engaged in the summit’s discussions, which revolved around addressing the financing needs across value chain in the jewellery industry 

MUMBAI: The All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) convened a landmark one-day Gems and Jewellery Banking Summit, hosted at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. Sponsored by the World Gold Council and powered by Yes Bank, alongside support from Shree Kunj, Kolkata, as well as Bangalore Refinery, Mukti Gold and Diamond, and Laxmi Diamonds India Ltd., the event attracted eminent figures from India’s banking sector, deeply involved in gold financing endeavours. 

Over 200 delegates were actively engaged in the summit’s discussions, which revolved around addressing the pressing financing needs across the gems and jewellery industry’s entire value chain, spanning from bullion dealers to craftsmen, manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. Noteworthy speakers deliberated on essential topics including risk management facilities for Indian jewellers and the obstacles hindering the industry’s future growth. 

The summit featured four panel discussions, each graced by esteemed panelists offering insights into various financial aspects of the industry. Notable participants included Saiyam Mehra, Chairman of GJC; Suvankar Sen, MD & CEO of Senco Gold & Diamond; Sachin Jain, Regional CEO of WGC – India; Ravi Prakash Agarwal, Director of GJC & Convener of the Summit; Kumar Parmani, Senior President of Yes Bank; and Manish Goel, Head Bullion at ICICI Bank, expertly moderated by Manisha Gupta, Commodity Editor at CNBC Awaaz. 

Additionally, Rajesh Rokde, Vice Chairman of GJC; BA Ramesh, Joint Managing Director of Thangamayil Jewellery Ltd.; Ashok Minawala, former chairman of GJC; Kuldeep Jindal, GM of Bank of India; and Johnson Lewis, MD of FinMet Pte. Ltd., led discussions on understanding financial tools, while Sahil Mehra, Director at GJC, moderated the panel session. 


Further insights were shared during the session on banking strategy, featuring luminaries such as Ashish Pethe, immediate past chairman of GJC; Nitin Khandelwal, Past Chairman of GJC; Kinjal Shah, Head of Asian Development at Responsible Jewellery Council; Neville Patel, SVP at HDFC Bank; Prabu K.K., Chief Manager at Karur Vysya Bank; and Chirag Sheth, Principal Consultant at Metals Focus, South Asia, with moderation by Mrituenjay Kumar Jha, Commodity Editor at Zee Business. 

Lastly, the panel on risk management mechanisms saw industry leaders such as Avinash Gupta, owner & partner at Mamraj Mussadilal Jewellers; Manish Gavaskar, Vice President – Bullion Sales & Analytics at RBL Bank; Mehul Thakker, Business Head at FirstRand Bank; and Himank Sharma, Director – Mid Corporates Group at CRISIL Ratings Ltd., expertly moderated by Bijayananda Pattanayak, EVP & Head – Gems & Jewellery at IndusInd Bank. 

Recognising its potential for growth and value addition, the government has declared the gems and jewellery sector as focussed area. It also introduced two suitable policies, namely ‘Hallmarking for Accuracy Determination’, and the ‘Gold Monetization Scheme (GMS)’, which enables individuals to deposit gold with banks and earn interest. 

Saiyam Mehra, chairman of All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council, stated, “The industry is facing challenges such as higher interest rates on business loans, lack of transparency on banking policy, and limited access to bank loans. Infusion of more funds into the gems and jewellery industry has become a matter of prime concern as banks have categorized this sector as high risk, leading to a drop in loan take-offs. The government has implemented measures to encourage investment strategy and promoted Brand India in the global market.” 

The Indian jewellery industry stands on the threshold of compounded growth which will be driven by factors such as rising disposable income, increasing urbanization, growing financial consciousness, rising demand for branded and customized products, and favourable government policies. However, the industry is constrained by the credit availability for the gem and jewellery industry. 

Rajesh Rokde, Vice Chairman of GJC said, “We have more than 3000 jewellers as our members, 250 jewellery associations, and more than 65,000 partners engaged with us directly or indirectly. GJC works for the betterment not only for manufacturers but also for karigars, wholesalers and retailers. This means GJC is working 360 degrees for the entire jewellery value chain from bullion dealers to retailers. We have recently introduced the ‘Lucky Luxmi’ scheme to accelerate sales and enhance jewellery trade. Our responsibility does not end with organizing exhibitions only. We work for the progress of the entire jewellery sector. Today’s banking summit is a part of that.” 

Ravi Prakash Agarwal, convenor of the Bank Summit, informed, “We are delighted that the who’s who in the banking sector have recognised the challenges being faced by jewellers, and enormous opportunity available for bankers for lending to this sector. With NPA having less than 1%, we urge bankers to extend funding aggressively for both entrepreneurs and existing businesses.” 

Jewellers called upon bankers to share information with the gems and jewellery industry as the lack of accurate industry data hinders the growth of the industry. Therefore, it is crucial to address the dissemination of information. Banks are urged to support in providing information to the gems and jewellery sector as many of them belong to the category of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Also, jewellers requested bankers to avail finances at the interest rate similar to that of other industries at 8-9%, with a risk spread of 1%. Additionally, the industry sought easier policies and facilitation for EMI-based buying facilities for end-consumers. Agarwal also maintained that credit card swiping and POS machine implementation are needed in every retail showroom. 

Agarwal summed it up, stating that the industry must leverage the power of technology to drive efficiency, transparency, and resilience across the value chain, be it AI for predictive analysis or harnessing fintech solutions for supply chain finance. On that note, the banking sector has immense opportunity as the jewellery retail market is experiencing immense growth. “We are looking to more than 3000 retail showrooms opening in the next 18 months. The organised retail market held between 32-35% of the market share in 2022, with market size of Rs 150,000-160,000 crore, and expecting to become 40% by 2024. The domestic industry has a unique benefit for preparing KYC for creating a database for more transparency in this sector,” Agarwal concluded. 

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News 

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