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TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE RETAIL FUTURE : Middle East Jewellery Retail leaders attended and discussed Key Issues facing the trade and provided Positive Advice for a Bright Future Ahead



Retail Jeweller Dubai Forum and Awards 2019

The inaugural Retail Jeweller Dubai Forum 2019 (RJDF) held on the 12th of November, 2019, brought to the fore groundbreaking business strategies and innovations for the Middle East Gems and Jewellery industry. It was all about glorious business ideas and powerhouse presentations at the RJDF 2019, held at the Conrad Hotel, Dubai. 200 Leading Jewellers attended from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain.

This year’s theme was ‘Sustaining & Scaling Future Business’ and just like the broader narrative, the sessions truly offered immense information and insights into futuristic trends to the industry. The sessions for the day were broken down into smaller segments and each segment had speakers addressing key topics pertaining to the industry and its future.

The day began with the topic of discussion, ‘Future of the Jewellery Store: Technology Innovations and Smart New Age Elements to Wow your customers’. Hozefa Attari, co-founder, Networkbay took over the stage to take everyone on a futuristic journey by highlighting the ‘Top 6 technologies transforming retail’! “All this while we have been concentrating more on the top end of the technology spectrum and a lot of changes related to CRM and the likes have been brought in, but the bottom end specifying AI, RFID, and the likes to needs an uplift and at present we need to switch our attention to this zone, primarily”.

Following suit to Hozefa’s insightful presentation, Amit Pratihari, Director Retail, Forevermark India took the centre stage. While speaking about the future of the jewellery store, he mentioned, “Technology bridges the gap and breaks the barrier between customers and retailers. It gets customers closer to retailers. So, to survive in the years to come agility is key. Most agile retailers will be able to bloom and attract maximum customers.

Moving over the next topic of discussion was ‘Role of data & analytics for Organising your business and bringing in Efficiencies for increased Profitability.’ Speaking on this Rishikesh Trivedi, Digital Transformation Advisor, Suntech Business Solutions commented, “The backbone of technology can transform the jewellery retail industry. In order to maximise the benefits of technology, one needs to adapt and understand the codes and roles of data and analytics. To improve business efficiencies integrating analytics within the very framework of the business is a must.”

All in all diverse topics related to the future of business, setting up of newer technology to profit the retail set-up, and the dynamics of the changing retail environment were discussed with clarity and facts all through the day.

Digressing a little from the topic of the future, in the next segment of the day, Pascal Mouawad, Co-Guardian, Mouawad Group took upon the stage to give us a slice of history! Speaking about the legacy of Mouawad he explained how values and hard work can help craft extraordinary businesses like the it has since 1890’.

Moving on, Samit Bhatta, Publisher, The Retail Jeweller Magazine, showcased beautiful and inspiring case studies of Indian brands, which highlighted the problem-solving pattern and the customer approach prominent brands like Ranka, Anmol, Tanishq, and many more has taken recently to attract the millennial.

The broader theme of the show brought together industry experts who presented detailed analysis about the market, retail space, and what the future holds for the industry as a whole. Thus, the next segment of the day was dedicated to panel discussions and two topics for discussion during the latter half of the day was ‘State of the Middle East Jewellery and Future 2019-2025’ and ‘Future of Middle East Diamond Jewellery Industry with Global Research insights and Emergence of Lab-Grown Diamonds’.

From Left To Right- Amit Dhamani, Anuraag Sinha, Maha-Al-Sabai, Michael Deeter, Tawhid Abdulla, Nezar Mukhtar, Lulwa-Al-Wazzan, Chandu Siroya and Kaushik Soni


Retail Jeweller Dubai Forum 2019

Retail Jeweller Dubai Forum 2019-2

These panels had eminent jewellery names and personalities ruling the dais. While much was discussed during the next few hours, but one key point that was highlighted during the session is that the state of Middle East jewellery industry is hopeful as long as the industry works in tandem and cohesion with one another! Adi AL Fardan Jewellery, Founder, Adi AL Fardan Jewellery speaking about the current state of the diamond jewellery market mentioned that, “Change is the only solution, to stay ahead in the race and to face challenge we need to alter as per the present trends.”

“In order to sustain an existing jewellery business model, apart from technology integration, brands need to be cautious about bringing in the youth into the business. Per capita jewellery consumption keeping in mind the evolving mindset and demographics will help prepare the industry for the future,” cited Anuraag Sinha, Director, Liali Jewellery.

Amit Dhamani, MD & CEO, Dhamani Jewellers was moderating this panel and he beautifully summed up that, “It’s no more about big eating small, it is all about the faster eating the slow. Design and market research, sustainability, branding, building trust or loyalty, consistency, and newer design approaches have emerged as the main pillars of strength through our discussion today, which retailers must work on to make a difference in the future!

Powered by VOD Dubai, the event was presented by ITHRA Dubai and GJEPC. The other associate partners of the event were Vision Board Studios, SGL, Suntech Business Solutions, Dubai Design Academy, Mirrar, Emperesse Bullion LLC.

From Left to Right- Samit Bhatta, Ashish Garg, Adi Al Fardan, Jamil Dimachkie, Chirag Soni, Daniel Koren, Shaunak Shastree, Colin Shah

Anuraag Sinha

Daniel Koren

In the next panel discussion the differences between natural diamond and lab-grown diamond were discussed at length from the business point of view and it was concluded that both have their own market presence and only time will tell the destiny of each. But many panellists agreed in unison that natural diamonds are for forever, while Chirag Soni, Director SGL, opined that future consumers will seek sustainability. In the same breath, he added, ‘there needs to be accurate auditing of lab-grown diamond manufacturing to accurately estimate its environmental impact.’

Speaking in this context, Daniel Koren, Owner, Daniel K mentioned, “In the last 5 years the consumers have changed drastically. They know what they want to buy. That’s the biggest change that has happened for the diamond market”. Colin Shah, Vice Chairman, GJEPC mentioned how natural diamond miners are continuing to pump in large investments into future projects ensuring a long term sustainable supply of goods to the market. The experts surely listed out the changes but not for once did they deny the importance of natural diamonds and perhaps that’s why it is good to say that ‘diamonds are here to sparkle’.

Moving through the eventful day, the panels were winded up with debate, questions, and more insightful conversations. The enthusiasm of the speakers and the audiences alike, made one thing very clear –much was left for a later discussion and a lot of healthy implementation was also in store.

While it was clear that businesses were eager to bring in a key change into their operational model thanks to the insights they discussed through the day, but it was also time to recognise them.

It was time to clap for the rightful contenders from the jewellery industry at the Retail Jeweller Middle East Innovation Awards 2019. 14 categories of the award were presented the same evening to the Middle East retail jewellers for their pioneering work in diverse areas of retail including Design and Business innovation.

The evening was still young and given the insightful conversations from the first half of the day to the claps and red carpet mentions in the later part of the day, now it was time to unwind. Just before calling it a day, the industry was welcomed to an exclusive dinner and cocktail night at the Conrad.

Quote- Samit and Soma Bhatta, Publisher and Editor, Retail Jeweller Media Group

“It was a Successful Inaugural Retail Jeweller Dubai Forum and the Middle East Innovation Awards. The Jewellery Retail community of Middle East supported this progressive Knowledge-based initiative wholeheartedly. We thank each Speaker, each delegate who attended and all our partners ITHRA Dubai, GJEPC India, VOD Dubai International Jewellery Show, SGL, Dubai Design Academy, Suntech, Mirrar, Vision Board, Network Bay, and Emperesse Bullion. We now look forward to working more closely with the Retail Trade and its service providers in building this platform richer with more progressive content next year” Said Samit and Soma Bhatta (Publisher and Editor respectively of Retail Jeweller Media Group).


The Retail Jeweller, a bi-monthly business magazine for the jewellery industry has been a runaway favourite B2B magazine for India’s jewellery retailers. Starting from its debut in 2004, the publication has completely focused its attention on the subject of jewellery retail; the magazine today enjoys the status of a thought leader in the industry.

This publishing company, the team behind the magazine has also instituted the first business awards for the Indian retail jewellery industry – The Retail Jeweller India Awards (RJIA). RJIA now is the oldest and the most prestigious platform that recognizes and honours the marketing and design excellence in the industry. Over the years the awards have attained the stature of ‘Oscars’ for the Indian jewellery industry.

In 2014, with a single-minded aim to aid the organized transformation of the industry, Retail Jeweller launched the Retail Jeweller India Forum, first of its kind knowledge forum for Indian jewellers. The events brings together over 200 retail jewellers and other stakeholders from across the country, under one roof to help them gain valuable insights from the collective expertise and experience of the speakers and panellists.

In 2018, the group forayed in the Middle East market with its online publishing platform https://theretailjeweller.com/ to keep the retail jewellers updated with the latest local market news and information.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News Service

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