‘IIJS has always been our favourite sourcing destination and our team has prepared buying budget of 300 Kgs of jewellery at IIJS VIRTUAL’

retail
By retail October 6, 2020 12:43 Updated

‘IIJS has always been our favourite sourcing destination and our team has prepared buying budget of 300 Kgs of jewellery at IIJS VIRTUAL’

Tawhid Abduallah, chairman of Jawhara Jewellery and Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group in UAE, will attend the IIJS virtual to woo the Indian market, and partake the value that it brings to the Middle East

What is your view on the first virtual B2B IIJS show that is happening in India?

It’s a great start, especially from the point of view of jewellers in UAE and the Gulf. We have been dealing with a shortage of stocks, especially in Indian products, for the past six months. So, everybody is quite hungry for India. The IIJS show is coming at the right time because people don’t want to travel now, so a virtual option is great. We will have a big team of 15-20 people joining the exhibition, and the plan is to buy about 300kg of jewellery.

What kind of jewellery will your team be looking at?

We are quite interested in the south Indian and Rajasthani designs. Kundan and diamond jewellery is another area. We will also get a huge chunk of polki jewellery. We hope to find new items as well.

What do you think the UAE and Indian governments should do to enhance business between the two nations?

It should be a two-way street. We should be able to import some of UAE’s jewellery to India. Some of our products are really lightweight and have huge potential in the Indian market. Dubai is a big platform for jewellery from Indonesia, China, Italy, and others. We could have a policy that would allow us to import raw gold from India, manufacture the jewellery in the UAE and then send it back. This will help the trade both ways. India forms a major chunk of our business as 90% of our jewellery in Indian; 80% of the organised sector comprises Indian companies.

What are your plans from November to March, especially with the Dubai Shopping Festival?

We have set aside a reasonable spend for promotions that will happen together with major, medium and small traders. In summer, business usually goes down, and the third quarter has the lowest sales in the year. This year, however, people are not travelling. So, the local spending has gone up. Gold prices moved up by 35%, so people are looking at it as a secure investment option. They are buying gold in bullion. What we miss is the inflow of Indian tourists, and about half a million others from Canada, USA, Europe and  Australia, who would make a pitstop here before travelling to their destinations. They were one of our heaviest tax refund sources. Let’s hope the scene improves by October end or the beginning of November. Indians contribute to 30-40% of our trade, so it’s a huge number.

What percentage of sales do you think the UAE retail will do this year?

There are two schools. The one that depends on the local market will do the same numbers as last year because their third quarter sales were reasonably high. The first quarter was better than last year and the second was a total no-go. The fourth quarter should cover the second quarter’s losses.

The other segment depends on tourists and will probably see a 30-40% downward trend when compared to last year. But when we take into account the cash flow, the companies and the business continuity, it’s a good opportunity. Many people have liquidated their old stock, remodelled and come up with new creations. The sales and profits may go down a bit in the present, but the future looks positive. We had two months to innovate, so I am hoping for the plus points to emerge soon. Many companies started their digital wing and this has improved our business by 4-5% from last year. Bonds with suppliers have strengthened because we could stand by each other this year. We have an emotional and financial binding with Indian companies. We proved that we are good for Indian businesses. They proved their grit in standing by us even when the going got tough.  That’s why we are loyal to IIJS and will do anything to make the Show a success.

Do you feel there is any scope for e-commerce in B2B wholesale?

We are still at the foetal stage when it comes to e-commerce. I, for one, still need to feel the gold before buying it. The touch-and-feel factor will not go away anytime soon. But when it comes to wholesale, lack of travel has forced us to look at e-commerce. I really hope the IIJS Virtual helps the Saudi market, because the Egyptian and Asian markets are strong. We hope to get to a better position by the first quarter of next year. I am sure that the Indian manufacturers have used the lockdown to create new designs. This will help the huge expectations here. Asian consumers, Indians in particular, are price-conscious, model conscious, and after-sales service conscious. They are also the biggest spenders. Gold is an investment for them. We are bound to add to the latest designs and technologies from India. The combination that India brings with its meenakari, polki and coloured stones is unbeatable.

 

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News Service.

retail
By retail October 6, 2020 12:43 Updated
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