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“The Lack of Creativity and Finishing in Indian Jewellery Manufacturing is a Call for Improvement”

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With the jewellery business booming and new players and generations entering the industry, Ramesh Narang, Director of Hazoorilal Legacy, remarks on how it is the best time for manufacturers to step out of their comfort zones and embrace innovation. See what he has to comment on the jewellery manufacturing market in India

The IIJS (India International Jewellery Show) has grown significantly over the years, becoming one of the most important shows in the world. The introduction of a new venue and the increasing standards of the exhibition are clear signs of progress. With the jewellery business booming and new players and generations entering the industry, it is an opportune time for manufacturers to step out of their comfort zones and embrace innovation.

Currently, only four things are important to the manufacturers –first, the collection should have fail-safe designs (read sure shot seller). Second, it should be a perfect diamond-to-gold ratio (read more diamonds for higher profitability), and third, it should be easy to manufacture (read fast –turnaround). This approach results in a lack of diversity and uniqueness in the products.

One of the most pressing concerns is the need for better finishing. Indian manufacturers, despite their exceptional craftsmanship, still struggle to achieve the level of finishing seen in countries like China, Hong Kong, Turkey, and Thailand.

Within the domestic sector, there is evidence of Indian manufacturers’ capability to produce jewellery that meets international finishing standards. The problem is that these manufacturers represent only a tiny fraction of the industry, and their production is limited.

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Many manufacturers have settled into their comfort zones, unwilling to make the necessary changes to achieve higher design creativity and finishing. The retailers, too, have accepted this lower standard, resulting in a homogeneity of designs and a lack of vocalisation regarding the need for improvement.

“Many manufacturers have settled into their comfort zones, unwilling to make the necessary changes to achieve higher design creativity and finishing. The retailers, too, have accepted this lower standard, resulting in a homogeneity of designs and a lack of vocalisation regarding the need for improvement”

RAMESH Narang, Director, Hazoorilal Legacy, New Delhi

Are we compromising due to budget constraints and inadequate equipment, or is there a general disinterest in striving for excellence? Identifying the root causes is crucial if we want to rectify this issue.

While there have been some improvements, progress has been sluggish, and the finishing of jewellery across categories still falls short of expected (international) standards. The good news is that achieving the desired level of finishing is entirely achievable. We have factories in India that produce jewellery at an international standard, proving that it can be done.

The challenge lies in motivating more manufacturers to follow suit. At least 30% of manufacturers can achieve this level of finishing if they are willing to step out of their comfort zones. To achieve the desired level of finishing, we must be willing to invest in the necessary resources and techniques. This may involve higher wastage, more intricate detailing, and a meticulous approach to quality control. While additional costs might be involved, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial investment.

Regarding creativity, the focus should always be on the design, not the ratio of diamond or gold. It is time we let the designer take over the designs and not restrict them with briefs guided by commercials. The material must not guide the design; it must be the other way around. While it is true that some manufacturers have ventured into new ideas and concepts, the majority remain stuck in a repetitive cycle. Most are focused on creating jewellery based on a specific gold-to-diamond ratio rather than pushing the boundaries of design.

The demand for exquisite jewellery with impeccable finishing exists within our own country. It is known that more and more Indian customers are buying from international brands. We must tap into this missed opportunity and allure those customers to consider Indian jewellery stores. Right now, lightweight jewellery is the most important segment. This segment, too, needs creative designs.

It is very disheartening for retailers such as myself to witness the evolution of customers and not see an equivalent transformation in the industry to match their expectations. So, the question arises: why are we falling behind in creativity and finishing?

It is not a matter of talent or capability but a lack of willingness to break free from our comfort zones and pursue excellence. As retailers, we must also play our part in encouraging this change.

Instead of relying solely on market demand, retailers should actively seek out new collections and take calculated risks with innovative concepts to showcase to their customers. By doing so, we can elevate the jewellery industry standard in India.

Another crucial aspect is collaboration and knowledge sharing within the industry. Manufacturers, designers, and retailers must exchange ideas, experiences, and techniques. We can collectively raise the bar by fostering a continuous learning and improvement culture. Together, we can reshape the landscape of the Indian jewellery industry and propel it to new heights of success.

The Retail Jeweller India Magazine

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