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Jaipur Jewellery Show rebuilds industry confidence
The Jaipur Jewellery Show which began tentatively due to the crippling recession and terror attacks largely restored industry confidence
By: Diamond World News Service
Jan 20 2009 2:12PM
Reference: 3454  

The Jaipur Jewellery Show was held from December 20-23 at the Rajmahal Palace Hotel in the pink city of Jaipur. The sixth edition of JJS had 357 stalls which were fully booked. The theme of the exhibition this year was Tanzanite which was chosen to promote among consumers the beauty and intricacies of this fascinating stone.

Facets of JJS

The exhibition was inaugurated on December 20 by Vasant Mehta, the chairman of the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). In his speech Mehta appealed for convention centres at Mumbai and Jaipur which would enable the jewellery business to grow further. He also emphasized that Jaipur, which is the hub of the coloured stone industry in the country, urgently required a modern airport of international specifications. Rajiv Jain, secretary of JJS, announced that the exhibition would donate a generous sum of Rs 33 lakhs for research and development in the jewellery industry. The convenor of JJS, Vimal Chand Surana, lauded the vision of the late Rashmi Bhai Durlabhji who had promoted this exhibition which has now emerged as a major BtoC show in the country. Surana also informed the audience that JJS '08 would permit for the first time an auction bid of selected items of jewellery at the show. The show was ably compered by Ajay Kala, joint secretary, JJS.

The auction of jewellery, the new feature of JJS '08, proved to be extremely popular. The auction took place between 11am and 6pm, with results being announced at 6.30pm every day. Fifteen counters were set up for displaying jewellery which had to be auctioned, with the reserve price of each item fixed at 50% less than the cost of the product. A highly appreciated fashion show was organized on December 20 at Jai Mahal. Well-known models of Mumbai and Delhi sashayed down the ramp showcasing exquisite pieces of ethnic and contemporary jewellery. The fashion show ended with a sequence dedicated to the new stone, Tanzanite. On December 21 GIA organized a highly interactive seminar on the 'Importance of diamond grading and certification for Indian retailers' conducted by Vidya Mazumdar, an instructor with the education department of GIA India.

The popular JJS-Gold Souk Awards were given away on December 21.The awards attempt to recognize the work of jewellers and retailers both nationally and internationally in various categories like 'heritage jewellery,' 'Strong International Presence', 'Best Polishing', 'Best Artisan,' 'Lifetime Achievement Award' etc. The awards were conceptualized by JJS and AGS, a well-known real estate group and were given away by erstwhile maharani Padmini Devi of Jaipur and former cine star, Sharmila Tagore. Some of the distinguished national award winners were K Srinivasan of Emerald, Coimbatore, Rajendra Bhola of Bholasons Jewellers, Delhi, Shreyas K. Doshi of Shrenuj & Co. Ltd., Mumbai and Ramesh Narang of Hazoorilal Jewellers, Delhi.

Varied feedback

The Jaipur Jewellery Show elicited an interesting potpourri of advice both for the show as well as for the industry. While complimenting the organizers of the show, Nirmal Bardiya of RMC Gems India Limited felt that “the show should focus on medium sized cities and promotion should not be restricted to just one stone so that overall benefits can be shared by all. I feel we can expect 40% less business in '09 because of the global meltdown and it will take the industry another two years to bounce back to its original health. The worst is yet to come.” Deepak Choksi of Choksi Vachhraj Makanji & Co also lavished praise on the organizers but commented that “there is not much BtoB business. This can also be due to the recession and the terror attacks in Mumbai. In the meantime, we are restructuring and reviewing our business so that when the industry bounces back we can recover some of our sales.”

Yash Agarwal of Birdhichand Ghyanshyamdas Jewellers lauded the organizers for the excellent management of JJS and noted that the response to JJS'08 was greater than the previous shows organized at Jaipur despite the prevailing negative sentiment in the market. He remarked that “apart from the fact that we exhibited in an open area with a temporary roof, all the other arrangements at JJS '08 were at par with international exhibitions.” Nirav Virani of Karp Impex Ltd., who was exhibiting for the first time at JJS'08, pointed out that “most customers preferred lower end diamonds and there was a noticeable decline in the number of big clients, probably due to the global recession.” Like other exhibitors , he also suggested that the exhibition should shift to an indoor facility with greater capacity for large crowds. Sarah Cort of the Tanzanite Foundation Group pointed out that the Indian market, particularly jewellers of Jaipur, were largely ignorant about Tanzanite, the fascinating new stone “and JJS has given us a platform from which we can educate the market. Also, despite the global recession we are very positive about the Indian market which we believe has a strong financial base.”

The organizers of the show, Vimal Chand Surana, Rajiv Jain and Nawal Agarwal revealed that while they had minimal expectations before the show began “the footfalls were more than we expected. There have been around 25,000-30,000 footfalls in four days. The overall response has been good and most of the exhibitors have been satisfied.” Most of all, the Jaipur Jewellery Show succeeded in not only highlighting the coloured stone industry once again, but also rebuilding the industry's confidence which had been severely eroded due to terror attacks and the crippling global meltdown.

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