Fruitful Business at India's International Jewellery Show 2005

The Show, was inaugurated by Chief Guest Praful Patel, Minister of Civil Aviation...
Fruitful Business at India's International Jewellery Show 2005

From 25 stalls to about 1500 - that zoom tells the success tale of the annual India International Jewellery Show (IIJS). This year too IIJS saw 'fruitful' business except for an unfortunate monsoon tailspin which caused a temporary set- back. Nevertheless, the 'show must go on' and to save everyone further confusion, inconvenience, the industry strongly felt that a convention centre with proper infrastructure must be built on priority basis.

Here's a brief report on the five-day evet.

Highlights-

  • Brisk demand for big diamonds
  • International buyers show more interest
  • New range of jewellery launched
  • Traditional pavilion showcases the past.
TWO decades on, the India International Jewellery Show has registered a steady growth year after year reflecting India's immense potential in the gems and jewellery trade. The IIJS 2005 housed 1,500 stalls of 686 exhibitors, including 117 international exhibitors accommodated in six halls at the NSE Complex in Mumbai. Besides this there were 1,076 pre-registered entries. This year IIJS registered a modest increase in trading by 18% compared with last year.

The Show, held from July 14 to 18, was inaugurated by Chief Guest Praful Patel, Minister of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India. Also present were Consul-General of Belgium in Mumbai Herman Merckx, Jaywantiben Mehta & P.K. Mahapatra of the Commerce Ministry, Govt. of India.

In his inaugural address Bakul Mehta, Chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the organizer of the Show, said: "With IIJS 2005, the Indian gems & jewellery industry will be moving a step further to strengthen its foothold on the global map. A multi-purpose vehicle, the IIJS is a one-stop-shop for all the requirements and offerings of the world gems and jewellery sector."

"The Indian gems and jewellery industry aims to transform itself from the largest manufacturing centre to the largest trading centre. IIJS 2005 is a major step in realizing the Indian industry's vision of becoming the global hub for gems and jewellery," he added.

He highlighted the industry's remarkable growth of 29.27% compared to the last fiscal year. Total exports registered US$ 15,677 million.

Praful Patel remarked in his address about the lack of a world-class exhibition centre in Mumbai. He assured government support to the industry and that area near the international airport and at the Bandra-Kurla Complex is being considered to erect an exhibition centre.

Entry Fee Hike:

Unlike last year, the entry fee at the IIJS had been hiked to Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 5,000 for Indian visitors and US$100 for foreign buyers. It is a whooping increase from last year's Rs. 1,500. The number of visitors to this year's Show was 25,500 Indian and 1,500 international visitors.

"The Show is okay but the entry is very expensive. Goods are very nice and innovative. It provides a good platform for us to promote our goods," said Jean-Michel Roux, Vice-President Operations at Signity.

The hike in entry fee evoked the ire of many exhibitors who felt it discouraged the number of visitors both Indian and international. Exhibitors felt that this year IIJS did not see many international buyers. Many exhibitors in the machinery section complained that the high entry fee has turned away a lot of buyers and visitors leading to lack of fruitful business. While many others in the machinery section did roaring business with orders crossing million dollars.

Closed Market:

Talking about the duties applied at various stages, Ermanno Panozzi, Marketing Manager of Tecnor SpA, Italy, said, "The import duty is an obstacle. The market is closed. No big names have contacted us. The market is still a blocked one." Ermanno has come with the expectation to strike a deal with big names in India but did not get the right response. He said that he is uncertain over participating in IIJS 2006. On a similar note Giorgio Merlo, Sales Director of Tecnigold S.p.A., also from Italy said the Show is good.

Though there is not much business but it's okay. "We are used to it", he said.

Neglected lot: Machinery section

The Machinery Section in Hall 2 and 5 saw about 100 exhibitors fewer than the previous year. The stall holders gave a mixed reaction to IIJS 2005. As Diamond World spoke to some of the leading companies at the stalls, this is what they had to say:

"We are happy." Many participants were regular exhibitors and hoped to participate in the coming year too. Though most of them gave a positive expression, there were some who faced hardships in getting their products from outside Mumbai. "They have neglected us. No facility was provided by the organizers to store the heavy machinery. We had to make our own arrangements."

There were some like Milano International who were at IIJS "to make our presence felt", said CEO A.M. Gidwani. Milano sells Japanese casting machine and did not expect to do much at IIJS but he said "we would be participating in the next IIJS too". Superfit Continental Pvt Ltd said that it did less business compared to the previous year.

Alpha International did excellent business bagging over half a million dollar worth of business in two days. Overwhelmed by the success this year, Mayur Sheth, owner of Alpha International said, "We will double the size of the stall in IIJS 2006." Most enquiries came in from the Middle-East, he disclosed.

Kirit Shah of Shah Tools was highly upset with the entry fees and lamented that most of his clients turned away due to strict procedures and high fees. He warned that the coming year will not see even 50 stall holders in the machinery section. Year after year the number of participants has been depleting.

What began with over 200 stall holders in the Machinery Section alone has been reduced to around 100 or so this year.

Foreign Delegations:

According to the GJEPC, several international delegations were at the IIJS Show, including those from Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Poland, Italy, Hungary, Europe, Turkey and Mexico. The Council held talks with delegations from Italy and Mexico among others briefing them about the potential of the Indian industry, said Bakul Mehta during a press conference at the IIJS.

Laying emphasis on the importance of the Italian delegation, Bakul Mehta said that it was essential to obtain Italian technical knowhow. Italian companies source diamonds from India and set them in the jewellery manufactured in Italy. So far only one company from Italy brings mountings from Italy and manufactures jewellery in India. The main aim is to get Italian companies to manufacture jewellery in India.

He explained that the results of meeting the delegations will take affect only after the Show. "Usually delegations are briefed about the Indian industry and they take a look around the Show and come back to us later," he said.

Trends at the Show:

There was a visible brisk movement of 3 and 5 caraters at the IIJS. Exhibitors dealing in loose diamonds revealed that buyers were looking for over 3 caraters.

The present demand trend is for bigger size diamonds because they are scarce, said Hasmukh Shah of Shital Diam, who have been in the market for the last 15 years and are a sister concern of Gembel Group of Companies. "The 3 and 5 caraters sold well at the IIJS. Usually, in any show about 15% are actual buyers and the rest are either casual visitors or those who come to study designs. They could also turn out to be potential customers in the future. We did average business at IIJS, better than last year. We did get orders from Delhi and other places."There was also movement of big size cubic zirconia. Said Abhishek Saraf of Hariprasad Gopikrishna Jewellers Pvt. Ltd: "This is the only true B2B Show and that is why we participate in this show." They deal with Signity which markets cubic zirconium.

Last year saw a range of small diamonds set in invisible setting and much in vogue. With increasing shortage of big size diamonds this demand for smalls is on the rise. India specializes in cutting and polishing small size diamonds.

In the jewellery section, international buyers were awed by the Indian chunky jewellery but were more interested in Italian designs.

Patricia Armendarr, Director-General of Credipyme, a bank in Mexico stated, "This is my first visit to India. I am here to study the market and meet banks that provide credit to the gems and jewellery industry". She was awed by the jewellery on display at the Modern Impex stall. Her first reaction was: "do they really wear this kind of heavy jewellery?" Kunal Doshi of Modern Impex said that this kind of jewellery is popular in the Middle-East and caters to consumers in Saudi Arabia and India too on special occasions.

The heavy gold jewellery drew the attention of buyers from Dubai and the Middle-East.

Hussein Bahamdein of Masag Gold and Jewellery of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a gold jewellery dealer, said the Show was promising. "This is the first time I am coming to this Show. I have come to buy jewellery. We do not manufacture but sell gold jewellery." Hussein is in this field since 1979.

Seminars & Workshops:

Navin Jashnani: "In an era when knowledge is power, the fortunes of many organizations are increasingly decided by the knowledge bank at its disposal and the skill-competitiveness of its human resources. Seminars and workshops at IIJS are designed to fulfil this specific need of the gem and jewellery industry."

Under the Spectrum Seminar Series, the Council hosted educative seminars and workshops. Seminars focused on building the knowledge base of the industry while workshops aimed at enhancing the skill of the industry professionals.

The major seminars covered an array of topics, including sales training for jewellery retailers, arranging finance and minimizing risks in jewellery business, identifying synthetic diamonds and diamond simulants, new trends in diamond cut grading, current trends and technology for retailers, fashion trends, professionalizing family business-role of family members and outsiders, gem identification, cost-effective sales promotion for small jewellers, visual merchandizing.

Focusing mainly on the retail front, most of the seminars dealt with topics useful to retail business. Amitabh Basu of Idendesign Strategies Ltd. expounded the importance of retailers creating identity and personalizing products while Sanjeev Agarwal, Managing Director, Indian sub-continent World Gold Council, deliberated on gold business and the risks involved at each stage right from mining to retailing.

While others including, Rajan Venkatesh, Director-India of Scotia Mocatta; Joseph Massey, Deputy Managing Director of Multi-Commodity Exchange; Amit Kapoor of GIA; Dr. K. Ramachandran and Dr. J. Panjikar from the various institutes, took up various topics. The seminars were interactive and informative.

Special Corner:

As a part of a special effort by the GJEPC to revive traditional Indian arts, there was on display at the IIJS traditional Indian jewellery such as Theva work, Rewa work, Bikaner work, Filigree, and Minakari at the India Traditional Pavilion, while the Designers Gallery showcased jewellery designed by budding, young Indian jewellery designers.

ABN-AMRO Solitaire Awards:

The ABN-AMRO Solitaire Design Awards were open to exhibitors at the IIJS 2005 and recognized the talent and creativity in jewellery design and craftsmanship. The awards were announced in the Couture, Daily Wear, Plain Gold and Best Stall categories. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Somnath Chatterjee, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, who presented the awards to the winners.

Category Award Company Name of the piece
Couture
Neckwear Winner Jewel Trends Diamante Flames
Runner Up Ansaa Jewels Venus - The Necklace
Earrings Winner Bapalal Keshavlal Rosy Reflections
Runner Up Sama Jewellery Twilight
Rings Winner Lucky Jewellery Abacus
Runner Up       Bapalal Keshavlal Journey of Life
Bangles Bracelets & Accessories Winner Sama Jewellery Freeflowing Raza
Runner Up CVM Exports Rainbow Rays from the Junagadh Collection
Daily Wear
NeckwearWinnerPrism EnterprisesThe Mystique of a Honey Drop
Runner UpSama JewelleryFirewood
Honorable MentionKinubaba Jewellery Pvt Ltd. Heavenly Drop
EarringsWinnerJewels EmporiumLissom Leaves
Runner UpSummit JewelleryScallops
RingsWinnerDiatrends Jewellery Pvt Ltd Giro
Runner UpFine Jewellery (India Ltd) Embezzlement Defied
Bangles Bracelets & AccessoriesWinnerKrishna JewelsTurquoise Heavens
Runner UpAnmol Jewels Serendipity
Plain Gold
Winner Sangam Chains The Beauty of Curls
Runner Up Ansaa Jewellers Pvt Ltd Cleopatra
Second Runner Up Kinubaba Jewellery Pvt Ltd Desires
Stall Designs
Jewellery Stalls Winner Suashish Diamonds Ltd 
Runner Up Shobha Asar
2nd Runner Up Amrapali Jewels Pvt Ltd
Honorable Mention Sama Jewellery
Machinery
Winner Nikunj Exip Enterprises Pvt Ltd
Runner Up Indutherm
Allied
Winner       International Gemological Institute

SIDELIGHTS

Celebrity Attraction:

The IIJS 2005 has been a perfect place for many to launch their jewellery collections. Further, Bollywood stars endorsing jewellery lines visited the respective stalls. Prominent among them was Nightingale voice of India Lata Mangeshkar, the designer of Swaranjali, the signature line endorsed by Adora.

Karishma Kapoor made her presence felt as she visited the Eros Jewellery stall. Other personalities who visited the stalls were Simi Garewal at the Jewelex and Hema Malini at the Hammer Plus.

The final day of the IIJS saw celebrities like Subhash Chandra of Zee TV and Bollywood personality Smita Thackeray visiting the Show.

New launch:

  • Hammer Plus introduced a unique range of jewellery touching on the ancient Indian technique of "Dhyan" as a system of cure. The jewellery range consists of 15 intricately crafted mandalas, the seven "chakras" and eight-fold deities set in 18k gold with diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones. The jewellery comes with a Dhyan kit consisting of CD with mantras, prescribed incense and guidelines. Hammer Plus had also organized a meditation workshop to popularize the Panch Indriya Technique.
  • Jewelex, leading precious metal jewellery exporter, launched their new range of machine-made jewellery at the IIJS 2005. Bollywood star of yesteryears Simi Garewal was the guest of honour at their inaugural function. The range of diamond jewellery consists of bangles, bands, pendants, necklaces, earrings, etc. The diamond-studded jewellery were sold in the range of - bangles beginning from Rs. 30,000, diamond bands from Rs. 10,000, platinum bands for Rs. 12,000 and pendants and earrings around Rs. 15,000 and above.

  • Telesthesia … The Sixth Sense !
    As India has achieved the mark of getting every 9 out of 10 diamonds processed, cut and polished here, "I wish 90% of the jewellery too comes from India", said Bakul Mehta, the Chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, during the inauguration of Telesthesia … The Sixth Sense, a fashion show organized to felicitate the winning designs. At Telesthesia, a culmination of the topmost Bollywood designers - Manish Malhotra, Neeta Lulla, Vikram Phadnis, Anna Singh, Ashley Rebello, Ameeta Kapur and Vidhu Manroa, etc., churned out garments to match jewellery specially designed to predict future trends for the upcoming season. Co-sponsored by State Bank of India, the fashion show organized at Renaissance Grand Ballroom, saw designers from JPDC and IIGJ displaying their extravaganza. The best designs in various categories were awarded. The winners were honoured with certificates and cash. Leading companies, including Minstones, In Style Jewellery, Eros Jewellery, CVM, Bherumal Shamandas and Sama Jewellery also presented their collections based on the latest trends. The jewellery collections included exclusive diamond jewellery, diamonds in combination with colored stones, traditional and chunky jewellery.

Exhibitors & Visitors Incurred Losses:

The visitors' losses are being taken care of. The visitors, who registered on Sunday (July 17), will be allowed to enter the Show today (July 18). We intend to extend the timing of the Show tomorrow by a few hours. The problem arose in a small section of the exhibition but it was not advisable to take chances in other areas also. We shut down at 2 p.m. and there was a four hour loss. We will extend the timing by two or three hours according to the requirement.

It is Unprecedented & Very Embarrassing!
It is very regrettable we do not have a proper infrastructure in Mumbai. There is urgent need for a convention centre. We are in contact with the authorities and hope that in course of time a centre will come up where exhibitions of this magnitude can be held safely.

The Indian exhibitors were taken aback with the loss of business hours and the loss of potential clients from abroad who had planned to visit the Show on Sunday. Nevertheless, the 'Show must go on' as many agreed after a word with Bakul Mehta. The next and the final day of IIJS did see many visitors and business deals being finalized. The positive part of it all is that many international buyers were more understanding and agreed that had there been a proper centre, this problem would not have occurred at all. It's high time the gems and jewellery industry and the GJEPC joined hands to work towards building a state-of-the-art Convention Centre to ensure success of IIJS year after year.

Rains plays havoc:

Business had to be shut down early on the fourth day of IIJS owing to heavy rains that flooded Hall 5.

For security reasons Chairman Bakul Mehta ordered shut down four hours early. In a briefing to the press, Mehta clarified the cause behind the unfortunate incident.

How did it Happen?

There were heavy rains at about 11 in the morning (July 17) and seepage of water into Hall 5 followed. Since there was a lot of wiring involved and there was water around we were worried it could lead to a serious short circuit. Eventually it could lead to a fire. In order to avoid any catastrophe we thought it would be more advisable to move from the convention centre and put things in proper place so that business can start normally tomorrow (July 18) morning. Some things had to be taken care of and put in place by midnight and the show will be on tomorrow as per schedule. He revealed that there was some problem with the drainage piping. Probably there was some choking at some place. It has now been found out and cleared. And I believe even if we have rain tomorrow there wouldn't be any problem.
  • Despite claims of wide comprehensive advance preparations, the IIJS-2005 got off to an erratic start, under unlucky stars. No sooner than the expo commenced, air conditioning faltered in one of the Halls. Consequently exhibitors and visitors had to conduct business in sweltering moist heat. Some sufferers added that the air-conditioner even spewed acid that bruised many faces !
  • IIJS organizers had invited as official guests some overseas journalists too. After roaming around for a couple of days, they accosted the IIJS organizers. The Basel Magazine staffer asked pointedly, - "When you have invited us here on an official visit at considerable expenses why nothing is being provided to us - no press note, no CD, no photos nor has there been any formal briefing." Another snide remark was - "The Press Room here provides only furniture"!
  • A third barb was "Are we expected to sit idle without journalistic work and kill flies! "

  • Other journalists opined that of all the hosts they have encountered in world trade fairs, the IIJS Press Department carries the cake of inactivity !
  • Rains during the monsoon season are the rule rather than an exception. When showers caused seepage and water-logging in one of the Halls on the fourth day due to faulty drainage underground, an IIJS participant wondered loudly - "Is this supposed to be an exhibition hall for a precious trade fair or an indoor swimming pool!"
  • Strangely enough, the increased rush of participants and visitors for the IIJS-2005 was welcomed by hiking the stall rates as well as the entry fee. Even foreign visitors were not spared and had to cough up $100 each. The heavy gate fee, unprecedented for a B2B Show was understandably resented by the exhibitors, who complained that it retarded the inflow of their buyers.

This was in stark contrast to the earlier generosity of the organizers who used to offer travel and hotel facilities plus free entry to overseas visitors.

Reactions:

Good Show:

Lic. Rafael Solorzano Kruker, Director General of Impsa in Mexico: We have been in this profession for the last 25 years.

We have visited several shows abroad, but this is the first time we are in India. India is beautiful. The jewellery is very good. This is a very huge Show. We are here to buy precious metal. We are dealers. We are also looking to strike a deal between Indian suppliers and Mexican manufacturers.

Council's Great Job:

"Generally speaking, the infrastructure was poor this year looking at the size of the exhibition and what is available internationally. Every year there is some minister or the other who visits the IIJS and talks about the pressing need for a Convention Centre for Mumbai, but nothing happens after that. It's been going on for years. But I wouldn't blame the Council for it," said Russell Mehta, CEO of Rosy Blue. "The Council has done a wonderful job with the IIJS. It is unfortunate that owing to lack of proper infrastructure there was water seepage and clogging. Such incidents are exceptional but they do affect our image in the international community. Some of the foreign buyers also faced hardships in getting their goods cleared. However, the Council had done its best to erect such a huge hall temporarily".

10% Loss of Business:

Commenting from the business point of view as far as Rosy Blue is concerned, Rajiv Beri, CEO of Josh Diamonds, an offshoot of the Rosy Blue Group, said that the Show was good. "We did better business by over 30% compared to last year. The high entry fee saw serious customers and buyers unlike last year where 50% visitors were a general crowd. This time 75% were serious buyers. In fact we would have done 10% more business had it not been for the Sunday tragedy (flooding in Hall 5). It was something natural, you can't blame the organizers for it". Elaborating on the behavior of many, Rajiv sternly said that the Council should not allow such exhibitors to participate in the Show. This is our show. What is the use of ruining one's own house? It has lowered our image amid international buyers. We had quite a few appointments to seal deals on Sunday but it could not be done as the buyers had to fly back," lamented Rajiv.

Fruitful Business:

IIJS 2005 was fruitful, says Sohail Kothari, Director, and Umesh Desai, General Manager Marketing, of Fine Jewellery (India) Ltd. The response was good. About 75% of our invitees turned up. Jewellers and dealers of the A and B category visited us. Over 70% who visited us were from the Indian market while 30% were export-oriented. Of this 40% are those who have been visiting us for the last four editions of IIJS. The trend has been more inclined towards big sizes. There has been more demand for diamonds of 3 carats and above. On the jewellery front our 'Mystery Setting' which we launched at the IIJS, drew a lot of attention. It has more of solitaire look but comes in various shapes. Overall IIJS has been very good and we are very happy.

Need for Suitable Convention Centre:

Ajay Kala of Sara Jewels noted the positive side of the Show. "The Show is good now. It has improved with time. Business is also improving. It represents a contemporary jewellery show in line with international shows. Nevertheless, it can be improved further. IIJS is lagging behind in infrastructure, including cooling. A city like Mumbai needs a big Convention Centre for IIJS. The GJEPC must look into this".


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