Tough time for rain-hit producers
Indian diamond, gems and jewellery market has been badly hit by the incessant torrential rains that have been lashing India’s commercial Capital of Mumbai since July 26. Rains wrecked havoc on life and property in most parts of Maharashtra, especially Mumbai. The entire city went out of gear. Most of the businesses came to a grinding halt affecting production and exports. The gems and jewellery industry suffered heavy production losses, as manufacturers had to shut down factories. The attendance of workers had been poor since Tuesday July 26. Though many offices and factories managed to run with 50% staff on Thursday and Friday, the situation worsened on Saturday, July 30. Rain was continuing until Monday August 1, preventing many export consignments from being shipped to their destinations. According to sources, Customs remained closed for two days, which added to the delay in transfer of goods. Manufacturing units have reported a 70 to 75% loss in production during the week. Factories have remained closed for over three days in SEEPZ. Low-lying areas of MIDC and Andheri made commuting to production units almost impossible. As a precautionary measure most of the units have been shut down. Within SEEPZ some of the units in low-lying areas have been affected. Diamond World spoke to some of the manufacturing units for taking stock of the situation at their end.
Mahendrabhai, partner of C. Mahendra: “We are facing at least 70% loss production-wise. In fact we shut down the factory on Monday at 12 noon due to heavy rains. The main problem is in SEEPZ and MIDC, otherwise operations in Gujarat and Surat are going as per schedule.”
After IIJS we have had huge orders to meet and due to production loss we are not able to keep up commitments. With domestic clients it is okay as they are aware of the situation but with international clients it is a bit difficult,” he said. Taking the whole month into consideration, Rajiv confessed that at least there is a 20% reduction in production.
The SEEPZ zone being on a higher level did not see much of water logging but the area surrounding the zone is submerged in floods. According to sources, exports consignment has not been hit badly. Said Nitin Gupte, Group HRD Manager of Livingstones: “We were able to export as per schedule last week in spite of rains. Tuesday and Wednesday the factory worked as usual and our workers stayed back. The company took care of their basic necessities. As there was a red alert on Monday, we did not risk working and had closed for the day. Our next consignment is for Saturday, August 6 and we hope to send it across as per schedule. Many clients are aware of the situation and have given one week extension.”