Hoping For The Best

IIJS 2014
Hoping For The Best

Amidst lesser footfall, fewer international visitors, India International Jewellery Show 2014 concluded with a hope for the better festive season sales. While gold did well in the show, diamonds received a slow response. However, the exhibitors were happy owing to the presence of quality buyers. Kavita Parab and Priyanka Desai bring you a detailed report.

With Mumbai monsoon in full swing, the 31st edition of India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) 2014 concluded on a positive note of the show being the beginning of the better season ahead. Though it was not raining visitors this year, the IIJS definitely had good quality customers making their way to the Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre at Goregaon, Mumbai during July 17 to 21, 2014. The five-day event witnessed established as well as new names from the world of gem and jewellery industry putting forth their best of the best, unique designs on display.

The show was inaugurated by Karna Bahadur Thapa – the honourable Minister of Industry for Nepal. The other dignitaries present were Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC; Pankaj Parekh, the Vice Chairman, GJEPC; Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director, GJEPC; Nirav Bhansali, Convener, IIJS. The show being one of the Asia’s premier jewellery show had over 800 participants and 1,800 booths exhibiting their products. Overall, there were fewer footfalls observed this year as compared to 2013. However, the exhibitors were happy as they received quality customers. Gold and jewellery sections had received maximum hustle bustle while diamond had a slow response. Also, different and unique products were more in demand than the mass products. Echoing the sentiment, Vipul Sutariya, Director, Dharmanandan Diamonds said, “We have experienced almost a 50 per cent increase in business this year. It has been a very good show for us. I agree that the footfalls are lesser but there are quality buyers, this time. If the exhibitor is prepared with something unique to display, then the show is bound to be good. We have introduced a micro setting collection, which is inspired by Thailand. It has received a very good response. In conclusion, I would like to say that the show was very good and much better than the last year.”

Talking about the different products, Justin Verkey, Jewel Ace International, said, “The show was good for us. We were ready with product that suited the customers demand. We always do something different and there was good response to our jewellery. We hope the mobile network at the show gets better as it would help the communication further.”

Anju-Ajay Jain, Director, Exquisite Color Kraft Pvt Ltd too was happy with the show and the business. They said, “We had a better experience at the show. There are a lot of serious customers. We saw presence of tier II cities also. It is good to see that these cities are opening to gemstone jewellery. We got a lot of good enquiries. Though overseas customers were less in number but there was good business volume. I think anybody who is ready to do something different has been able to do a good business.”

The show was held in July instead of August, which received mixed reactions from the visitors as well as exhibitors. The festival of lights, Diwali this year being in October followed by the wedding season, the idea behind preponing the show was to give the jewellers ample time to get the orders ready for the upcoming festive season. However, some of the exhibitors felt that it was too early for the upcoming festive as well as wedding season. Also, the buyers seemed to be wary of stocking up. Bharat Mehta of Laxmi Jewellery Export Pvt Ltd said, “Last year’s IIJS show was much better than this year. This year the show is very slow as it began early as compared to last many years. July is not the right month to hold this show as the session period starts from September first week. The real business happened in first two days, where the real buyers came and booked their orders. Overall, this show generally helps boost the market sentiment. But, it definitely was slow this year.” Even Rupesh Tambi of Arshia Jewellers said, “The footfalls are very less as compared to the last year as the show is held one month earlier. The month of August is good to host the IIJS but July is too early.”

While Heet Dholakia, Bhavani Gems Pvt Ltd thought preponing the show was a good decision on the organisers’ part. He said, “The show is good for the jewellery retailers. For loose stones, we have received good enquiries but that has not been converting into sales. However, this show is a good platform for the newcomers. I think slating the show earlier this year was a good decision as it will help the jewellers to have ample time to complete the orders.”

After the slow start, the show picked up pace on the second and third consecutive days. However, the exhibitors felt that there was surface interest but that was not converting into sales as the consumers were wary of stocking up. Even Rupesh Tambi of Arshia Jewellers said, “People are buying only for their current requirements but not stocking up at all. There are buyers from North India who are buying a bit. I would also like to talk about the facilities, which needs attention. The WIFI is not working at all. The mobile service is bad inside the venue and many more such reasons are making us lose our business. The council needs to address the connectivity issue as soon as possible. The floor plan is also not easy to understand and is confusing. I fear that next year it will be even more chaotic if they bring in the new floor plan. The show has failed in boosting the market sentiment.”

Jignesh Davariya, Design Creation shared the similar sentiments. He said, “The show was average for us. The retailers are not stocking up. They are buying only as per the requirement. I guess the government policies are somewhere responsible for this. Consumers are not ready to block funds.” Abhishek Raniwala and Abhiyant Raniwala of Raniwala, too, said “The IIJS 2014 has much lesser footfall in comparison to last year. The usual buyers are wary of stocking up. There is also a cash crunch in the market. The daily wear and fancy designs are in demand this year and coloured gemstones are in vogue too. In terms of business volume, it is just the same as last year. Firstly, the show has started early as compared to last many years and this may be cause of early festive season. But the retailers are yet not ready to stock as of now so it was expected to be a bit slow. I feel the season will be good but I have mixed feelings for the show. We have launched the Palace collection, which is a one-carat plus diamond collection for the brides. We have tried to give a holistic convenient experience to our customers and thus we have built our stall accordingly. Just the designs don’t work, there has to be proper treatment to customer, credit period, price point and comfort, all is important to maintain clients.” Ashok Sakaria, HVK, talking about the show and the lesser international visitors said, “The show was excellent for the jewellery. There are genuine buyers. Business volume was good. Not many foreign buyers were seen especially from the Middle East may be due to the month of Ramzan. As compared to the last year, there is no difference in the business volume. This year, certified jewellery is in demand especially good SI quality. Overall, HVK is happy with the show.”

This year, IIJS 2014 witness drop in overseas visitors. However, the ones who attended the event were quite content with the show. We spoke to Jose Miguel Serret of Facet, Barcelona, Spain. He seemed quite happy with the IIJS 2014 and he said, “I am very impressed with the show. The products on display are to my liking and this is a great place for networking and research. I also had the chance to visit the Bharat Diamond Bourse and The Bandra Kurla Complex and I must say that I am very impressed with it. The security, the facilities and the arrangements are all up to the mark. I will surely come and visit the IIJS in the coming years.” While some of the international visitors felt that the show could have more of international jewellery on display. Many of them found the show and the exhibits more in traditional Indian in nature and expected more of international in future.

The show, which followed the old floor plan will have a new floor plan for 2015 and some of the exhibitors felt that it can get chaotic next year. Considering the current space constraint, how the new floor plan will be worked out only time will tell. Until then, with no respite from the policies and the industry is only hoping for the better days ahead.

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