20 Oct 2020
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Securing Public Trust in Gems & Jewellery-Sriram Natarajan, Managing Director of GIA India
As the new Managing Director of GIA India, Sriram Natarajan talks about taking over the reins at a challenging time, education and creating awareness in the time of the pandemic, GIA’s new and improved Melee Analysis, the future of AI in diamond grading and more
By: Diamond World News Service
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Sep 17 2020 1:16PM
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Reference: 25157  

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“The Institute’s eLearning courses have helped many working professionals access GIA’s research-backed curriculum anytime, anywhere and learn at their own pace. During the lockdown period, GIA offered its online GIA Essentials courses – including Jewelry Essentials, Colored Stone Essentials and Diamond Essentials – at no cost, and received more than 10,000 enrolments from 110 countries.”

You have taken over this new role as the MD of GIA at a rather challenging time - as the MD what are your immediate priorities?
These are indeed challenging times that have impacted just about every industry. I am thankful to be a part of the gem and jewellery industry, which is resilient and has emerged stronger from downturns in the past. I also feel privileged to be a part of GIA– the leader in gemmological research, instrumentation, grading analysis and education – and help further the Institute’s mission to ensure the public trust in gems and jewellery.
thank Nirupa for putting together a great team, and as a leader, your job is already half done when you have a strong team.In these times, our focus is on creating a safe environment for our employees in Mumbai and Surat and pushing ourselves to meet the needs of our clients.The lockdown has accelerated the pace of digital adoption to stay connected with people, and we are doing our part in reaching out to the trade extensively using digital tools.

Why do you think education and awareness in the gems & jewellery industry is more critical now, given the current scenario?
Education has always been important and will continue to remain important for the ever-evolving gem and jewellery industry, and GIA has been a pioneer in gemmological education. GIA issued its first Graduate Gemology diploma in 1948, and has helped train more than 365,000 students since it was founded in 1931.GIA’s comprehensive gemmology and jewellery education prepares people starting a new career or looking for the next step in their profession for success in the industry Unfortunately, the pandemic has forced us to keep some of our schools closed. However, GIA remains as committed to sharing knowledge and has capitalised various digital avenues to reach a larger audience across different geographies. The Institute’s eLearning courses have helped many working professionals access GIA’s research-backed curriculum anytime, anywhere and learn at their own pace. During the lockdown period, GIA offered its online GIA Essentials courses – including Jewelry Essentials, Colored Stone Essentials and Diamond Essentials – at no cost, and received more than 10,000 enrolments from 110 countries.
GIA has been organising weekly webinars – GIA Knowledge Sessions – that are led by GIA Ph.Ds., field gemmologists, educators and research scientists. In the past months, we’ve covered various topics with roughly 20,000 viewers from 150 countries tuning in. We’ve alsolaunched the weekly emails, Knowledge Rocks, and our Gems & Gemology (G&G) Facebook Group to help the trade access gem knowledge from GIA more effortlessly.
In India too, GIA has been actively engaging with trade members through webinars as well as specialised training programmes for retailers’ staff. The webinars attracted more than 1,900 participants, while we trained more than 1,700 retail staff across India to date in 2020. Through these initiatives, we are making the best use of online platforms to spread knowledge, help the trade buy and sell with confidence, and ultimately, further GIA’s mission to ensure public trust in gems and jewellery.

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