The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council’s (GJEPC) 32nd annual India International Jewellery Show, which took place Aug. 6–9 in Mumbai, closed with record attendance and strong sales despite a cautious opening.
The GJEPC said that attendance at the show, which caters to the domestic Indian market, was up 10–15 percent, and gold jewelry reportedly sold out within the first days of the show. Diamond sellers saw slower sales, but none who JCK spoke with seemed particularly worried, noting the cyclical nature of the market and the producers’ recent steps to limit production.
“We were positive going into it, but we never expected this kind of response,” GJEPC chair Vipul Shah told JCK. “Gold is at an affordable price, and the festival season is coming up, so we are looking to have a good quarter. The market is going in the right direction.”
“Compared to a week ago, people are really upbeat. The attitude has changed to one of positivity,” said Sanjay Kothari, former GJEPC chairman. “People came here with low expectations, and because of that, they are happy. The gold people are really happy. The way this show goes, usually, is: The first two days are big for gold and the last two days for diamonds. This is a domestic show, so gold will be the primary seller here. And diamonds, you really have to wait until after the show to see what the conversion rates are.”
Anil Bharwani, the Mumbai-based owner of an eponymous jewelry line featuring traditional designs alongside playful and creative animal jewels, said sales were down compared to last year, but that his lower price points—approximately $1,500 U.S.—were selling well. The best sellers? Peacocks, the national bird of India.
Colin Shah, managing director of jewelry manufacturer Kama Schachter, the business of which is half in India and half in the U.S., was having a great show. “Indians love jewelry,” he said. “Business is great. Women here are excited to spend money on fashion jewelry in India in a way they just aren’t in the U.S.”
Diamond sellers saw slower business than gold and jewelry sellers but were optimistic. ?”We’ve had a lot of inquiries at this show, but so far less business than we were hoping,” said Kalpesh Vaghani, director of Kapu Gems. “But we’ll see how it goes in the end.”