Dubbed the “Best of the Best,” the second Indo/US Jewelry Business Relationship Development Conference, sponsored by Rio Tinto Diamonds, will get underway in Mumbai on Monday, for two days of panel discussions, keynote speeches, and 45-minute speed dates between nine prominent U.S. retailers and wholesalers and 11 major Indian jewelry manufacturers.
Following the first two days of the conference, the U.S. jewelry trade delegates will split-up for two days of personalized factory tours in Mumbai’s SEEPZ, the special industrial business park that houses the majority of India’s largest jewelry manufacturers.
“Despite the difficult economy, we are pleased with the quality of this year’s conference sponsors and retailers,” said Sanjay Kothari, chairman of the Indian Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council. “India is committed to growing its jewelry business and this conference is one of our key initiatives to support the important US business. We salute the retailers that have the courage and vision to keep developing new manufacturing sources and know that our sponsors will both surprise and delight their U.S. guests with highly-saleable, fashionable product that not only delivers a good working margin, but also provides them with an excellent value for sale to their customers.”
Attending this year’s event are representatives of Sterling’s Kay and Jared divisions, Fred Meyer Jewelers, Reeds of North Carolina, Herteen & Stocker and Wickersham Jewelers representing RJO, Bergstrom’s and Becker’s Jewelers representing Leading Jewelers of the World, Cardow’s of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and fine jewelry designer/wholesaler Temple St. Clair.
In addition to Rio Tinto as the lead sponsor, the GJEPC has assembled eleven manufacturing sponsors: Elegant Collection, Fine Jewellery, Goldiam International, Jewelex, KP Sanghavi, Minestone, Mohit, Shrenuj, SNC Jewels, Sunjewels Eleganza and Supergems.
Last year’s conference attendees are still experiencing the positive effects of the inaugural event.
“The GJEPC trip to India was one of the best business events I have ever had the opportunity to attend,” said Craig Underwood, president of American Gem Society and principal of Underwood’s Fine Jewelry said. “I found it to be both interesting and eye opening. I learned facts about the Indian manufacturing community that I was not previously aware. While I have had some dealings with Indian manufacturers in the past, my knowledge about the advantages in dealing with an Indian manufacturer was quite limited. By attending the GJEPC trip I gained a whole new insight into the advantages of buying from Indian manufacturers and I was able to discover several new sources that have become valuable partners in the growth of our business.”
Last year’s conference also was attended by Samuels, Ben Bridge, Carlyle, IJO, Saslow’s, Lemon’s, and Harris Originals.