Dateline: India

The Fourth Edition of the Jaipur Jewellery Show was a fine blend of B2B and B2C interaction. It enjoyed a notable response from exhibitors, customers, consumers, and visitors. Held on the threshold of the New Year, from Dec. 22 to 25, 2006, at Raj Mahal Palace, it was a good opportunity for the colored-stone industry located beyond the traditional hub of Jaipur.

The Pink City of Jaipur was a splash of emerald green with posters of the JJS spread across the city. The elegantly designed, thematic posters were released last November by Vasundhara Raje, chief minister of Rajasthan.

The show was inaugurated by Donna Baker, president, Gemological Institute of America. She spoke on the The Emerald Book that was released in the opening ceremony. The Emerald Book, a coffee table read, cowritten by Yogi Durlabhji, Shyamala Fernandes, and Ruchi Durlabhji, covers topics ranging from the technical, historical, designing, and business angles of the green gem. She said that the book would help create awareness and promote sales of emeralds and be a handy source of information for exhibitors, designers, and visitors.

Sanjay Kothari, chairman, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, who was the next speaker, said that setting up the gem testing laboratory in Jaipur was a huge task that the council had recently completed. He further informed that GJEPC has proposed to the government, asking for a separate national council and an independent ministry for the gems and jewelry sector, since the industry has seen tremendous growth in the recent past and is expected to grow at a phenomenal rate.

The two interactive seminars at the show were scheduled on the topics of “Emeralds” and “New Concepts and Jewelry Designing.” Shyamala Fernandes and Ruchi Durlabhji led the seminar on the former, while Schmul Vyas took a session on the latter.

Another highlight of the JJS was the fashion show inspired by the Navrasas (the nine emotions that define Indian performing arts). Held at the Birla Auditorium, performances of the evening included a stand-up act, live fusion music, and a jugalbandi (musical performance for two solo players) that culminated in a fusion track—a combination of Indian and Western vocals.

Jewels Emporium and Birdichand Ghanshyamdas won the Best Stall Award at the show and Aastha Kala and Samta Baid were honored with the Women Entrepreneur Award—an award that was conceived with the intent to encourage the participation of women in the event. ATLT Inc. won the poster competition; Samta Baid, Gagan Choudhary, and Abhishek Singhal were declared as winners in the English essay competition; while Vandna Khungar, Meenubrajesh Vyas, and Jitendra Dev Sharma won the Hindi essay competition.

Major gem and jewelry events and shows like the GJIIE (Gold Jewellery India International Exhibition), the IIJS (India International JewelryShow), and the JCK Show-New Delhi, take place at the B2B level. JJS stood apart because of its dual B2B and B2C nature.

JCK India quizzed a few exhibitors on whetherthey preferred the dual B2B and B2C nature of the show and whether it contributed to their business. Ghanshyam Gupta, partner, Paniharan Exports, was pleased with the response he received, however Monto Badhalia, owner, Adbhut Jewels, seemed discontented with the crowd. “I was uncomfortable with the B2C nature of the show that encourages hoards of shoppers. Unwanted crowds can be troublesome for those interested in serious business. It would be ideal if the show would be a B2B event for the first three days and a B2C event on the culminating day,” he suggested. Piyush Kothari, director, Kothari Gems, remarked, “Our business got a favorable response and we managed to get serious buyers out of the crowd.”

Sandip Jhalani, partner, Namrata Ghiya, commented, “Since we deal in fine jewelry, both consumers and customers were welcome and we did good business.” Atul Agarwal from RMC, was pleased with the planned execution as compared with last year. He said, “We made average business. Ideally the show has to be a balance of both B2B and B2C.” Sunil Jain, Beautiful Jewels, reasoned, “B2B and B2C is a good idea considering aspects of business. My business has been good, as people are appreciating our bridal collection much before the wedding season,” he chuckled.

Ajay Kala, director, Sara Jewels, revealed that “The show would be an ideal platform to establish oneself in the industry. JJS has become the hub for both color stone jewelry and hand-made jewelry. We had a whopping response this year and hope we have 500 exhibitors next year. In fact, we are looking forward for a permanent convention center to host the show regularly at,” he concluded.

Traditional jewelry seems to be getting in vogue all over again, as noted in the JJS. Traditional forms like kundan (a method of gem setting), meenakari (enamelling), and thewa (fusing gold and glass) continued to be in demand, while silver jewelry with the modern motif attracted attention. Chandelier earrings, pendants with big stones, and bangles were much in demand.

Trend had it that most of the sales reported were of single colored jewelry pieces and not multicolor designs. Rubies and emeralds were the front-runners in the gemstone segment, while pearls and tourmalines played successful runners-up.

The convener of JJS, Rashmikant Durlabhji, revealed his plans to make JJS 2007 an international show with over 500 participants. “It will fulfill the vision of placing Jaipur on the world map,” he reiterated.