The first GEMKonnect Knowledge Forum, one of a series of planned educational seminars powered by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) across the country for the Indian gem and jewellery industry, was conducted in the city of Indore.
The response from the jewellery retail community was overwhelming, as a rapidly changing economic and social environment in the country called for major changes in the way the industry does business.
The six-module event featured two sessions by the GIA’s Amrit Patel and Mohit Agarwal — one on what gemmology is all about and what career options it could throw open for the next generation, and the other focussing on synthetic diamonds; the various types and manufacturing processes as well as methods of detecting them.
A session by Chirag Warty explained the best options for digital marketing and e-Commmerce, especially in the new, more cashless economic environment in the country; how to increase revenue through digital marketing; how to find customers online and how to optimise one’s presence through search engine optimisation and social media engagement; and what the jewellery industry needs to do to grow through this year and in the future.
Kshama Dalal, explored the world of visual merchandising and in-store branding, and how a retail outlet could change its look periodically to stay fresh and engaged.
Dealing with an issue that the industry needed a lot of specific information on, S.K. Porwal moderated a panel discussion that delved into the details of the upcoming Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
Bhavesh Kataria wrapped up the event with a module on security, insurance, product valuation, a look at the best procedures and a check-list of the documentation needed for insurance claims.
Anil Kataria of D.P. Jewellers, with retail outlets in Indore, Ratlam, Bhopal and Udaipur, said, “This has been an extremely beneficial event for all of us. I think everyone who participated took away something of value from it. The session on GST was really good — the industry is going to have to operate in the GST regime from some time later this year and we need to know exactly what it entails. I am really appreciative of the GEMKonnect Knowledge Forum. We need to have these events all over so the industry can benefit from it.”