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30 Jan
Denmark-based mass-market jewellery manufacturer and retailer PANDORA, which sells its product through 9,000 points of sale in 100 countries, announced that it has appointed a distributor for India, where it currently does not sell. PANDORA signed a letter of intent granting exclusive distribution rights in India with Pan India Charms & Jewellery PVt. Ltd. Through the partnership, PANDORA will establish branded sales distribution focusing on concept stores and shop-in-shops, initially in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. The initial expectation is to open around 50 concept stores in India over a three-year period, with around five stores expected to be opened in 2017. The first opening is planned for the first quarter of this year. PANDORA CEO Anders Colding Friis said, “Retailing and...
27 Jan
With the advent of 2017, the Indian gem and jewellery industry has a new working environment — one that is slanted toward fewer cash transactions and readying for the goods and services tax (GST) regime. Many jewellers are looking forward to this year with anticipation after what was a pretty bruising 2016. Three jewellery manufacturers expressed their view of the coming year to GEMKonnect. Gyan Prakash Arya of R M Jewellers of Bangalore notes, “Whatever the changes brought about by the government, the system is good for everyone. It will bring about a lot of transparency.”
Gyan Prakash Arya
He acknowledges that the initial impact of the system will result in a slowdown, observing, “The market will be slow for another four or five months. This happens whenever we...
26 Jan
A fire broke out on January 26 in the D West wing of the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) in Mumbai. The fire occurred in the offices of Ankit Gems on the sixth floor. The BDB’s own fire response team and the fire brigade were able to put the fire out within a short time. The cause of the fire was still being investigated at the time of reporting. There were no casualties or injuries as the BDB was closed on account of the Republic Day holiday.  
23 Jan
Joy Alukkas
The Joyalukkas group, the Indian jewellery retail chain with operations in 11 countries, has announced that it will open its third store in the US on February 4. The group already operates two retail stores in Houston and New Jersey and the third will open in Chicago. Headquartered in Kochi, the chain operates as a “super brand”, offering other branded products apart from its own. The opening of the Chicago showroom is part of the group’s aggressive expansion plans, which include entering new markets and strengthening the group’s positioning in its current 11 countries of operation. The group, with over 8,000 personnel, operates in the money exchange, luxury air charter, fashion, silks and retail mall segments and describes its mission statement as...
19 Jan
Nitin Khandelwal
Nitin Khandelwal, Chairman of the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), has written to the government with a list of industry recommendations to be taken into account while the national budget for the next fiscal year is formulated. Among his recommendations is that the GJF be developed into a fully fledged quasi-government council for the domestic gem and jewellery industry along the lines of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). Khandelwal said in his letter that the GJF has been “identified as the prime runner” for the formation of such an agency by the Ministry of Commerce in various meetings held over the past few years. He said there was an urgent need to go ahead with doing so. The GJF chairman’s other...
19 Jan
Mumbai-based KSS Ltd. has launched the first of 500 planned jewellery retail stores that will be co-branded with its online Cherishgold as well as brick-and-mortar Bjewelz brands. Last year, KSS, a movie and television entertainment group, acquired a 100 percent stake in Birla Gold and Precious Metals Ltd (BGPML), a venture of the Yash Birla industrial group. With the Birla Financial and Distribution Services Pvt. Ltd. having acquired a 11 percent stake in KSS in 2014, the merger and acquisition process has meant that the Birla venture still has a foot in the jewellery retail segment. KSS had announced at the time of the merger that it would roll out 500 jewellery retail stores around the country and planned to reach a turnover of ₹6,000 crore ($905 million) in three years. The rollout is...
18 Jan
Indian jewellery retail chain Malabar Gold and Diamonds announced that it would embark on a ₹620 crore ($91 million) expansion that would add 24 more outlets both in India and overseas over the next three months and entail the hiring of more than 1,000 new staff. Malabar currently employs 9,000 personnel and the addition will push staff strength over the 10,000 mark by March, the company said. Malabar will have a total of 185 outlets after the expansion. Malabar said its Indian expansion would involve the opening of seven new retail doors at a cost of ₹220 crore ($32 million). The remaining ₹400 crore ($59 million) would be spent in opening nine new outlets in the UAE, five in Saudi Arabia, two in Bahrain and one in Kkuwait. The company says its expansion comes at a time when others are...
18 Jan
As the Indian economy and consumers in general are still adapting to a new commercial reality in the wake of the government’s demonetisation and the planned introduction of a goods and services tax (GST), the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), which is the apex body representing jewellery retail in the country, has elected a new leadership. The jewellery retail industry is looking for acute and decisive leadership to negotiate the way forward in the atmosphere of uncertainty. Samir Shah, Managing Director of Indigo Jewellery Pvt. Ltd. a diamond jewellery manufacturer holding Sightholder status with De Beers and ALROSA and a global footprint that includes India, the US, Hong Kong, Belgium and the UAE, articulated some specifics he thinks the new GJF leadership should...
17 Jan
Indian watch and jewellery major Titan Co. Ltd., part of the Tata industrial group, said it is consolidating its jewellery portfolio by merging its lesser-known GoldPlus brand with the more famous Tanishq. Titan said in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), that small-town customers, for whom the GoldPlus brand had been launched to cater to more traditional needs, now wanted the more evolved product that the Tanishq brand provided. Given the evolved rural demand and the need to focus its resources and energies in the current consumer market situation, Titan said, it had decided to merge both brands. The GoldPlus brand had been launched in 2005, to cater to small towns in southern and western India, which displayed a more traditional demand pattern driven by socio-religious...
12 Jan
Indian jewellery retailers, hitherto stuck in very traditional brick-and-mortar sales strategies, are now increasingly targeting their customer base online and particularly through social media. Some have had such good results with social media strategies that they believe their way forward lies primarily through working on them. Others think social media is great as an adjunct, but think traditional media is still the best way to reach customers. Shanky Sachdev of Kolkata’s Bond Forever says emphatically, “Social Media is the only strategy to use when trying to increase customer traffic from targeted areas. We have one person in-house who simply works on social media all day.” Sumeet Anand of Punjabi Saraf in Indore echoes the sentiment. “Today social media marketing is essential. It is...
11 Jan
Diamond earrings by Kripalani & Sons
While it is clear that the Indian jewellery industry has been negatively impacted in the immediate aftermath of the government’s demonetisation initiative, there are signs that it might also be the catalyst for some fundamental changes in way jewellery is manufactured and sold in the country. To begin with, demonetisation seems to have pushed the Indian consumer to demanding much more than simple intrinsic value in their jewellery. This is because the way they look at saving has changed and also because there are now a whole range of other products they are quite willing to spend on. To woo back some much needed custom, the Indian jewellery industry is having to substantially raise the bar on the design quotient of their...
10 Jan
Jewellery manufacturers from every segment — gold, silver, platinum and jadau to name a few — are looking forward with anticipation to the upcoming IIJS Signature show. Pramod Mehta, Managing Director of Mumbai-headquartered Shilpi Jewellers Pvt. Ltd., a wholesaler of gold jewellery is of the opinion that lower gold prices have brought consumers back to retail outlets and the momentum looks as though it will carry through to May. “The market has improved significantly since the initial setback after demonetisation and in recent days, you can almost feel the quickening of the market’s pulse,” he says.
Pramod Mehta
“The feedback from our retailer clients,” he adds, “is that they have run low on inventories as there has been a long gap when there wasn’t any buying....
10 Jan
Dubai has imposed a 5 percent import duty on gold and diamond jewellery, in a move that some market watchers say is a precursor to the introduction of a value added tax. While details are still awaited, sources said it could also signal a major shift in Dubai’s status as a tax free shopping centre. The bulk of the jewellery imported into the emirate comes from India and market sources said the move would put a big dent in Indian jewellery exports. Some industry stakeholders say, however, that this would lead to an increase in bridal jewellery sales in India, as many Indians have been sourcing their bridal jewellery from Dubai due to cheaper gold prices. By wearing the jewellery on returning to the country, these shoppers have avoided the 10 percent customs duty in India as well. Now,...
10 Jan
The Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Indian stock market regulator, has approved in principle, the launching of a diamond futures contract on the Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX). Actual trading however, will only begin after the ICEX attains the mandatory net worth of ₹100 crore ($14.7 million) and complies with a slew of other directions and conditions. The ICEX capitalisation is currently at half the required level, but chief executive Sanjit Prasad says existing shareholders — Reliance Capital, Indiabulls and Akhil Gupta — will capitalise the exchange to the necessary ₹100 crore level by March this year and trading will begin subsequently. The exchange had sought permission to trade diamond futures in May last year and Prasad says it now has 50 diamond-dealing...
07 Jan
Group Chairman T.S. Kalyanaraman
Kalyan Jewellers is planning a $74 million (₹500 crore) network expansion by opening 15 new stores in 2017, reports the Economic Times. The planned expansion is to be in central and northern India, as well as in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The company is also looking at boosting its online presence and relaunching its purchase advance scheme in line with prevailing regulations. New sub-brands in gold, diamond and gemstone jewellery are also planned in order to reach specific consumer segments. The planned expansion comes in the wake of the 17 new stores the company opened in 2016. Last year’s domestic expansion saw Kalyan jewellers moving into Kolkata with three outlets, an outlet each in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur, and and...
06 Jan
Nitin Khandelwal
The All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) Nitin Khandelwal as its next chairman and Pramod Agarwal as vice chairman for a two-year term ending in 2018. A new committee of administration (COA) and zonal heads were also elected. The entire voting process was conducted online, with members from all over the country voting between December 22 and 28, 2016. The results were declared on December 30. Saying he was honoured to be helming the GJF, Khandelwal said he was committed to growing the organisation with the help of the zonal heads. He added that if the gem and jewellery industry remained united, the sector could achieve growth. Pramod Agrawal, the incoming vice chairman, also pledged to work toward growing the organisation and...
06 Jan
Reliance Jewels has launched a collection by designer Garima Maheshwari titled Miliani. The line offers a wide range of necklace sets, pendants, earrings, rings, bracelets, tiaras and more that have been crafted for the modern woman. Miliani by Garima Maheshwari targets special occasions and the gifting and  self-purchase markets as well. The collection also features studs, pendants and bracelets that Reliance says are perfect for weekend parties. One of the highlights of the collection is the diamond and gold necklace, with delicate, dangling embellishments and a design inspired by the kadamba flower, set in a cascading pattern. The necklace set is complemented by a set of matching earrings and similar bracelets and rings are available in the collection. Reliance says it wants to expand...
06 Jan
The Indian government’s demonetisation initiative — the withdrawal of some 86 percent of all the currency notes in circulation — has opened a window to ultimately increasing diamond sales, according to Vipul Sutariya of Dharmanandan Diamonds. “Indians have always bought gold jewellery as an investment. That motive is going to be significantly reduced now in the wake of demonetisation. Diamond jewellery will gain from this. For the industry, it is good news as margins on diamond jewellery are three times what they are on plain gold jewellery,” Sutariya notes. He thinks, however, that diamonds need to be more aggressively marketed in India. “I appreciate the De Beers and Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) generic diamond promotion campaign in India. But it has to be more...

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