The 13th edition of IIJS Signature and the 7th edition of India Gem & Jewellery Machinery Expo (IGJME) organised by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) gave a headstart to the 2020 buying season. The events held from 13-16 February 2020 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon, Mumbai, attracted 15,000+ visitors (12,000 of whom were pre-registered visitors) from over 325 cities and towns pan India and more than 55 countries globally to visit 700+ exhibitors across 1,300 booths, spanning an area of over 45,000 sq. mts. Several new elements such as the Startup Zone (Hall 6), which promoted Emerging Designers & Women Entrepreneurs, and the Crafts Pavilion (to promote artisans and craftsmen) were welcomed by the exhibitors and buyers. GJEPC also concurrently presented the first-ever Business Knowledge Forum, The Artisan Awards and Design Inspirations to provide insight, intelligence and perspectives to members of the industry.
Mr Pramod Kumar Agrawal, Chairman, GJEPC, said, “IIJS Signature has now seen an integral part of Indian jeweller’s business cycle. Despite business and environment headwinds, India’s gem & jewellery exports spanning every stage of the supply chain – from raw material suppliers to manufacturers, designers, wholesalers and retailers – participated wholeheartedly with energy and enthusiasm. We witnessed an influx of international buyers who are looking for alternatives considering the emerging international trade equations and China’s current situation.” He added, “GJEPC is also coming up with an only export show in Jaipur called India Gem & Jewellery show scheduled from 1 to 3 April 2020, only with the international buyers.
IIJS Signature provides a perfect platform for the country’s leading manufacturers and retailers to facilitate an exchange of market insights and knowledge, providing networking opportunities for business.
Mr Colin Shah, Vice Chairman, GJEPC, said, “Despite all the challenges like Coronavirus and global slowdown, we had a decent attendance of over 15000 at the IIJS Signature 2020. We anticipate that globally, the second half of the year will be better than the first half and hence the business will upscale going forward. Buyers have shown interest and have pre-booked orders at the IIJS Signature, which is a healthy sign for Indian diamond and jewellery exports business.”
Mansukh Kothari, convener, national exhibitions sub-committee, GJEPC, said “The show had a good number of serious buyers. The overall enthusiasm of buyers was high. The Startup Zone got a good response and the industry appreciated the initiative. I got to hear from exhibitors that there were only serious buyers at this show which was a good thing. We also witnessed the demand for high to medium weight jewellery.”
Jewellery Startup Zone:
Exhibitors at the Startup Zone section expressed their gratitude for the opportunity given to them at a big platform like IIJS Signature. They were happy that they are getting to interact with B2B buyers from across India, which is something new for them as they had only experience with end customers. The platform gave them an idea about the needs of the serious buyers, and they all were ready to participate next year if given a chance, and they say that they will be better prepared to meet the B2B customers next time.
The Craft Pavilion:
The Craft Pavilion at IIJS Signature promoted three traditional Indian jewellery crafts – temple, bidri and filigree. The aim is to preserve the knowledge of these crafts for posterity because right now they are only being passed down the generations by word of mouth or through practice. The authenticity of these crafts has to be retained because their USP is that it is all 100% handmade. Already, people have started using cast components for temple jewellery, which is part casting and part handmade. That is one part of business reality. One thing very heartening to note is that all the three crafts have qualified people such as graduates and even chemical engineers, which is a promising sign which shows that they are coming back to jewellery profession.
Business Knowledge Forum
On the sidelines of IIJS Signature 2020, GJEPC also organized Business Knowledge Forum in association with Economictimes.com. The forum had eminent speakers like Raghunath Subramanian, Chairman UI Path, Animesh Samuel, Co-Founder & Product Head, NLP Bots, Vedanarayanan Vedantham, SME Business Head, Razorpay, Sowmya Iyer, Founder & CEO, Dvio Digital, Aditya Bhat, Head, Jio Studios, Bollywood actress Aditi Govitrikar and TV actress Tridha Choudhury. They all spoke on the emergence and Importance of modern-day information technology and tools like Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Marketing, Importance of Social media and impact of influencers etc. The common thread from all the experts was the consumer is changing and hence the face of the businesses are also changing. Marketers need to change along with the time, with the changing nature of the consumer.
The intellectual property Design Inspirations from GJEPC was organised on the last day of IIJS Signature 2020. World’s renowned jewellery forecaster Paola De Luca, conducted a daylong session on the latest trends in jewellery and consumer behaviour. The core themes of Design Inspirations 2020 were – Social Culture (The era of volatility), Sustainable (Being planet sensitive and conscious), Heritage (Looking deeper into authenticity) and lastly, Design (Envisioning the ideals of tomorrow). Other eminent speakers at Design Inspirations were Ash Allibhai, International Fashion & Content Director, ASBO Magazine; Narendra Kumar, Creative Director, Amazon Fashion; Thomas Lazzarini, Private Client Personal Shopper at Farfetch; Shreyas More, Interior Designer, Green Charcoal Project; Fleur Damman and Noëlle Viguurs, Co-Founder, Van Gelder Jewellery; Saikat Mitra, Creative Director, Van Heusen, VP Design, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail; Akash Das, Creative Director at MeWeStudioX.