The Gems & Jewellery Sector of India - Latest Trends & Technologies

Sarvesh Bhardwaj , Director- IT & Admin,  The Gems and Jewellery industry plays a vital role in the Indian economy as it counts for around 6-7 percent of the nation’s GDP. Being one of the fastest growing sectors, it is extremely export oriented and labour intensive.

Due to its potential for growth and value addition, the Government of India has declared the Gems and Jewellery sector as a focus area for promoting exports. The Government has recently undertaken various measures to promote investments and to upgrade technology and skills to promote ‘Brand India’ in the international market.

India is considered to be the hub of the global jewellery market because of its low costs and availability of high-skilled labour. India has been the world’s largest cutting and polishing centre for diamonds. Moreover, as per a report from the Gems and Jewellery Export promotion Council (GJEPC), India exports around 95 percent of the world’s diamonds. Hence, the Government of India has viewed the sector as a thrust area for export promotion. The Indian government presently allows 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector through the automatic route.

Gems & Jewellery Market size
The gems and jewellery market in India is home to more than 0.5 million players, with the majority being small players. UAE, USA, Russia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Latin America and China are the biggest importers of Indian jewellery.

Changing Trends:
The Gems and Jewellery sector is witnessing changes in consumer preferences due to the adoption of western lifestyle. Consumers are now demanding new designs and varieties in jewellery, and branded jewellers are able to fulfil their changing demands better than the local unorganised players of the sector. Moreover, increase in the per capita income has led to an increase in sales of jewellery, as jewellery has always been a status symbol in India.

Government Initiatives
In the Union Budget 2017-18, the Government of India, offered tax cuts for the middle class and other sections of society (five percent for the Rs 250,000-500,000 tax slab; which was 10 per cent initially). All these measures will drive consumption, which will be favourable to the gems and jewellery industry.

The Government of India’s proposal to cut corporate tax rates to 25 per cent for micro, small and medium enterprises(MSMEs)having annual turn over
up to Rs.50 crore ($7.5 million) will benefit a large number of gems and jewellery exporters from MSME category.

The improvement in availability along with the reintroduction of low cost gold metal loans is expected to drive volume growth for jewellers over short to medium term

The demonetisation move is encouraging people to use plastic money,debit/credit cards for buying jewellery. This is good for the industry in the long run and will create more transparency.

The Reserve Bank of India has announced norms for gold monetisation scheme, which allows individuals, trusts and mutual funds to deposit gold with banks in return for interest, to help reduce gold imports and alleviate pressure on trade balance.

The Reserve Bank of India(RBI)has liberalised gold import norms. With this, star and premier export houses can import the commodity, while banks and nominated agencies can offer gold for domestic use as loans to bullion traders and jewellers.

Due to shortage of skilled manpower, the Gems and Jewellery Skill Council of India is planning to train over four million people till 2022, GJEPC said in a statement.

The GJEPC has also proposed to develop a jewellery park on Thane-Belapur Road which is around five kilometers from Mumbai with a view to boost the Mumbai-based jewellery industry by providing modern facilities and services.

Latest technologies:
Based on the demand from the Indian consumers for newer designs, the jewellery designers have now started offering services like computer-aided design (CAD) & Computer-aided masters (CAM). CAM is the use of computer-based software tools that assist engineers and technicians in manufacturing or prototyping product components. CAM is a programming tool that allows the manufacturing of physical models using computer-aided design (CAD) programs. CAM creates real life versions of components designed with a software package. CAM technology not only allows direct control of machines and its functions, but can also enable production planning, in order to reach the following objectives:

- automatic diagnostics of production process,
- product quality analysis,
- collection, organization and recording of data on process stages and work progress,
- and, principally, production control.

By the way of CAM machining route is planned. The material used is not gold, more commonly, material used are such as wax, plastic or a base metal. With the help of CAD-CAM, jewellery manufacturers will be able to provide better quality at a speedy time and affordable cost.

CAD/CAM helps immensely in:
minimizing the cost of product development creating goodwill with improved quality increasing market share expanding the product range by inventory of CAD designs

Road Ahead
In the coming years, growth in Gems and Jewellery sector would be largely contributed by the development of large retailers/brands. Established brands are guiding the organised market and are opening opportunities to grow. Increasing penetration of organised players provides variety in terms of products and designs. Also, the relaxation of restrictions of gold import is likely to provide a fillip to the industry. The improvement in availability along with the reintroduction of low cost gold metal loans and likely stabilisation of gold prices at lower levels is expected to drive volume growth for jewellers over short to medium term. The demand for jewellery is expected to be significantly supported by the recent positive developments in the industry.