As gold prices shoot up, demand for traditional jewellery in the bridal segment is reaching a new high. In the last six months or so, there have been no weddings and now with the lifting of the lockdown across several Indian states, weddings are taking place sans the regular grandeur. Wedding parties and the guest numbers have shrunk to align with the health and safety parameters, but the budget that was earlier spent on floral decorations, catering and more, is being diverted into jewellery. And that is good news for jewellery manufacturers.
Deepak Seth, Partner, SK Seth Jewellers, Mumbai, reveals that demand is high these days for handcrafted gold jewellery in temple and traditional forms. Gold jewellery patterned with emerald and ruby beads is also popular as the younger generation prefers to accessorise it with the bridal lehengas. “Brides, who inherit heirloom pieces, are keen to add additional jewellery pieces of similar antique finish, workmanship and designs,” states Seth.
Transparency at the retail level is up since demonetisation. Seth says that most parents who buy bridal jewellery for their daughters, prefer to receive proper bills and don’t mind paying the extra 3% GST. “This is a very good sign for the industry, as the transactions are clean and clear.”
Complete gold wedding sets between 700 gm and 2 kilos are in demand these days. In the months to come, demand will only increase according to Seth as production levels are at 30%, while demand will touch 500%. Although karigars have returned, their efficiency in delivering goods on time has taken a slight beating.
Anish Birawat, Director, Chain N Chains Jewels Ltd., Mumbai, emphasises that gold has time and again proved that it is a safe investment haven. “It’s obvious that consumers’ demand for gold jewellery is positive, but it will increase gradually. Since July, when the jewellery industry slowly opened up, we have seen month-on-month increment in sales.”
Challenges in the form of restricted travel, production due to karigar migration and implementing safety norms, were faced by one and all. “There was a huge labour problem then, but now as demand is rising owing to festive and wedding sales, we are seeing karigars coming back to work,” comments Birawat.
The timing of the IIJS Virtual show is perfect, agree gold jewellery manufacturers. “Mumbai is still not normal, as local trains, the lifeline of the city, are still not functional,” says Birawat.
“However, most other metros and cities across India have started working at near-normal levels, albeit under the shadow of Covid-19.” The Virtual show will give the required impetus to business and get some traction in terms of sales, feels Birawat. IIJS is a huge brand and the virtual show will complement it. “Exhibitors have already started selling even before the show has begun, and we, too, have booked meetings and fielded queries.”
Sandeep Mehta, Director, Mehta Gold, Bengaluru, says that almost 80% of their business is back to normal. Demand for bridal gold jewellery is going to firm up as the extraneous expenditure on weddings is going to be curtailed due to social distancing. “Not just bridal, but traditional jewellery between 70gm to 150gm per piece is also in demand,” says Mehta.
Mehta Gold is functioning at 100% capacity and is introducing a better spread of collections that are large in form. “We have tried to bring in new designs in bigger formats, while keeping a watch on the gold weight.” He adds that although the company has not booked a larger space at IIJS Virtual, they have been getting decent queries – and 80% of their buyers are regulars while 20% are new. “IIJS Virtual is one a new way of doing business for all of us – perhaps, in the future, we may have a mix of virtual and physical formats for the trade shows.”