The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) organised the 3rd ICC Gems & Jewellery Summit 2021, on 20th March in Kolkata to evaluate, discuss and deliberate on the various aspects of the gem and jewellery industry under the current circumstances.
Special guest Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, highlighted the Council’s various initiatives for boosting exports during the pandemic. He noted: “Our dream is to make India synonymous with gems and jewellery around the world. I believe India’s time has come and the next 3-4 years will be extremely bright in terms of manufacturing, services, consumption and creation of prosperity; all our businesses are going to flourish. The main challenge will be whether our industry can adapt to this changing world; for instance, the pandemic forced us to adapt to digital and it is a push in the right direction.
“We are working closely with the government on the E-Commerce Policy and it should happen imminently as it’s the Prime Minister’s dream to make every district in India capable of exports.”
Shah informed that GJEPC is setting up a Common Facility Centre (CFC) in Bowbazaar, Kolkata, with the support of the Commerce Ministry. The CFC will give the smallest of karigars access to cutting-edge technology at a fraction of the cost, thereby upgrading their skills, imparting knowledge, and enhancing the quality and yield at par with global standards.
In his remarks at the summit, Suvankar Sen, Co-Chairman, ICC National Expert Committee on Jewellery & Lifestyle, and Convener, GJEPC SEZ sub-committee, noted, “For vision and execution to go hand in hand, it is important for policy information to percolate throughout the supply chain and among important stakeholders like bankers. The Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) has the scope to raise a large quantity of gold, thereby benefiting foreign exchange and strengthening the rupee. We must make younger consumers aware of GMS and ensure it becomes the auto-pilot mode of savings for them.”
PR Somasundaram, Managing Director, World Gold Council, said there was an opportunity to build trust among policy makers, consumers and trade members and ensure that gold plays a bigger role alongside the financial asset classes. Gold category marketing is on the anvil, he added. Somasundaram pointed out that the jewellery sector does not account for 7% of GDP, as is popularly believed; instead it comprises only 1 to 1.3% of GDP. He said that there is a need to build credible data, infrastructure and a self-governance framework before we approach the Government for policy.
Rajeev Garg, ED & CEO, Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI), informed that three laboratories have become Affiliated Training Partners with GJSCI and that BIS training, too, will happen in collaboration with GJSCI. He also said that GJSCI has partnered with IIT Bombay and launched a Centre of Excellence for Jewellery Artificial Intelligence & Data-science Excellence. The pilot project of GJSCI has four manufacturing giants who have come together to share best practices in terms of training. GJSCI is also trying to create a mechanism to help project hit ratio through AI for jewellers.