Global Buyers Impressed by Indian Jewellery Renaissance @ Mumbai BSM

The GJEPC hosted a curated International Gem and Jewellery Buyer-Seller meet (BSM),  the first such event at the newly opened Bharat Ratnam, Mega CFC SEEPZ in Mumbai. Taking place on April 19th-20th, the two-day event targeted international buyers from regions including the U.S., Latin America (Argentina, Brazil), Oceania, Australia, Dubai, Italy, Lebanon, South Africa, and Uzbekistan. It attracted 33 international buyers representing 25 companies.

The Mega CFC SEEPZ, an iconic venue, offers world-class facilities catering to diverse groups such as key stakeholders in the diamond industry, large chain retailers, wholesalers, importers, top designers, distributors, and retail jewellers worldwide.

The inauguration of the BSM saw the presence of Ranjit Rawool, Senior Authorised Officer (SEEPZ),  Kirit Bhansali, Vice Chairman, GJEPC,  Colin Shah, Head – Working Group, Bharat Ratnam – Mega CFC; and Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director, GJEPC.

The event had a structured buyer-seller meet format, featuring pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings, lasting approximately 30 to 40 minutes between buyers and sellers during the two-day event.

Diamond Jewellery Magazine by Solitaire International Magazine
Kirit Bhansali, Vice Chairman, GJEPC, addressing the audience.

In his message, Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, said, “The first ever International BSM meet at Mega CFC promotes India as a hub for ‘Make in India’ jewellery and showcases our technological advancements. Through this BSM, Indian gem and jewellery manufacturers presented an extensive array/ variety in offerings, which incorporated finished diamond jewellery and loose diamonds from India. The BSMs reinforce India’s positioning as the primary source for quality jewellery that is on-trend, fashion-forward, and margin-friendly especially for bespoke jewellery. This BSM event showcased a comprehensive view of the Indian jewellery industry, covering both the production and supply side for the international consumer retail business.”

In his keynote address, Kirit Bhansali, Vice Chairman of GJEPC, said, “Today marks a historic milestone for India’s gem & jewellery industry, as we gather here at the Bharat Ratnam Mega CFC, SEEPZ, Mumbai, for the first ever show to be held since its inauguration. This exclusive gem and jewellery buyer-seller meet will facilitate meaningful engagement between exhibitors and international buyers. Indian gem and jewellery industry is taking all efforts to enhance its trade relationship with buyers across the world. The Indian Government has taken several initiatives towards achieving gem and jewellery exports targets and the FTAs and Bharat Ratnam, Mega CFC are significant initiatives in this direction.”

Welcoming the international team of buyers, Colin Shah, Head – Working Group, Bharat Ratnam – Mega CFC, and past Chairman, GJEPC, said, “The first ever Buyer Seller Meet at Bharat Ratnam Mega CFC is a proud moment for all SEEPZ jewellery exporters and we have all participated whole-heartedly to make it a grand success. Bharat Ratnam Mega CFC is truly a unique initiative taken by India and you will not find it anywhere else in the world. It has several facilities such as the 3D Printing facility, which is the first in Asia. This BSM Meet has something for everyone and it will help international buyers to do more business in India.”

Diamond Jewellery Magazine by Solitaire International Magazine
Buyers engrossed in checking the inventory presented at the BSM event at Bharat Ratnam – Mega CFC.

BSM, A Buyers’ Delight

Global buyers from the U.S, Latin America and Oceania, were enamoured by ‘Make in India’ designer jewellery and the types of diamond cuts presented by the exhibitors.

Judith Fisher, Senior Vice President of Merchandising, and Heather Mayantis, Senior Buyer, both from Reeds Jewelers, were all praise for the Indian merchandise.

In a candid interview with Solitaire International, Judith reflected on the evolution of Indian jewellery. She recalls that many years ago, Indian manufacturers made their initial entry into the US market with heavy, clunky designs.

However, through aggressive business strategies and technological advancements, they have transformed their offerings, now rivaling global standards.  “In the past, when examining trays of jewellery, it was easy to identify the country of origin, such as India, Asia, or China. However, in the last decade, India has made significant strides in finishing and technology, making it difficult to discern differences. Currently, the majority of our vendor base leans towards Indian manufacturers, especially for diamond and gemstone studded jewellery. For gold, we still prefer Italian and Turkish makes, among others.

“I believe this shift is largely attributed to investments in design teams and technology.  Manufacturers are quickly aligning with global standards and aesthetics.”

Heather observed that jewellery trends in the US, like in India, differ from region to region, but notes a resurgence in the popularity of yellow gold. She emphasized the trend of personalisation, driven by a generation seeking unique expressions.

Acknowledging the symbiotic relationship between Indian manufacturers and US demands, Heather highlighted how Indian suppliers have adapted their designs and manufacturing processes to meet American preferences, resulting in mutually beneficial collaborations.

Melinda Kavanaugh from Lindy’s Inc. stated, “For 25 years, I’ve specialised in everyday wearable jewellery. India is a prime source for natural diamond and gemstone jewellery, and I’ve partnered with Indian vendors for customization, catering to clients who prefer understated designs. The diverse jewellery mix at this BSM is impressive. Indian jewelleers excel in customisation, offering quick turnarounds. I’m intrigued by the Bharat Ratnam Mega CFC concept and eager to tour all facilities under one roof.”

According to Shaheer Hosh from Cristino Fine Jewelry, U.S., American customers continue to prefer natural diamonds for key celebratory milestones such as engagements, anniversaries and weddings. “Indian jewellery adds a distinct touch to jewellery with gemstones and coloured diamonds. It is exciting to come to India and witness how Indian manufacturers  keep evolving to the next level.”

Theodore M. Pizanis from Janu Gems Inc., California-based wholesaler in business for over 3 decades, highlighted that India has been a good sourcing hub for ruby, tanzanite, emerald, big tourmalines and sapphires among precious stones; especially the facetted and cabochon shapes. “I find Indian manufacturers to be knowledgeable and at the cutting edge of business and technology in whatever they do. I admire their craftsmanship and expertise in setting small diamonds in jewellery.”

Visiting India for the first time, Jill Borgerding Jillian Samuels Jewelry noted that she was enamoured by colours and designs of Indian jewellery. “Indian exporters are customer-centric and it is easy to do business with them and make them to adapt to the requirements of the Western market,” she said.  She was highly impressed by the Bharat Ratnam – Mega CFC, that offers multifold benefits, especially for small and medium jewellery exporters.

Katsieva Maryam, Owner of Amethyst Jewelry Shop in Tashkent, “We operate four shops offering diamonds, silver, and gold jewellery, including our in-house designs. We partner with retailers for shop-in-shop distribution as well. This buyer-seller meet has been beneficial, especially for competitive pricing on diamonds, colored stones, and platinum jewelry. The designs showcased are elegant and appealing, aligning well with Uzbekistan’s preference for daily wear diamond jewellery,” she said, adding, “We’re particularly interested in colored diamonds, especially fancy yellows, which are gaining popularity in our market. Our inventory is sourced from international exhibitions in Hong Kong, Dubai, and Italy, ensuring we stay updated on global trends. Attending events like IIJS in India provides valuable insights into pricing and market dynamics. Though smaller in scale, such buyer-seller exhibitions offer focused networking opportunities.”

Popular Diamond Cuts

Hiren Moradia, Owner, Royal Rays BV (AI Diamonds) shared information on the diamond cuts preferred in different parts of the world. “While certain shapes enjoy popularity in specific regions—like hexagons in London and kites in Europe—customisation remains key to meeting diverse preferences.”

He continued, “We’re second-generation diamond cutters, originally specialising in small, round cuts. I joined the business in 2010 and soon realised the potential in diversifying our offerings. In 2012, we seized the opportunity to cut diamonds into various shapes, capitalising on a niche market with limited online presence at the time. Expanding beyond the conventional 11 shapes, we now offer over 85 designs, including rabbits, kites, Cadillac, hexagonal step cuts, portrait cut, teddy bears, and more. Our unique approach propelled us to the forefront of the natural diamond industry, catering to top designers and discerning consumers across the US, Europe, and beyond. With the rise of platforms like Instagram, demand for distinctive diamond shapes surged, driving our company’s success. We’re proud to deliver exceptional, tailor-made diamonds to our clients, especially through such BSM platforms held by GJEPC.”

Nikunj Shankar, International Sales Executive at Shivam Jewels, provided a different perspective on diamond cuts. The company primarily exports 80% of its inventory to the US, China, and Israel and has noticed a surge in demand for round cuts due to market scarcity. “Consumers are increasingly favouring round diamonds weighing 2 or 3 carats. As for fancy cut gemstones, long radiant and emerald cuts, and cushions remain popular.”

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