Kolkata, 27th March 2023: The Indian Chamber of Commerce organised the “5th Gems & Jewellery Summit 2023” on March 24th to discuss the Gold Industry Vision 2025. The session witnessed valuable insights on India’s Gold Market – the stimulus to exports, economic growth and employment from Mr Somasundaram PR, Regional CEO – India, World Gold Council; Mr Rajeev Garg, CEO, Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI); Ms Vandana Yadav, I.A.S., Principal Secretary, Department of Industry, Commerce & Enterprises Government of West Bengal & MD, WBIDC; Mr Vinod Bamalwa, Chairman, Indian Chamber of Commerce Expert Committee on Jewellery & Lifestyle and Mr Suvankar Sen, Co-Chairman, Indian Chamber of Commerce National Expert Committee on Jewellery & Lifestyle.
While delivering the welcome address, Mr Vinod Bamalwa, Chairman, Indian Chamber of Commerce Expert Committee on Jewellery & Lifestyle, said, “The demand for gems and jewellery in the nation and throughout the world has been significantly influenced by the rising middle-class customers in a developing country and a growing fashion chain. Diamonds are currently more in demand than ever, especially in terms of new fashion trends. The most recent styles in the gem and jewellery sector are these cross-cultural ones. Emerging companies have altered customer habits around accessories, such as the decision to wear less jewellery.”
Commenting on the theme, Mr Somasundaram PR, Regional CEO – India, World Gold Council, said, “East India is the biggest market for gold. During the past few years, the administration has achieved great strides. India has the second-largest gold market in the world and the second-largest consumption of gold. India spends $60 billion on gold annually. However, we must consider global developments because gold is currently making a comeback. It is once more becoming an important financial asset. One important investment is gold. Around the world, gold is the subject of numerous events. In our own country, we have a need for resources, growing costs, and a wide range of future uses for gold. According to our survey, Consumers are worried about the industry’s purity, per our poll, which highlights the need for a single voice for the gold sector. A self-regulatory body is also necessary for the gold sector. The Indian Chamber of Commerce can play a crucial role in India’s ability to significantly enhance its gold exports.”
Commenting on the aspect of Skill Development, Mr. Rajeev Garg, CEO, Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI), said, “The gem and jewellery industries depend heavily on skill, yet regrettably, we often overlook it when calculating labour costs. In terms of creativity and expertise, gold is just another metal. If we don’t value creativity, this sector will have serious issues in the future. There is no reason to talk about the gold rate or other issues if there is no aesthetic quality. There are not enough qualified workers in the field. GJSCI is continually exploring new ways to increase its capabilities and effectiveness. With the Ankurhati Association, we have been discussing opening our own training facility in Kolkata. Yet this sector needs to emerge. It is time for every sector to step up and create its own infrastructure. In an effort to employ artificial intelligence in the gem and jewellery sectors, we are collaborating with IIT Bombay on a project. On the other side, IIT Chennai is working on lab-grown diamonds since eventually, the market for natural diamonds would be replaced by these lab-grown diamonds. We ought to discuss issues like these in an open manner.”
Commenting on the development of West Bengal Gold Market, Ms Vandana Yadav, said, “West Bengal has a very long history and involvement with this industry. We have talked about exports of diamonds, gold, and other commodities, but we must also consider the future today. The enormous amount of gold that we import needs to be given additional value before being converted to dollars. I think this is where the Bengali Karigar’s handcrafted excellence stands, and it might be its USP, particularly given that gold is a lifestyle item and everyone wants a one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted piece. We seldom ever have the capacity to offer that. We may thus educate our craftsmen about the latest technology, enhance their working environments, and produce better designs. A training programme in Ankurhati would be something we are extremely interested in organising, aside from hallmarking facilities, any sort of standardisation, and any kind of certification agency we can put up. During the last three years, I have discussed the training curriculum with several municipalities. I sincerely hope E-Council or Stay-Council would take this up because we have a complete training facility.
While delivering the vote of thanks, Suvanker Sen, Co-Chairman, Indian Chamber of Commerce National Expert Committee on Jewellery & Lifestyle, said, “I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has participated in this summit. Both time and the world around us are evolving. The most crucial element is transparency, which is immediately clear if you get the purpose of this summit. As an industry participant in this digital age, you have the option of resisting the changes or embracing them. There are ties between Bengali and Karigari. Bengal is proud of their majority contribution to the gold karigar industry. Attracting the upcoming generation to the sector, however, is now a struggle. We appreciate that the government has offered its assistance to us so that both the states and the country may continue to thrive.”