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April 25, 2020

Managing the Crisis, Mitigating the impact with survival strategy!

Managing the Crisis,  Mitigating the impact with survival strategy!

  • About 1000 Attendees
  • 250+ questions during the session

Recently Informa Markets, India organized Webinar amid the lockdown of pandemic Covid-19 with the knowledge Partner HZ International. Veteran leaders of gem & jewellery including, Nirupa Bhatt, MD-GIA India & Middle East, Sachin Jain, President-Forevermark Diamonds-India, Sanjay Kothari, Gem & jewellery industry Icon & Chairman-GJSCI, Ex-Chairman-GJEPC, Mehul Shah, Vice President-BDB & Treasurer-WFDB & Saiyam Mehra, Director- Unique Chain, Convener-GJC joined the panel to get expressed their prudent thought on, Managing the Crisis, Mitigating the impact with survival strategy!

Because of the technical clinch, pre-announced Mr. Rajesh Bajaj, MD Bajaj Overseas Limited could not moderate the Webinar, and this moderation initiated by Deepak Bhatia, VP-HZ International was commenced by Pallavi Mehra, Group Director.

Managing the Crisis, Mitigating the impact with survival strategy subject clarified the difference between the 2008 global turmoil & Covid-19. Mehul Shah said the global turmoil 2008 was economical. It was economic mayhem where every business activities were on, mines were exploring. Thus the issue of oversupply of rough created during the global Turmoil. While, at this Covid-19 every activities are halted! Demand & Supply has existed at the same halted point.

In the row Sanjay Kothari said, to face the issue of oversupply of rough diamond, industry India had resolved to halt Import of rough diamond in those days of global turmoil 2008. And, restarted rough diamond import upon inventory managed in India.

It is a fact that the lockdown invited lot’s hassle to Artisans, Craftsmen & Goldsmiths of gem & jewellery industry & trade. It is known that GJEPC has announced a lot’s measures to protect & care for these Artisans. Sanjay Kothari referred to, Gem & Jewellery National Relief Fund (GJNRF) and it’s also a field to help Artisans, diamond workers. No doubt, GJNRF has a long list of their humble activities.    

In the line of the fact, Saiyam Mehra said, they are also caring Craftsmen & Goldsmiths at the key place, Zaveri Bazar. They also have contributed cash assistance under the banner of GJC. He said they are the backbone of the industry!

In reply of the question, Sachin Jain focussed upon the impact of Covid-19. He said, people have developed new habits and this would remain with them. The role of technology & tools would remain significantly even at the post-COVID-19. Overall people have accepted technology & its’ usages! These usages may create thinking that traveling is just a waste of time while work can get done with any tool and digitally!

Mehul Shah endorsed Sachin, yes it is true. In this era of Covid-19 people have learned several things to do digitally.  He referred to WW II, lots had been changed upon World War II ended. Lots of things are changing during this ongoing lockdown and a great shift towards digitally. Mehul Shah said, because of this digital learning, buyers may prefer to buy digitally! Factories can work with fewer people in the post-COVID-19 era!

In the row, Saiyam said about the great gold buying day, Akshay Tritiya. He said many jewellery players are pushing their Akshay Tritiya sales with buyers and also focussing on Wedding Season. Craftsmen are providing various fresh designs and jewellers are decorating their Tray with jewellery at hand and they are exhibiting to their buyers digitally. And buyers are also booking their jewellery by paying online with the assurance that the choicest jewellery would be delivered upon courier services are restarted once!

Nirupa Bhatt endorsed the way jewellers are engaging buyers. She said this is the time to engage buyers during this lockdown. Yet, this is the time to evolve! Now jewellers have to stop their old practice of selling jewellery by classifying total gold grammage, gold fineness, the weight of studded stones and so on to offer any iewellery & its’ price! Nirupa Bhatt emphasized upon story! She said, tell a story of those jewel craft, jewellery piece instead of carrying the old practice of classifying gold & its’ grammage!

She keeps suggesting, she said, jewellers should highlight the design, designer, highlight Artisan, craft & craftsman! She expressed confidence in the buyer that they will come back and buy jewelery! It’s a cycle!

Sachin Jain moved ahead on jewellery sales and said, during this ongoing lockdown, buyer sense simplicity! This simplicity is to come into the buyer. So, upon re-opening, do not rush to sales! The industry should watch buyer behavior. At this lockdown, keep contact with the buyer; communicate by keeping long term run in mind!

He said, two big markets, India & China are different in buying habits. Chinese buyers are spending on luxury because upon restart in china does not witness any major layoff and that have to keep up people’s financial capacity and therefore they are buying! While people in India is facing some core issues and in this scenario how any jewellers can tell buyer ‘come & visit our retail’ at post-COVID-19!

De facto jewellers should take care of their buyer class; adopt safety measures with staff and in handling jewellery and offer safety measures to buyers upon restart. In the short run just keep buyer safety & relationship and rest for the long term! In the row, Sachin also unveils its strategic program with their jewellery partners!

Sanjay Kothari and Saiyam catch the point and fear of layoffs in India. Sanjay Kothari said, the industry is doing well & contributing collectively through GJNRF yet, diamantaires personally have to accept that they have earned from the business! They should spread the message that their Artisans are their assets. Instead of going on the road of layoff they should spend and conserve their skill Asset of Artisans! During this lockdown, diamantaires should conserve this asset. He said he does not see any start of the industry within three months. Probably the industry may take 6 months to start!

Therefore, diamantaires have to maintain their existing people as they are skillful! No doubt the diamond industry has reached at their optimum higher level yet, jewellery skill has a long way to grow! They should care more about goldsmiths!

At the fear of layoff, Saiyam said, we don’t see such layoff. He said when there is a necessity, invention starts! De facto jewellers are thinking to catch this Akshay Tritiya on the back of these Craftsmen & goldsmiths! Therefore we are taking care of this lockdown we are providing food to about 8K to 10K craftsmen at Zaveri Bazar. No jewellers have to be hopeless!

Within two or three months there are festive season and wedding season! There would be good demand and to fulfill such orders and to manage such demand jewelers should maintain their Karigars, Craftsmen & Goldsmiths! Jewellers have to stop their migration because once they moved away to their natives would buy time to call them back and jewellers may lose the season’s order & demand!

Even Sachin Jain also believes that the market would remain stable! Mehul Shah agreed-upon market stability partially. He said, gold has throughout vertically risen up but, the diamond sector is facing up-n-down! Buyer confidence has tumbled down! To lift diamond demand it is needed to ensure buyer confidence! He said DPA is doing well, good promotion yet; needed part is to train and educate retailers who can create confidence in a buyer for diamond.

Overall panelists were agreed upon the Covid-19 era that would influence everybody and would change buying habits! Post Covid-19 would push everybody to lean on digital & tech-n-tools! In the context, panel focussed if redefining skills would be a need! In the context of skill, Nirupa Bhatt said, since long India has not explored their designing & manufacturing skills. Post Covid-19 is likely needed quality of work! We have to utilize our age-old skill even in craft too! She said we have to honor our skills!

Being a diamantaire Mehul Shah said, Diamond industry is well organized and IIGJ, IDI like establishments are doing well to edge up skill! Virtually every player on the panel expressed their CSR activities, care for Artisans, Craftsmen & for Goldsmiths! Every player remained optimistic about the time post-COVID-19. The panel also answers the questions raised by participants!     


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