The Future Of Jewellery Industry

Over 2 decades of experience as a Company Secretary and in-house counsel with extensive Indian and International Exposure. Diverse industry experience spanning across Manufacturing & Export sector, Trading (wholesale and retail); and Services (Healthcare, IT, ITes & Telecom) sector.

The lockdown has created a toxic atmosphere in the business and now is the time for a change in all areas of the industry. All is being redefined, from designs to after-sales facilities, and it is expected that the jewellery sector will shine like a star in the coming years as things would begin to move in a progressive direction. In the digital age, quality changes for product services and after-sales services will be imperative to our success. An essential innovation towards the transformation of this industry is the inclusion of technology such as VR/AR. The industry is adapting to these types of technologies so that they don't have to physically engage customers.

On the supply side, with streamlining proper infusion of infrastructure and skilled workmen in place, it's just a matter of time for the industry to recover and become resilient in the coming years Our experience tells us that coloured gemstones do better in international markets v/s India. In India, the primary reason for buying jewellery is an investment, and to date, gold tops the charts, followed by diamonds- small or big, clusters or pointers - diamonds all the way over other gemstones. The reason is most definitely owing to geographies. In India, heavy jewels are a big trend especially for weddings while in international markets lightweight jewellery does better. However, there is a high scope for smaller gemstones to perform in the domestic market, which could be sold off as trinkets and lighter jewellery for casual use.

An essential innovation towards the transformation of this industry is the inclusion of technology such as VR/AR. The industry is adapting to these types of technologies so that they don't have to physically engage customers

Increase In The Demand For Gemstone During The Pandemic.
The demand is more or less consistent but unfortunately, supply is fluctuating. In the case of gemstones, buyers naturally gravitate towards a touch-and-feel experience and thus prefer exploring a wide range of stones in person by visiting Thailand which has recently witnessed a complete halt.

Simultaneously, the factories in Thailand are operating with limited workers and therefore production is hugely compromised. To add more, in-person transactions are on absolute hold due to seized borders across nations. It has almost been fourteen months since Gemfields has conducted any auctions which was usually a quarterly practice, further adding to the supply shrinkage. Few orders on request are currently underway but the numbers aren't looking impressive so far. There was a relatively increased demand during the festive season last year which has slowed down again in light of the ravaging effects of the second wave. We have noticed that diamond still shines bright when it comes to grand occasions like wedding or anniversary but in terms of other international occasions like Mother's Day, children's day etc.

Consumers have developed fondness towards colour gemstones. There has definitely been a change in pattern in the last few years, from hard diamonds as a primary purchase to coloured gemstones and lighter stones, which could be accommodated in smaller jewellery such as trinkets and pendants. Also, with the boom of utility designers in the last few years, there has been a unique demand for gemstones, as well as small-cut diamonds, that has emerged. Additionally, with the advent of online platforms, the customer base has diversified to direct to consumer, (even for the wholesalers) with a much wider reach across borders. Creating a one-of-a-kind purchasing experience would undoubtedly bring in much-needed revenue for the business. An immersive experience can also be achieved by carefully selecting your inventory, promoting your profit centre, embracing innovation in product ranges and presentation, ensuring excellence in design & quality and the promise of Genuity, amongst other factors.

Augment Reality (AR) The Future Of Precious Stones Business?
In the precious stones industry, there are two ways to use augmented reality: mobile-augmented commerce and augmented product catalogues. Most people nowadays prefer to shop online rather than in physical stores. However, the precious stones market is a completely different story. People are wary of online retailers because looking at stones to be used in jewellery and bibelots does not provide them with a true picture of the size and details. That is where AR apps can be a great solution. Buyers can virtually check the size of the stones and can customise it with any jewellery they prefer using augmented reality before making a purchase.

Customers will be delighted by these augmented reality apps that will encourage them to interact with the product. Another advantage of augmented reality apps is that they collect user data, which marketers can use to improve their advertising strategy and offers. Through the user data, businesses can align their marketing strategies basis the demand of the customers. This will enable a more intimate experience for the customer. Having said that, augmented reality apps can't completely replace physical stores, but they can surely aid in the retail business model.

Additionally, the DIY concept has made its way into the gems & jewellery sector was owing to increased knowledge & very specific requirements. The consumer is now extended the opportunity of personalisation i.e. to choose & select every aspect of the jewel to his/her own fancy such as the gemstone, its colour, shape, size & the likes. The COVID-19 pandemic is without a doubt the most significant global health crisis of our time, with governments and healthcare organisations alike racing to contain the virus's spread. Beyond its impact on global health, COVID-19 has demonstrated its ability to create devastating social, economic, and political challenges with long-term consequences. The mining industry is not untouched either.

The industry's response has been swift and coordinated, with two main goals in mind, protecting employees' and local communities' health and safety; and second, laying the groundwork for a longer-term economic recovery, which includes supporting livelihoods, protecting severely disrupted supply chains, and assisting in the development of long-term community resilience. Because of the complicated nature of mining operations and the often-remote locations in which they are located, the mining industry has a unique relationship with and commitment to local communities. While the sector may not have got it right every time, relationships with local community organisations have undoubtedly been refocused and reframed because of COVID-19. It will surely be tough to take on a second lockdown, but the industry well prepared to bravely overcome the same.