America to Set up Jewellery Units in India

Mumbai: In what could be a significant boost for the ‘Make in India’ campaign, the gem and jewellery sector could see participation from the U.S., the world’s largest market for jewellery, to set up manufacturing hubs in India, reports The Hindu.

In this direction, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FICCI) Gems & Jewellery, Luxury and Lifestyle Forum (FGJLLF) and the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) announced a strategic alliance to promote setting up of regional jewellery manufacturing hubs in the country.

“As a part of this alliance, both bodies will work towards development roles for the G&J sector,” FGJLLF Chairman Mehul Choksi told The Hindu. “It is proposed that the Indian G&J sector will move upstream, and the U.S. players will move downstream.”

At the downstream end, large U.S. retailers will work with Indian manufacturers to identify, invest and support the development of large ‘Shared’ jewellery manufacturing hubs (SJMH) in the country.

Simultaneously, for upstream enablement, Indian marketers and brands with the support of the IACC can market their products in the $60-billion jewellery market in the U.S.

The IACC is to set up a joint committee to explore the setting up of hubs in various parts of the country, and talks are already on with top U.S. retailers Signet and Helzberg. The aim is to set up 3-5 hubs over 3-5 years. “We are examining clusters such as Bhavnagar and Surat in Gujarat, Kolkata and Mumbai,” Mr. Choksi said.

“The American gem and jewellery industry too wants to be part of the ‘Make in India’ movement,” IACC Secretary-General Ranjana Khanna said in a statement. “While India has the largest work-pool of highly skilled artisans, the finish quality is still a challenge, as is the availability of new technologies and machinery.”

“The strategic alliance with the IACC is another step towards making India the hottest and largest jewellery hub of the world,” Mr. Choksi said, adding, “There is a huge opportunity to capture a part of the U.S. jewellery manufacturing industry, which is estimated to be $125 billion. If we can improve the manufacturing skills of the artisans and provide the right infrastructure in the form of SJMH to the manufacturers, we can easily triple exports of value added jewellery.”