Design Inspirations 2017, Day-2

Mumbai: The second and concluding day of Design Inspirations, GJEPC’s annual seminar on design and trend forecasting, continued February 10 with the focus on the challenges of creating and marketing jewellery to the millennial generation. A range of speakers both from within the trade and outside shared their insights on a theme that has been much discussed over the last few years.

The highlights of the day were the panel discussion on Design for the Export Markets and the presentation by Paola de Luca of The Futurist on the importance of Trend Forecasting and the key product and jewellery trends for the forthcoming year. The opening session of the day was a presentation by Kamna Choudhary on behalf of Vaishali Banerjee of PGI which focused on some of the important Trends for the Millennials and the various initiatives of the Platinum Guild to tap into this very important market segment. After the presentation, Vaishali Banerjee replied to questions from the audience on the theme.

Subsequently, Naveen Sadarangani of NYUZ, looked at the manner in which retailers have reached out to the new generation of buyers and stressed that it was now necessary to look beyond the product and deliver an overall fulfilling customer experience encompassing VM, Customer Service, Transparency. He cited two examples – one of the Anmol Hug campaign in Mumbai and the other of Cibi Diamonds, a retailer in Tiruppur to emphasise that by doing something new and different, one could ensure that the world has to take notice.

While looking at some of the key facets of the millennials, Nirupa Bhatt of GIA talked about how there was a need to reach out to them in the manner they were most comfortable with. She pointed out that traditional advertising techniques were no longer relevant and there was a need to provide instant access to information and products as well as offer customisation.

Bhatt however, raised a key question on whether the millennials are really ‘very different’, saying that every generation has shifts in attitude and approach. She quoted from a recent report by Bain & Co which indicates that they are consuming large amounts of diamond jewellery as well.

In the panel discussion that followed, three jewellery manufacturers with decades of experience in the field of exports, Bobby Kothari of Jewelex, Colin Shah of Kama Schachter and Sushil Choksey of KBS Diamonds, discussed the current scenario from a design and manufacturing perspective. The discussion was moderated by Nirupa Bhatt. One of the key points mentioned by the panellists was that the Indian industry today is creating its own designs and products using high levels of technology in the manufacturing process. The use of data analytics to better understand the consumer niche a company is targeting, and creating appropriate designs is also increasingly widespread.

The panellists also pointed out that the two key segments of the US market — Bridal and Fashion – each has its own characteristics, which need to be separately addressed. They also spoke about the difference in creating products that will be sold through the brick and mortar stores and products that will be marketed online, pointing out that customisation and personalisation become more important in the latter category.

The two speakers who followed, Tanmay Shah of Imaginarium, a 3D printing tehnology company and Ashiesh Shah, a well known architect, shared their perspectives about design in general. The latter presented some of his projects and the design principles adopted in each, highlighting fluidity, integration with Nature, the importance of the use of light and personalisation as some of the aspects that are also relevant to jewellery. Tanmay Shah’s lively presentation on the Toolbox for Millennial Designers provided much food for thought. His key premise was that consumers’ needs have not really changed, but the tools and technology now available makes it possible to address them in a manner vastly different from what was possible earlier.

For example, he pointed out how customisation can be taken to new levels with 3D printing. He also said that the internet offers easy access to all types of information, so designers can now seek inspiration from wider sources, and use technology for Advanced Visualisation Digital Fabrication and Computer aided consumer empathy. Individualised stories with intricate detailing can now be more easily created, and the emerging technology for Augmented Reality will open out new avenues. This is the age of the DesignPreneur, he concluded.