India Needs Resolute Efforts for Further Growth

Business clusters have been playing a pivotal role in development of not only global but Indian economy also. In fact, they have been contributing to the growth since more than a century now.

India’s gem & jewellery industry is also evolved through such cluster development. There are various manufacturing clusters in India, especially in state of Gujarat and particularly in the city of Surat where major activity of cutting and polishing rough diamonds of any size has been concentrated. As a result, Surat has rightly been recognized as the global diamond manufacturing hub. Similarly, Jaipur in state of Rajasthan has been enjoying core status of coloured gemstones. Whereas jewellery manufacturers in India are spread over multiple centres like Delhi, Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Thrissur, Chennai, Madurai etc.

But as Mr. Agam Sanghavi says, “…While our achievements in the diamond and jewellery industry are indeed noteworthy, we cannot rest on our laurels. Already there is rising competition from China with an increasing number of diamond processors from Israel and Belgium also. There are issues of quality, purity and finish in jewellery sector also which are hampering our rapid growth. Apart from that, the traditional artisans and those employed in the gem & jewellery industry have relatively low levels of education.”

“So the need of the hour is to have concentrated efforts by all stakeholders within the industry, state as well as central governments to focus on taking the industry to the next level. A focused approach to cluster development is a key aspect in this regards. A planned development of gem & jewellery clusters across the country in diamond, gemstones and jewellery manufacturing will be an important stepping stone in our growth,” he adds.

The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has already taken a lead by proposing the setting up of Common Facility Centres (CFCs) for the diamond industry across Gujarat. The project has been supported by the state and central governments and it is expected that CFCs will soon be operational at four locations in the state during the first phase. One of these clusters could be closely studied and steps could be taken to improve yield criteria and other deliverables.

Establishment of CFCs with state-of-art technology will augment the specific needs of the particular cluster in relation to the type of manufacturing activity carried out there. This will help to improve upon the quality and productivity of goods they manufacture.

Besides, the Gem and Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI) aims to train about four million persons till 2022 as the sector is facing acute shortage of skilled workers. GJEPC will tie-up with the existing training institutes like Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and Indian Gemological Institute (IGI) along with setting up of new institutes in major diamond cutting and processing centres.

On the other hand, the gem & jewellery industry has already begun benefitting under the ambitious project of ‘Make in India’ introduced by the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. 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) recently announced a strategic alliance to promote setting up of regional jewellery manufacturing hubs in India.

At the same time, Indian marketers and brands with the support of the IACC will market their products in the $60-billion jewellery market in the U.S. The IACC will set up a joint committee to explore the setting up of hubs in various gem & jewellery clusters of the country like Surat, Kolkata and Mumbai. Talks have already begun with top U.S. retailers like Signet and Helzberg. The aim is to set up 3-5 hubs over 3-5 years.

Industry circles here are quite optimistic that resolute efforts such as these would certainly enhance growth of India’s gem & jewellery industry.

Posted by Suresh Chotai