PGI to Address Changing Needs of Consumers: Vaishali Banerjee

Mumbai: As coronavirus fears continue to rattle markets worldwide, there is the potential for the impact of the virus to reduce platinum demand if it is not contained within months. The demand for platinum jewellery in India could weaken in the following months amid the global onslaught of Covid-19. Platinum market in India has witnessed consistent growth on the back of Platinum Guild International, India’s (PGI) strong trade and marketing initiatives. Its strategic partners have reported a double digit growth in platinum sales during last couple of years.

But this year, the global spread of coronavirus will upset PGI’s expected growth in India to a great extent.

Global platinum jewellery demand dipped 7% to 2.09 million ounces in 2019, with China recording a steep decline of 14%, data from the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC)’s Platinum Quarterly for the fourth quarter of 2019 showed. contacted Ms. Vaishali Banerjee, MD of PGI (India) to get her feed back about the estimated loss of platinum jewellery sales due to the present crisis and PGI’s strategy to recover from the proposed damage to the platinum jewellery retail business in India.

Ms. Vaishali Banerjee says, “This is a very unprecedented crisis, the one which is never seen before by the industry. The situation is still vague and its very difficult to assess the proposed damage. But the paramount concern of today is health, security and safety of the industry and its people. Once we come out this dark era, the industry will definitely resume and bounce back, I am sure of it. Because jewellery is an integral part of our culture and life.”

Talking about the PGI’s strategy post the pandemic era to recover the lost business, Ms. Banerjee says, “We will have to address the the changing needs of our consumers. At this stage we, at the PGI are forming our strategy accordingly.”

Recently, Mr. Vitor Gaspar, Director of Fiscal Affairs Department, International Monetary Fund (IMF), had said that the COVID-19 pandemic was hitting economies through multiple channels.

“The pandemic outbreak is causing supply disruptions and the social distancing efforts necessary to contain the spread of the virus have imposed a large burden on workers and their families,” he said.

“The expected speed and depth of the contraction in the global economy is unprecedented, much worse than during the 2008-09 financial crisis. As such, there is no doubt that the government needs to take swift concerted action with fiscal tools taking a prime role to contain the virus’ spread and limit the damage,” Mr. Gaspar said.