|The fifth edition of Signature IIJS 2012 has been formatted at the couture level and focuses more on designer jewellery. There are plans of expanding the show next year to include more gems and jewellery exhibitors. The plan includes spreading it over a much larger space to give it a further niche look.
Addressing the media, Mr. Sanjay Kothari, vice chairman, GJEPC, said: "The whole idea behind Signature IIJS 2012 is to make the exhibitors feel relaxed and work in leisure. We want to give them time off to speak to the visitors and prospective buyers and we are happy to notice that we have been able to achieve this. We want them to spend 2-3 hours with each other".
This is seconded by Mr. Sabyasachi Ray, executive director, GJEPC, who says the international visitors are happy about the compactness and international standards of the show. He says, "We wanted to make Signature IIJS 2012 very compact and bring it at par with other international shows and we are very glad that the Council has been able to do just that this year. The international visitors are very happy".
The Council has also urged the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) to include more Indian diamantaires in the list of DTC sightholders given the performance of the Indian industry and its contribution to the growth of DTC to become the foremost diamond company in the world. GJEPC has asked DTC to raise its supply of rough to Indian companies.
According to Surat-based designer Preeti Ahuja Duggal of Preeti's Jewellery Lounge, Signature IIJS 2012 has much better designs than the last few years and she can see lot many bigger sized diamonds which, she feels, is a sure sign of a positive start to the year. She says, "Signature IIJS is the right place to be in as I can browse everything on display in leisure and the exhibitors too can interact with us in a relaxed manner and atmosphere which doesn't happen at the August Show".
Day 2 witnessed the arrival of a delegation from Kuwait for the first time in India. According to Mr. Samir Al Shaer, general manager, Al Shaer, Kuwait, "We are here without any kind of expectations from this show to source finished jewellery and some roughs after which we might go for some factory visits". Two weeks back, a road show was conducted in Qatar and Doha which enabled this team of delegation to make this first-ever trip to India. Similar kinds of road shows were conducted by the organizers in many other countries to make them aware of Signature IIJS 2012.
Though the pearl prices have gone up by almost 15 to 20 percent in the last three months, cream-colored commercial pearls, in the price range of Rs 75 to 120 per carat, of size 9 to 12 are selling extremely well.
Even the prices of rough color stones have gone up by almost 20 percent but Signature IIJS 2012, strategically timed in the beginning of the year, is fast becoming an important indicator of how the market will fare during the rest of the year.
According to first-time participant, Mr. Ashish Agrawal from Jaipur-based Worldwide Gems Exports, "We don't have any strong expectations from this Show but are here for building relationships. We have displayed some really fine quality gemstones and happy to note steady inquiries from buyers. 70 percent of the visitors at our booth are turning out to be serious buyers".
According to Mr. Kothari, the industry is trying to reach the export figures of 2011 as 2012 has begun with a slight turmoil in the economic situation across some European markets. He says, "We are trying to focus on the domestic market as India could survive the 2008 debacle because of the strong domestic market demand. The need of the hour is to have some b2c level shows".
He says: "The volume during the next three months is predicted to be very less though we are selling more goods to China. The Chinese and Indian domestic markets are very promising and growing at a regular pace. The Chinese market will pick up momentum after the New Year in February. We intend catering to the domestic Indian as well as Chinese market as there are more focused buyers".