Gems & jewellery firms seek to take their brands abroad

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Industry seeks govt help for forward and backward integration

Indian gems and jewellery industry has sought government support for both forward and backward integration to boost export revenues. It wants Indian government to emulate China by helping gold and diamond mining overseas. It also wants support in building Indian jewellery brands abroad.

The industry has asked the government to assist the Indian companies to get into gold and diamond mining activities in geographies like Russia and Africa. Many of the African countries have opened up their small and medium mines for international companies in recent times and this has opened up an opportunity for Indian companies as well.

“The Chinese government has been actively supporting its companies. China National Gold Corporation has mining activities in several African countries and has been making huge investments in the past couple of years. No wonder, it is the largest gold producer now. The government also has been participating in the infrastructural development projects in some of these countries,” said Sanjeev Agarwal, CEO, Gitanjali Export Corporation.

“India should follow suit. The country being the largest cutting and polishing hub for diamonds, it would help procure rough diamonds cheaper, avoiding the middlemen in the trade,” said Agarwal.

“If not making investments initially, government agencies like MMTC can help the companies in opening dialogue with the respective governments. It can offer bank guarantees and even procure gold directly from the mines for the industry,” said Umesh Parekh, managing director, Shree Ganesh Jewellery House.

Similarly, the industry wants the government’s help in making Indian jewellery brands visible in the international market. “The government should support in creating a ‘Brand India fund’ for such purposes. A fund with an initial size of Rs 50 crore can be constituted and with the contribution from the private sector, it can be used for marketing Indian brands abroad. This will help Indian brands grow to the stature of LVMH, Tiffany or Gartier and earn higher premium for the exported jewellery,” said Agarwal.

According to Parekh, export promotion bodies can select top Indian brands and provide visibility in jewellery shows in Hong Kong, Las Vegas and Dubai. The industry exported gems and jewellery worth $38,277 million in 2012.

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