MUMBAI, February 21, 2014 – Exhibitor and visitor numbers were expected to be up around 10 percent year-on-year as the SIGNATURE trade show kicked off in Mumbai.
Some 550 exhibitors in more than 1,000 booths took part in SIGNATURE (February 21-24, 2014), and some 9,000 visitors were expected to attend the show in the Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre in Goregaon, according to exhibition convener Nirav Bhansali.
A major jewellery show attended by retailers, SIGNATURE provides buyers with a glimpse of the latest styles, trends and designs that will drive sales in the coming year.
“The objective of Signature is to bring together top-end manufacturers, senior members of the country’s retail trade and international visitors,” Bhansali said.
In a bid to boost visitor footfall, the Gem & Jewellery Export Council (GJEPC) organised road shows in Dubai, Jeddah and Beirut, in the weeks running up to the show.
Further door-to-door visits to leading jewellers were conducted in Kuwait City, Doha and Tehran.
In a news conference on the first day of SIGNATURE, GJEPC Chairman Vipul Shah said the Indian gold industry had been lobbying for a reduction in the current 10 percent gold import duty in India.
He said he hoped that the authorities would move soon to cut the duty, possibly to in the range of 2 to 4 percent, as India’s current account deficit had improved.
“We are hopeful that soon it (duty) will be rolled back and be some 2-4 percent,” he said.
GJEPC officials said the high gold import duty had encouraged smuggling of gold into India.
Indian government officials were not immediately available to comment.
Sanjay Kothari, another senior GJEPC official, spoke of the GJEPC’s support for the World Diamond Mark, which is being introduced to boost the generic marketing of diamonds via an authorised dealer programme.
“We as the Council are committed to the endeavour of promoting the World Diamond Mark,” he said.
GJEPC officials also spoke of the challenges facing Indian jewellers wishing to break through as international brands.
“Development of a brand like Tiffany or Cartier demands huge amounts of money and deep pockets,” Kothari said.
Indian jewellers will need to establish themselves solidly in the domestic market before driving sales abroad as “Made in India” brands, he said.