By Sanjay Kothari
With second wave of Covid-19 virus outbreak in India, came the second wave of lockdown as well. Investments in jewellery have renewed their value and continue to be a haven for crisis moments as witnessed during this devastating pandemic. Those in the business and had an awareness beforehand were able to seize the opportunities as they emerge. Aspiring jewellers in the industry should also take the earliest opportunity to tap into it because the future looks much more promising than in the past. The apex jewellers’ body also asked the Maharashtra government to allow them to operate during the upcoming wedding season in the April-June quarter.
The outbreak of coronavirus led to huge losses given all the retail stores have been shut. Concerns about the virus are growing with each passing day with no footfalls, as the stores are not even operational due to complete lockdown. We have no experience as to when this outbreak will end. Jewellery industry is mostly wedding driven but due to the outbreak, most of the events have been cancelled, affecting the industry and bringing it to a standstill. Marriage dates are available till the month of July and hopefully jewellery business will pick slowly and steadily as this gets over.
Jewellers will have to wait for the buyers to settle for a while and allow them to get back to their daily lifestyle. The consumer demand is expected to take a hit in the next quarter as people are not in favour of making any huge investments, at least in the next three months. It will take at least a quarter for things to stabilize. Till then, it is important to lower expenses and maximize business and create awareness in the current situation. Jewellery sales are going to witness a dynamic change once the lockdown ends. Sales are going to come back, with gold being the preferred choice of asset handed over at a wedding. Having said that, it will take some time to revive jewellery sales on a par with pre-Covid levels.
The industry is trying its best to stand with its artisans and staff so they do not get impacted. During this time, many have realised that online presence can exponentially help jewellers to reach out to consumers, adapting to their online trends. As India is now increasingly becoming digitally active for all kinds of shopping, and customers are now more comfortable with online jewellery purchase, making new additions to the online buying experience is always a good idea. From home-pickup to home delivery, of products, there are a lot of new extra services that are being offered. Downfall in the prices witnessed since pre-covid times could also be an essential factor towards revival of the jewellery industry.
All these factors can help give an impetus to the industry which has been lying low for months.
The author is vice-chairman of KGK Group. Views expressed are personal.