MUMBAI (Commodity Online): Will India have a gold exchange soon? It looks so, if a recommendation from an apex bullion body in India is any indication.

A FICCI-Technopak Knowledge Report called Unlocking the Potential of India's Gems & Jewellery Sector has called for setting up of a gold exchange in the country to drive the gold industry in India.

The report was released by Ms. Anita Agnihotri, Development Commissioner , SEEPZ Special Economic Zone, at the International Conference on Gems & Jewellery organized by FICCI to discuss strategies for the growth of the gem and jewellery sector.

Highlighting the findings of the report, Mr. Anil Rajpal, Vice President, Technopak Advisors, predicted that the domestic gem and jewellery industry would grow to US$100 billion by 2015 from its current size of US$45 billion.

Amongst others, the following recommendations were made

  • Industry Status to Gems & Jewellery Sector
  • Technology Upgradation Fund for facilitating the modernization of the manufacturing and design facilities
  • Setting up of Gold Exchange
  • Building Customer Trust and Standards

While delivering his introductory address, Mr. Mehul Choksi, Chairman, FICCI Gem & Jewellery Committee, observed that India has continued to do well in the cut and polished diamond business at the global level. He stressed on the need to work on this strength and make efforts to increase markets and global market share. Finding cheaper raw materials, rough diamonds and improving profitability through proper branding and marketing strategies, according to him, were the key areas for realizing higher growths in the gem and jewellery sector.

Mr. Vasant Mehta, Chairman, The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, called for concerted action to increase the share of gems and jewellery in the growing wallet of the Indian consumers. He noted that promotional efforts like 'Anant' - an exquisite range of single line diamond jewellery launched exclusive for the Indian consumer, would go a long way in promoting diamond jewellery trade in India.

Mr. Ashok Minawala, Chairman, Projects Committee, The All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation, expressed concern at the proposed draft Direct Taxes Code of the Ministry of Finance, Govt. Of India which gives inspectors wide ranging Search and Seizure powers to confiscate stocks of diamonds or bullion during raids.

Giving a designer's perspective, Ms. Queenie Dhodhy, Jewellery Designer, noted that this industry would continue to grow with women's aspirational needs.

Mr. Ajay Mitra, Managing Director, Indian Subcontinent, World Gold Council, suggested that the players in the industry to go in for product development using a mix of trend forecasting, high levels of technology and skill in manufacturing and finishing, and stringent systems of quality control.

Mr.Sushil Jiwarajka, Chairman, FiCCI WRC, said that integration of Jewellery, Luxury and Fashion would be the next step for the ever growing gem and jewellery sector. He noted that the country's jewellery market is changing from just being a storehouse of value to a fashion statement.

The Technical Sessions discussed Policy & Regulatory Framework, Technology, Innovations in Jewellery Retail, Jewellery Franchising, PR Strategies in Jewellery Marketing, Opportunities, Finance, and Luxury Retail.