India is recognized as the world’s biggest and best diamond and gem-cutting center. The country’s prowess is unsurpassed not just in gem-cutting, but also in creating exceptional jeweler – be it handmade or machine made. Indian manufacturers have some of the most technologically advanced set-ups to create the finest of designer collections. The industry has not done enough to promote its skills and strengths worldwide. To gain global supremacy in the field of jeweler, the industry needs to introspect on factors such as design, legacy of artistry, welfare of artisans, and strong branding narratives, which together can empower the Make in India brand. Experts suggest we move up the value chain by selling narratives woven around our precious heritage of jeweler-making crafts. They also hammer home the point that collectively we need to stop selling jeweler as a commodity, arguing that by charging a smaller premium we aren’t doing justice to artisans. Have we done enough to raise our global standing in jeweler-making? Can India justify or seek a price premium for its collections? www.sparklingtrendz.com
We spoke to industry experts who shared their views on how India can further use its ability to achieve global synonymity with luxury jeweler, and narrow the gap between being perceived as a low-cost manufacturing center versus the rightful, spiritual home for high-quality jewelers. India’s jewelry-making and gem-cutting skills date back several centuries, and our industry is the torchbearer of these ancient crafts and rich heritage. Master craftsmen and skilled artisans have always been the backbone of this sector, who have handed down skills from one generation to the next to create pieces that are unparalleled in beauty and intricacy.
Today, India’s jewelry manufacturers cater to several international brands and their artistry is not just restricted to making handcrafted jewelers. India-made jewelry fills showrooms around the world (last year we exported gems and jewelers’ worth nearly $36 billion), so what steps can the industry take to generate more awareness about our manufacturing strengths?
Barring a handful of jewelry retail brands that have made a mark internationally, India is not the first name that comes to mind when one thinks of designer jewelers.
India is known for its fine enameling work – be it Banarasi or Jaipur meena work; detailed filigree and naqashi work; the magnificent temple and jadtar jewelry; the glass and gold fusion depicted in Thewa; bidri and dokra jewelry … the list is endless. So, weaving tales around artisans and their artistry is an important step in promoting Made In India. Also, the collective resolve to recognize, retain and empower our supremely talented artisans will help add value to the home-grown ‘gurukuls’ that have been passing on knowledge of jewelry crafts from one generation to the next for centuries.
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