Word to the Wise-Open Letters from Industry Stalwarts

The world has collectively gone through an unspeakable year. Loss of family members, friends, colleagues and acquaintances; the virus might’ve permanently altered the way some of us look at life. Many of us are bereft of hope, we are not able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But this too shall pass, and as humans we are bound to come out of this hardship together. Here are some encouraging words penned by some industry stalwarts. Compiled by Sugandha R

Post By : IJ News Service On 26 June 2021 11:55 AM

 Last year, we watched a never-seenbefore crisis envelope the world. A year later, COVID-19 continues to be an ‘invisible enemy’, sparking paranoia and fear. The current second wave seems to be having a higher impact on our already-damaged infrastructure. As an industry, we have managed to steer to safe waters after the first wave. Now with the second, it is good to remember what our past experience has taught us. Gold as an asset class will see a demand revival from the deferred spending and weddings which have been rescheduled.

In the meantime, our industry could rally together to introduce initiatives that make jewellery shopping more convenient for consumers and cost effective for retailers. Revamping business  models in lieu with the changing times, reducing operational expenditure, rationalising spends and re-evaluating priorities are just a few things that we can do for our own business and enterprises. As part of the larger society, we must also acknowledge that each of us has a personal responsibility in containing the spread of the virus. Lessons on hygiene and masking up need to be imparted to everyone. It is also imperative that we create awareness about vaccination and encourage employees to get vaccinated. Together, as an industry and as a nation, we will face and overcome these testing times, and soon emerge stronger, agile and resilient.

As part of the larger society, we must also acknowledge that each of us has a personal responsibility in containing the spread of the virus. Lessons on hygiene and masking up need to be imparted to everyone

K Srinivasan, MD, Emerald Jewel Industry

Patience is important in these times. Please follow all the norms and study the situation well – so as to develop ways to do better when the lockdown is lifted. One has to look at the bigger picture to realise that everything is changing. The best way to face these times is to adapt to change. Good times will come again and there will be an opportunity to make profits and grow.

Do not let the fear of death or the resulting anxiety affect your decision making ability. Let us also understand that death is inevitable for every human being and not be affected by it now.

Change is the only constant in life. The problems will go away in sometime. Do not get depressed by what you are seeing around you today. Always look at the bigger picture and plan accordingly. Do not let personal pain or grief overpower you or the skills you have nurtured for years. Always remain unperturbed in any situation. This steadfast attitude and focusing on solutions, rather than on problems will show you a way out of any trying situation.

Do not let the fear of death or the resulting anxiety affect your decision making ability. Let us also understand that death is inevitable for every human being and not be affected by it now

Ashish Pethe, Chairman of GJC and Partner, Waman Hari Pethe Jewellers

Look at the positives in life there is always an opportunity hidden in every adversity. Focus on what is going right in your life, rather than focussing on what is not going right. This has been my policy in life. This outlook has always helped me tide over difficult times. Restructure your business so as to optimise expenses, cut down on all kinds of unnecessary expenses.\

Our forefathers have always put customers first. We have to take care of our customers and it always helps develop business. Throughout the 110 years that we have been in business, we have always focussed on taking care of our staff. Think about your customers and staff -- and always do what is right. One small example is that, years ago, when jewellery used to be made by soldering, there always used to be a ten per cent loss of gold when such ornaments were melted. But if our own customer brought back a piece that we had sold him, we would never deduct ten percent value in gold weight, we bore that loss and gave our customers full value of their gold. This principle was later used by many other jewellers, but for a long time, we were the only ones who practised it. This reinstated the faith of our clients in our brand and this was more important to us. Jewellery retail is the business of trust, over and above selling gold jewellery. Designs and quality of gold always matter the most, equally important are the buyback policies and how we treat clients who come to us to sell their old gold. Better days are sure to come, just as the bright day follows a dark night. Adversity often reveals who our true allies are and the pandemic has taught all of us that. I therefore appeal to all my industry colleagues to bear with these testing times, everyone is suffering and therefore we ought to be empathetic towards others. Patience and forbearance and steadfastness despite all odds will bring forth the real worth of every person. So let it shine forth.

Better days are sure to come, just as the bright day follows a dark night. Adversity often reveals who our true allies are and the pandemic has taught all of us that

Anand Shah, Proprietor, Anand Shah Jewels

As we’re all aware of the fact that the whole world is suffering in more ways than one can imagine, ‘hope’ is all there is for everyone. For most people, it’s easier said than done, but one should remember that it’s a reality check for us humans and now is the time to actually realise the importance of good health, kindness and have a feeling of gratitude for all the blessings in life rather than taking them for granted.

In these trying times, we can only help our own selves and each other by being responsible and conscious of our actions. Thinking about all the families who’ve lost their loved ones in this heinous situation is despairing but we should also remember that there are people striving to come out of this and succeeding too. It might be difficult to see the bright side, but this too shall pass.

Exercise and meditation, reading, cooking, painting, talking to your loved ones, watching your favourite shows/ movies etc are some standard ways to cope with the anxiety but one should remember to do whatever they feel comfortable with to make themselves feel good. During these most trying times that we have seen in our lifetime if at all there is one thing that should keep us going is the saying we have all always believed in and that is, ‘There is always light at the end of a tunnel’.

In these trying times, we can only help our own selves and each other by being responsible and conscious of our actions. Thinking about all the families who’ve lost their loved ones in this heinous situation is despairing but we should also remember that there are people striving to come out of this and succeeding too

Dr. Saurabh Gadgil, Chairman and Managing Director, PNG Jewellers

There have been irreplaceable loses and hardships to people across every segments of society. Such times of uncertainty are challenging, they cause anxiety but at the same time they bring opportunity. History has always proven that with every calamity, every disaster, comes a new opportunity. Life goes on, economy goes on and the world goes on. We too must go on. We have to look at something like this as a once in life time event. Unfortunately, it has happened during our life time.

We have to hope that we are nearing the end of it as vaccinations are now in full swing. All of us in the jewellery industry have learnt to work with the optimum/ minimum, in terms of inventory, people, expenses etc. We have understood the importance of having a Plan B and a Plan C. We have learnt the importance of multi- tasking. We have embraced technology like never before. Going forward, these are the changes that will drive our growth and enable us to unlock our full potential. It has taught a whole new generation as well as reminded ourselves the importance of saving. fine Jewellery and precious metals will find space in individual portfolios more now than it ever has.

Humanity always bounces back. Such difficult times teach us the importance of home, family, friends, our colleagues and allow people to truly come together for a common goal. It teaches us the importance of being positive, being resilient. It is also a wonderful opportunity to lead by example, showcase our own leadership capabilities, and create excitement within the team to meet seemingly insurmountable challenges. Be positive and let nothing break your spirit! My humble suggestion is to use this time constructively. Surround yourself with positive people, negativity attracts negativity. Finish all pending tasks, avoid unnecessary anxiety. Cultivate a habit that relaxes your mind and body. Be it meditation, working out or a hobby that helps you focus. Great habits drive passion, help reduce stress and create a “I can win this” attitude. Take this time to sharpen your skills, something that you were lacking in. No matter what age we are at, we must continue to learn new things and educate ourselves so that we are better prepared and more confident of our own future.

History has always proven that with every calamity, every disaster, comes a new opportunity. Life goes on, economy goes on and the world goes on. We too must go on. We have to look at something like this as a once in life time event

Pratap Kamath, Managing Director, Abaran Timeless Jewellery

Spending time with your family and enjoying quality time with them usually gives one a lot of strength. Also associating with some NGOs and helping the underprivileged are always gratifying. We have a responsibility to give back to the society. When we do our bit for the society, it will give you the strength to overcome personal anxiety as well.

Most of our colleagues are handson and therefore always feel stressed. Therefore this lockdown has given all us the opportunity to relax for a while, go easy on ourselves and not get too stressed with business pressures all the time. Do not let any kind of negative social media messages get to you. During lockdown, we can keep ourselves busy with some creative pursuits. Help with the daily chores at home. Pursue some online courses, upgrade your skills -- select topics of your interest and complete that online course. Alternatively, if you have something interesting to share, create a video and upload it on YouTube. Improving and upgrading our knowledge helps, so when lockdown gets over, we would be better equipped to face the situation. Ensure that you use your idle mind creatively — keep yourself updated with the best knowledge in the industry. Always remember, tough times do not last, tough people do. These tough times will pass and we will enter a brand new day with new challenges and new opportunities. Never get bogged down by challenging situations – they are meant to change. Be strong, be happy.

Ishu Datwani, Founder, Anmol Jewellers

The first and most important thing is to accept the situation and be calm - that has to be the starting point. People often frequently repeat the phrase ‘Be Positive’ to themselves and others and at times it loses its meaning or makes one hyper. Therefore rather than repeating that phrase over and over again, it’s better to be calm and make sure that the feeling of positivity is there, rather than being hyperactive.

Don’’t try to do too many things or to follow too many people and listen to too many webinars as it shows that you don’t have faith in the future. It is better to be calm and have faith in the future. Do one or few things but trust what you do and trust the future. I like doing things which keep me positive like watching motivational videos, reading and listening to vedic chants, yoga and meditation - it has helped me manage personal anxiety during these trying times and remain calm.

I do foresee a return to jewellery buying, almost with a vengeance in 2021 thanks to the pent-up demand in the last one year. I foresee buying based on indulgence and gifting. Jewellery designs which are unique, well-designed, wellcrafted and unusual are the ones that would fly off the shelf first. So it is very important for every jeweller to tighten their belt, pull up their socks, sharpen their pencil and create designs that are unique and interesting because even though there will be demand for exclusive designs, there is a lot of competition and ultimately the product will talk. Jewellery brands can diversify their portfolio by creating a ‘Pret’ range of low price-point jewellery which can be promoted and sold through e-commerce and online channels. Manifesting your fears may just make your worst dream come true, so instead manifest calmness and positivity

I like doing things which keep me positive like watching motivational videos, reading and listening to vedic chants, yoga and meditation - it has helped me manage personal anxiety during these trying times and remain calm

Abhishek Raniwala, Co-founder & Creative Director, Raniwala 1881

Our heart goes out to everyone who is battling these turbulent times. Times are tough but it is in our hands to take tougher measures to ease out the situation. Stay at home for the sake of your family and yourself and wear a mask if at all you have to step out. Let’s try staying positive and hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

Let’s distance ourselves socially but hold each other closer in our hearts. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head. Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthy, energy-boosting snacks on hand. Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

Tough times happen to all of us, regardless of how mentally and physically strong we are. One day, we might feel powerful, but we can feel just as lost and scared the next, at the moment the important thing is to not lost hope. And all of us together can conquer the hardest part by keeping faith, acknowledging the tough times but at the same time be grateful for what you still have. 

Things that are important to us – such as family, friends, and career – are unlikely to change, but we may need to find new ways to connect with loved ones or feel accomplished in our jobs. For example, we might spend more time socialising using digital technologies rather than face-to-face.

We can even think about setting goals daily. How can we do something to enact our values each day? This could be as simple as a kind gesture towards a loved one or work colleague. Always turn a negative situation into a positive one.

Let’s distance ourselves socially but hold each other closer in our hearts. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head

Vijay Chordia, Director, Valentine Jewellery

Being positive and focusing on the good things will always help. Stay strong mentally. Say positive things, help others. Talking to positive and likeminded individuals can help. Despite the social distancing, we can draw our strength from each other by talking to each other over phone calls – sharing, listening to others’ difficulties – giving them hope through some positive statements and uplifting their spirit will also help you tide over your own difficulties.

Do not read disturbing messages on social media,, do not ever forward them. Talk to your family physician and seek his advice – rather than believing in healthrelated rumours. Vaccination is the only way out. COVID 19 is here to stay, we have to work our way around it. Trust the vaccines. Follow health protocols. Do your work as usual, while following all Government norms.

Clients will start coming into stores, as the spread of the virus is contained. It may take a while. But spending on jewellery will happen. Use digital intervention to sell your wares. Send images of your inventory over Whatsapp, reach out to your clients and once the lockdown is lifted, introduce attractive schemes to boost sales.

Remember times change. Everything in life changes. Bad days will go. Good days will come and all of us need to be prepared all the time. To overcome challenges brought in by bad days and also to make the most of the good days. Business cycles always have phases of boom as well. Do your best at all times.

Remember times change. Everything in life changes. Bad days will go. Good days will come and all of us need to be prepared all the time. To overcome challenges brought in by bad days and also to make the most of the good days

Anantha Padmanabhan, MD, NAC Jewellers

We need to be very calm. This situation is not like the first wave. If you have survived this second wave that itself is a big achievement. Keep your family members and your team close. Next, we need to take care of everyone once we start our business. Don’t expect miracles. Wait and watch. This time around government and the masses have learnt their lessons and I am confident if we all co-operate among ourselves while following all the procedures, we will come out of the third wave successfully without major losses to life and business . I insist that everyone should get vaccinated. That will help you build confidence. Each one will have to manage their own personal anxieties differently. Do not ignore or suppress them, learn to address them and overcome them. Take professional help if needed.

Business will eventually happen, so we need not worry. We need to plan our commitments accordingly. Do not stress too much about financial matters, they will eventually fall in place. Family and our team come first – both are our priorities. We need to take utmost care for the next few months. Lives are more important; money can be earned anytime but we need to look after our dear ones and take care of them as a priority.

Business will eventually happen, so we need not worry. We need to plan our commitments accordingly. Do not stress too much about financial matters, they will eventually fall in place

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