IIJS Premiere 2021, GJEPC’S prestigious gems and jewellery event, got off to a flying start at Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) today, with a star-studded galaxy of distinguished personalities present at the opening ceremony.

The flag hoisting ceremony was attended by dignitaries including Murugesh Nirani, Minister of Large and Medium Industries of Karnataka, (CM Basavaraj Bommai could not be present because of the ongoing Assembly Session); Dr. E.V. Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister;  Suresh Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce; Colin Shah, Chairman, GJPEC; Vipul Shah, Vice-Chairman GJEPC; Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director GJEPC, among others.

Speaking at inaugural session, Murugesh Nirani said, “I convey my thanks to the organizers. I am very grateful that you are doing this show in Bangalore. Two gold mines are here in Karnataka. We already have two jewellery parks in Bangalore. We are also coming up with one more. We are willing to give all support to our G&J industry, whatever it is.”

Karnataka is number one in terms of business conducted as part of the G & J industry -- the state has an investment of about Rs 10.8 lakh crore in the gems and jewellery sector, which generates employment for more than 15 lakh people.

Over 2500 booths have been booked at IIJS 2021, Bangalore, and business worth $ 43-53 billion is expected to be conducted during the event. Said Dr. E.V. Ramana Reddy, “It is indeed a great honour to witness such a surge in response in the G & J industry. We are a very progressive state. We are the only state that produces gold in the country. I hope in the following years also, you choose Bangalore as your destination. And we will give you our full support.”

According to Suresh Kumar, “This is the beginning of a new era, as it is the first physical show and we made it happen. In the pandemic, G&J was one of the worst hit sectors, but we have bounced back so much! I hope we continue this trend. The response we have got for this show has been phenomenal and people are waiting for this transformation.”

In his speech Colin Shah said, “For the last 36 years we were in Mumbai, now we are in Bangalore. I can’t thank Karnataka government enough to have made this possible. I feel a lot of gratitude, we did this in a very short span of time. The government of Karnataka has worked faster than what some of us can in the private sector. We have 1300 exhibitors at this exhibition. We have already crossed 18000 visitor registrations, as of today. In the last 2-3 weeks there has been a boom in the industry. The big worry is will I get my orders by Diwali and this a great sign. Bangalore has brought us luck. We have never been sold out before the show ever. Last month itself, we achieved 3 billion in exports. IIJS in Bangalore is the first stepping stone. We are setting up CFCs (Common Facility Centres), jewellery park in New Bombay and a gem bourse in Jaipur. none of this would have been possible without the support of state governments and the Centre.”