The 37th edition of IIJS Premiere 2021, the flagship trade show held in Bengaluru by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), has revived the economy, and given a fillip to not just the gems and jewellery sector, but all the peripheral sectors associated with the show, including transport, hotels, retail, and restaurants. Thanks to the IIJS mega expo, many hotels in Bengaluru reported 100% occupancy around the show dates.
IIJS was also the world’s first largest physical-only show held since the COVID pandemic began, with the participation of 1,300+ exhibitors and over 21,000 visitors, including more than 300 international buyers. Although a couple of big international shows were held prior to IIJS, they were essentially hybrid online-offline formats.
India’s largest and Asia’s third-largest show overturned all the initial scepticism surrounding the pandemic. The five-day show generated business worth $ 6.75 bn. The success of IIJS Premiere 2021 is a clear indication that the gem and jewellery industry has shrugged off the pandemic’s effects on the sector.
A lot of logistics planning was required to ensure full compliance with safety norms. A major hurdle was the relocation of the event. The show had to move out of its permanent base of almost 30 years, the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai, as Maharashtra has reserved it as a COVID centre.
The Council, with the help of the Karnataka Government, ensured that the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) was a bio-bubble. It was mandatory for every person attending the show to get at least one dose of vaccination with a negative RT-PCR test done 48 hours prior to entry. The venue had a COVID Testing Centre, along with an ambulance, quarantine room, and a doctor on call.
Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, said, “We are delighted that IIJS Premiere has generated an estimated USD 6.75 Billion-worth of business. We are already witnessing a surge in exports and are confident that the industry will achieve the export target of $43.75 billion this year and contribute more than 10% of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of achieving $400 billion in total merchandise exports.
“IIJS would not have been possible without the unstinted support of the Karnataka State Government to help us organise this show successfully. An event of this size and scale needed a great venue, and we are glad that the BIEC stepped up to help us organise it.”
Of the 21,000 visitors IIJS received, more than 300 were from countries such as Bangladesh, the UK, USA, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, UAE, and Nepal, who placed orders across all jewellery categories.
The five-day show was attended by several dignitaries like Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Ministry of Commerce & Industry (through video conference), who hailed the industry for being the world leader in diamond cutting and manufacturing, and one of the largest exporters of gems and jewellery.
Murugesh Nirani, Minister of Large and Medium Industries, Govt. of Karnataka; Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Commerce & Industries, Govt. of Karnataka; S. Suresh Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry were also a part of the opening ceremony on the first day.
Expressing delight at the show being hosted in Karnataka, Nirani, elaborated on the opportunities that the state could offer to the gem and jewellery industry. He said, “Karnataka is the only state which produces gold from the Hutti Gold Mines and the Kolar Gold fields. We are aiming to increase the production from 1,700kg to 5,000kg. We will be opening jewellery retail stores to promote gold and sell gold coins; we’re hoping to partner with private jewellers.” He urged the industry entrepreneurs to attend the Karnataka Global Investors Meet in November 2022 to explore business opportunities.