he much-awaited 39th edition of IIJS Premiere 2023, organised by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), took place in Mumbai. This prestigious event brought together the gems and jewellery industry for an extraordinary showcase of excellence, innovation, and sustainability. IIJS Premiere 2023 was the largest gathering of domestic and international buyers, offering Indian jewellery manufacturers an unparalleled platform to connect with retailers and explore product design and demand trends.
That year, the IIJS Premiere was simultaneously organized at two venues - the Jio World Convention Centre (JWCC) from 3rd to 7th August, and the Bombay Exhibition Centre (BEC) from 4th to 8th August. Combined, these venues accommodated 3,250 stalls and welcomed 1,850 exhibitors, covering an expansive area of 70,000+ sq. meters of exhibition area.
The grand opening of the show was marked by the gracious presence of Guests of honour Mr. Mike Hankey, Consul General, Consulate General of USA; Dr. Sanjay Mukherjee, IAS, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA; Mr. Paul Rowley, Executive Vice President, Diamond Trading, De Beers Group; Mr. G.R. Radhakrishnan, Managing Director, GRT Jewellers India Pvt. Ltd. along with Mr. Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC; Mr. Kirit Bhansali, Vice Chairman, GJEPC; Mr. Nirav Bhansali, Convener, National Exhibitions; Mr. Mitesh Gajera, Co-convener, National Exhibitions, GJEPC and Mr. Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director amongst others.
The response to IIJS Premiere 2023 was overwhelming, with a record-breaking 42,000 pre-registrations from across India. The event witnessed more than 2,000 visitors from over 65 countries, including the USA, UK, UAE, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Fiji, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Muscat, Italy, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Kuwait, Germany, Turkey, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and many more. The distinguished guest list included delegations from 16 nations, elevating the event to an unparalleled international stature.
Mr. Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, said, “IIJS symbolises the confidence and underlying strength of the Indian gem and jewellery industry. It’s a testament to India’s radiant reputation as a global powerhouse in the world of gems and jewellery. The buzzing aisles on day one of IIJS Premiere 2023 is an indication of the fervent enthusiasm and interest among exhibitors and visitors alike, foreshadowing a successful and vibrant event filled with exciting product launches, networking opportunities, and remarkable business prospects within the gems and jewellery industry. We anticipate business worth ₹60,000 crore to be generated at this event, and ₹1 lakh crore (trillion) for all three IIJS shows in 2023.”
Mr. Mike Hankey, Consul General, Consulate General of USA, said, “Like the rest of the world, the United States recognises the staggering potential of the Indian economy to bring prosperity to all of its citizens and to world partners. I congratulate those in the gem and jewellery industry who are doing so much to expand that prosperity to hire and advance those from underserved communities, from women into leadership roles on their staff. The United States understands the considerable importance of the diamond manufacturing industry to India and its immense contribution to employment that I’ve seen personally.”
Mr. Paul Rowley, Executive Vice President, Diamond Trading, De Beers Group said, “India was already one of the world’s top markets, but it has also been the fastest growing major market this year. The number of middle-class households is expected to grow 30 million in the next decade alone, something like almost 15 times the population of Botswana today. It’s clear that the landscape in India will be a perfect platform for growth.
“Two of the most important trends, we see in De Beers are around provenance and lab grown diamonds. In matters of provenance, we’re seeing a growing interest about where diamonds come from, and more importantly, perhaps the impact they have on the people and places on their journey to the consumer.
“It’s not much of a surprise to see that natural diamonds at LGDS are rapidly diverging from each other. In such an environment of change, once again, the key to analysis to understand how to capture that opportunity.”
Mr. Nirav Bhansali, Convener, National Exhibitions, GJEPC, announced the success of the “One Earth” initiative, “Since the beginning of this year, GJEPC has embarked on a transformative journey towards environmental sustainability with the launch of the ’One Earth’ initiative. Today, we are proud to announce that the initiative has surpassed all expectations, achieving the target of planting 1 lakh trees. This remarkable accomplishment is not only making a positive impact on the environment but also generating an astonishing Rs. 100 crore for marginal farmers, fostering robust economic growth in rural communities. Moreover, our collective efforts will lead to a reduction of 40,000 tons of Carbon dioxide, and will produce an impressive 67,000 tons of vital oxygen and create 220 acres of lush green cover, nurturing biodiversity.”
Recognising the labour-intensive nature of this sector, the government on its part has taken several steps to boost exports. Shah said that the new e-commerce policy promises to boost retail exports, opening up exciting avenues for growth, while Strategic Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with UAE and Australia have facilitated international trade. The Ministry is on the verge of finalising couple of more FTAs with in the near future.
Shah pointed out that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s backing has led to the establishment of a Mega Common Facility Center (CFC) in SEEPZ, while the Maharashtra Government’s support has paved the way for a Jewellery Park in Mumbai. The India Jewellery Park Mumbai is set to be a transformative project that propels the gem and jewellery industry in Maharashtra to new heights. Through its integrated approach, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and comprehensive support services, the Park will contribute significantly to the growth and expansion of the Indian jewellery sector. It is estimated to generate 1 lakh jobs in the sector.
Shah announced a series of initiatives as GJEPC is hosting the India show alongside the Hong Kong show in September, providing a valuable platform for Indian gem and jewellery businesses to showcase their offerings to international buyers.
The India Jewellery Exposition (IJEX) Centre in Dubai is yet another initiative by GJEPC, serving as a one-stop destination for the world to source Indian jewellery. This 365-day exhibition platform will promote specific categories of ’Made in India’ gems & jewellery, reinforcing India’s leadership role in the global market.
In the presence of Mr. Paul Rowley, Executive Vice President, Diamond Trading, De Beers Group, Shah said that there is a need to further boost the generic promotion of diamonds. “De Beers and GJEPC share a common vision of enhancing the overall appeal and desirability of diamonds. By joining forces, we can leverage our collective expertise and resources to create impactful marketing campaigns that resonate with consumers globally, nurturing a deeper appreciation for diamonds as cherished symbols of love, beauty, and enduring value,” he added.
In line with its commitment to sustainability and convenience, IIJS Premiere 2023 has taken a giant leap towards eco-consciousness by going completely paperless. Attendees now enjoy the ease of fully digital badges, making their participation seamless and environmentally friendly.
IIJS is introducing an initiative, Innov8 Global, for the first time, facilitating tailored product-specific matchmaking between international buyers and manufacturers. This innovative platform aims to enhance business interactions and foster productive partnerships like never before.
Retailers, get ready to experience the “Prime” Package, offering VIP access to the show! With priority access, a high-speed WiFi zone, a dedicated Prime Lounge, and a special Help Desk, this package promises to elevate your experience to the next level.
Among the show-stopping features lined up, attendees can look forward to the highly anticipated innov8 talks at both venues - JWCC and BEC, offering insightful discussions on the industry’s latest trends and innovations. Moreover, IIJS Premiere 2023 is celebrating the future leaders in the industry with its “40 under 40” program, acknowledging outstanding talent and recognising the best of the best.
Highlighting the achievements and contributions of the industry, IIJS celebrated leading retailers and industry icons at the IIJS Celebration Night, paying tribute to the true shining stars of the gems and jewellery world.
IIJS Premiere 2023 continues to impress with its remarkable statistics and impressive offerings, bringing together the world’s gems and jewellery industry in a dazzling extravaganza that showcases the very best in craftsmanship, innovation, and global connections.