Recently, Suvankar Sen, Managing Director of Senco Gold and Diamonds Pvt Ltd, delved into the evolving dynamics of the Indian jewellery market, shedding light on the profound changes witnessed by the industry over the past five decades. With a history spanning more than 50 years, Senco Gold and Diamonds has been a keen observer of transformative shifts, both at the retail and trade levels.
He said, the transformation in the Indian jewellery market, catalysed by the economic liberalization of 1991, has been pivotal for Senco Gold and Diamonds. The burgeoning middle and upper middle class, propelled by sustained economic growth, has significantly altered consumer behavior and preferences. With the abolishment of the Gold Control Act, the ease of gold importation has fueled retail trade expansion.
Consumer tastes, once confined to local and traditional styles, have become more cosmopolitan. Rising incomes, increased exposure to global trends through travel and the internet, and a shift from local to national buying patterns have all contributed to this evolution. Modern interpretations of traditional jewellery are gaining popularity, with a notable focus on lightweight and contemporary designs.
The impact of fluctuating gold prices on consumer budgets has led to a surge in demand for lighter pieces. The trend extends to traditional bridal and temple jewellery, experiencing at least a 10% drop in average product weights. A significant shift in consumer demographics, with over 65% of the population below 35, has influenced preferences towards Western attire, driving demand for lower caratages like 18-carat and 14-carat gold.
Technological advancements, such as the widespread adoption of mobile phones and low-cost internet, have revolutionized the jewellery retail landscape. Online sales, now constituting 5-10% of overall sales for Senco Gold and Diamonds, have become a vital channel, particularly in the post-pandemic era. The rise of social media has facilitated direct interaction between retailers and consumers, fostering brand awareness and boosting sales.
From a regulatory standpoint, government measures like increased import duty, restrictions on cash transactions, demonetization, Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation, and compulsory hallmarking have shaped the industry. The push towards organized operations, fueled by consumer awareness about quality and price transparency, has propelled chain stores to gain market share.
As Sen concludes, the ongoing evolution in the Indian jewellery market will be driven by the preferences of the younger generation and the increasing prominence of organized retailers. Adapting to these changes, retailers aim to cater to the tastes and budgets of the sizable young population, reshaping not only product offerings but also business strategies and consumer interactions.