It is important to utilize this time to work on various strategies and initiatives for the customers and be as productive as possible.
- Ketan Chokshi
With COVID-19 cases increasing with each passing day, markets across all the sectors have been affected because of this pandemic. India’s jewellery industry has also been affected because of the virus outbreak. We started 2020 on a great note, but the past few weeks have changed everything because of coronavirus. The lockdown which was the need of the hour, in the interest of people, was sudden and in the month of March which is the financial year-end affecting targets and the actual business. Also, March is the month which involves the final keeping of the book of accounts, which is delayed, all of this having a huge impact on all businesses, including Jewellery.
The industry was already facing challenges in the form of customs duties, fall in exports, amongst others. The sudden rise in pricing had already resulted in a drop in sales in the past few months. The outbreak of coronavirus will further lead to huge losses given all the retail stores are shut.
The challenge for the gem and jewellery industry will continue even after situation stabilises. While we plan on being an important part of the share of the customer’s disposable income. We will have to wait for the buyers to settle for a while and allow them to get back to their routine. The consumer demand is expected to take a hit in the next quarter as we are not sure if people are in favour of making any investments in the next three months at least. It will take at least a quarter for things to stabilize. It will happen in time as the gems and jewellery sector is dependent on a lot of things besides the disposable income like rituals, traditions, festivals, amongst others. Till then, it is essential for us to sit tight, lower our expenses and maximize our business in the current situation.
It is important to utilize this time to work on various strategies and initiatives for the customers and be as productive as possible. However, we do hope that once everything is back to normal, we expect customers to start making investments in this segment and buy jewellery for themselves and their loved ones.
Ketan Chokshi is Co-Owner of Narayan Jewellers. Views expressed are the author’s personal.