'Princess Diana's stunning Blue Sapphire studded ring, the most sought-after engagement ring in history, is still a popular choice among many, and its replicas continue to fly off the shelves.'
Gemstones, earlier popular for spiritual healing, are now gaining traction for other aspects as well. From being a style statement to using it for investment purposes, gemstones are trending these days. Influential celebrities like Amitabh Bachhan, Ajay Devgn, Salman Khan, Kareen Kapoor sporting the gemstones adorned jewellery is not very uncommon now. However, the trend of gemstones is popularised in western culture as well. For instance, Kate Middleton’s blue sapphire engagement ring is likely the most famous engagement ring of all time. Not only Indians, but people across the globe believe in the healing and spiritual properties of precious gemstones. Moreover, these exotic crystals are a great source of profit as well. Nowadays, the trend of genderless jewellery including gemstones is making way in Indian men’s closets. The boom in the trend can be credited to men, majorly the influencer and Celeb community, who have dared to push the envelope, breaking stereotypes and making it as a fashion statement. In an exclusive conversation with the Financial Express Online Nitin Yadav, CEO, GemPundit talked about the current situation and trends of the industry and personal growth of the brand. Excerpts:
How is the gemstone and jewellery industry market scenario right now?
The pandemic brought a global financial crisis, with several economies facing tremendous loss due to extended lockdown periods and precautionary norms. However, now that the horrendous time is coming to an end, things are finally getting back on track. Today the Gems and Jewelry industry is one of the fastest-growing segments of the Indian economy, with the potential to reach USD 30 billion within the next four years. According to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the domestic Indian Gems and Jewellery industry is estimated at USD 16.1 billion and will continue growing steadily in the coming years. The Indian government also promotes the idea of ‘Brand India’ on international forums, which is working in favor of this booming industry.
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However, even though the market is growing marvelously, issues like new hallmarking rules have created confusion. We firmly believe that hallmarking products is vital as it ascertains and verifies the metal’s authenticity, but is it necessary to prolong the entire process for no particular reason? At present, there is some unrest between the Gems and Jewelry associations and the arbitrary implementation of the new hallmarking process of BIS. But, overall, it seems like a positive sign that the government has started taking an active interest in the industry.
How has the gemstone segment fared during the COVID-19 crisis? Have you witnessed a surge in demand during the COVID-19 crisis? If Yes, please share details.
No matter how big or small your business is, every single one of them faced the wrath of COVID-19. The fear of viruses was at its peak, and everyday cases were increasing. How could we have kept the business running without putting our employees at risk? So, no business was conducted during the lockdown period. The post lockdown recovery for gemstones and jewelry industry has been good. However, as soon as we started functioning again, we noticed a short surge post the initial two months. It was most likely due to the pent-up orders during the lockdown, we witnessed an exceptional surge. The post-lockdown period has been relatively good. Not only due to the increasing belief of people in gemstones but also because these healing crystals are becoming a thing of modern-day popular culture. And, of course, we are all for it.
Which segment (male or female) enquires or buys gemstones online from GemPundit? Please share the data in percentage.
Gemstones are gender-neutral, and India has always been in love with colors, rare and eccentric gemstones. We receive almost equal inquiries from both males and females. However, men seem more comfortable when it comes to buying online, leading to a 60:40 ratio in terms of online purchases.
Have you witnessed millennials seeking astrological advice and/or buying gemstones from GemPundit particularly during the pandemic? Please share the data in percentage
In the last few years, gemstones have become an integral part of contemporary trends and culture. With numerous Indian and foreign celebrities wearing gemstone studded jewelry pieces during highly sophisticated social events, their beauty has caught the eye of millennials and the Gen Z crowd. In addition, since gemstones are exceptionally rare and expensive, they are also becoming a highly suitable market for potential and reliable investments.
Millennials constitute a healthy percentage of nearly 35% of our sales. These young consumers are far more tech-savvy and, therefore, more comfortable with purchasing online. And, everyone likes to have a little push towards the right direction or a warning against possible risks, right? That’s why gemstones and solid astrological assistance can change their life. So, naturally, the millennial percentage of purchasing gems and seeking astrological advice is rising.
What are the current trends that you have noticed with regards to customers buying gemstones? For which reasons, people are popularly buying gemstones these days? Please specify
The vast but remarkably unique market of gemstones has paved the way for many avant-garde trends. We have witnessed that people are going for more interesting and unique designs rather than simple designs. For example, Princess Diana’s stunning Blue Sapphire studded ring, the most sought-after engagement ring in history, is still a popular choice among many, and its replicas continue to fly off the shelves. As opposed to the traditional gold and diamond jewelry, people today like to add a hint of eccentric hues in their jewelry pieces, and what better way to do so than wearing gemstones?
Today consumers are far more informed and educated about gemstone treatments. They incline towards better quality cutting of gemstones and avant-garde designs instead of basic ones that the previous generations used to wear. Gemstones have become more than just an astronomical piece that invokes positive vibes and good fortunes. Along with the many astrological, physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits, they also deliver a strong style statement. However, even today, successful careers and harmonious relationships are the two primary reasons people buy gemstones. As gemstones are called the powerful summoner of optimism, confidence, and self-assurance, they can eliminate the wearer’s negative vibes and assist them in making enlightened decisions.
Considering the upcoming festive season, do you think the demand for gemstones adorned jewellery will see a surge? If yes, please share the details on your plans to cope up.
Since the festive season is around the corner, we are incredibly bullish about colored gemstone-adorned jewelry to make a significant mark in sales. Considering the unexpected and heartening surge in demand, we have doubled our in-house production capacity to be at full strength for our consumers. GemPundit has also launched many new collections focusing on specific stones. These collections consist of trendy and panache designs that enhance the wearer’s overall look while also oozing self-confidence. In our latest collection, there’s a specific section dedicated purely to the colored gemstone engagement rings. So, if you are looking for an out-of-the-box and unconventional engagement ring that screams about your personality, we have exactly what you need or desire.
What other services does GemPundit offer?
Apart from offering state-of-the-art and exceptionally rare gemstones, we also provide Online Pooja services, categorized into three units: Basic, Vedic, and Pranpratishtha Pooja. The ceremony can be done either at home or at the office. Furthermore, at GemPundit, you can also get Astrological Consultation, International Lab certifications to verify the authenticity of gemstones, and Customised Jewelry, so that consumers can buy what they want and not what we sell.
Have you witnessed demand from overseas markets as well? If yes, please share details?
At GemPundit, our expectations on quality have always been towards international standards. There are only a handful of Indian sellers who can meet the quality parameters of the international buyers. Since last year, our global orders have increased by over 50%. We offer safe and secure international shipping to over 150 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar, making our universal proposition strong. Over the last several years, GemPundit has been getting its gemstones certified from international laboratories, adding credibility and value to global sales. On the back of cutting-edge technology and enhanced communication systems, we plan on diving deeper into the international gems and jewelry market.
What are your expansion and growth plans?
GemPundit is working strenuously to expand both online and offline verticals. To further boost the international business, we will be opening our first international office next year. Currently, we operate an offline experience store in Gurugram. As our next course of action to further strengthen our offline presence, we are opening a second experience store in South India. Advanced technology plays a huge part at GemPundit. At present, we are going through a robust and meticulous technology overall to become full-stacked in handling high demands. We expect the coming quarters will witness unprecedented sales. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Any new developments planned for GemPundit?
With successful sales to erstwhile royal families and new-age celebrities, GemPundit is looking forward to inculcating an exclusive facility catering to the needs of highly discerning customers. We have an in-house team of specialists for sophisticated connoisseurs with in-depth knowledge and comprehensive experience in the gemstones and Vedic Science domain. At GemPundit, we strive to ensure that our consumers get 100% authentic and lab-certified gems so that consumers can easily trust the stone for bringing good fortune and positivity in their lives.