Written by JULIAN WALTER – MARKETING SPECIALIST (GERMANY, INDIA)
When traveling through India one cannot miss one impression: the immense importance of jewelry for the Indian culture. With the wedding season fast approaching, the jewelry market finds its yearly peak: weddings can last up to seven days and jewelry play a big part in it: families rent, sometimes even buy, an entire collection of jewelry for this occasion: for instance “Kadas”, gold bracelets, are a sign of strength and vitality, golden ear ornaments represent the married Indian woman to be sacred, and so every piece of jewelry has a specific symbol can tell an abundance about their status and wealth.
With almost every third piece of jewelry in the world being consumed in India, it is no surprise that the Indian market of gems and jewelry is not only culturally, but economically of imperative significance. In fact, the Indian jewelry market is responsible for 7% of the country’s GDP and contributes to about 16% of India’s total merchandise exports, making it one of the largest in the world. However, despite this incredible market size, the industry lacks behind in one aspect: digitalization.
“The jewelry industry has the potential to completely transform to digital” – that is what Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, Founder of the only jewelry store “Bluestone”, said at a conclave in Mumbai. Especially small- to medium-sized jewelry merchants in India assess the prices of their jewelry portfolio largely based on experience, rather than digital solutions. This causes great inefficiencies, both when potentially buying items at overstated prices and selling them at understated prices. Thus, a provider that digitally assesses the prices of jewelry items at great accuracy would be highly beneficial. But that’s not all. On the other side, there has not yet been established a platform that allows SMEs in India to digitally “park” and trade their jewelry portfolios – both aspects, jewelry price assessment, combined with a digital platform, would have the potential to completely transform the industry.
A start-up on the other side of the globe has accepted that challenge and has achieved remarkable progress throughout the last years: ExJewel. The French company was founded by Stephane Boghossian with ambitious goals: “We at ExJewel saw the potential of digitizing the jewelry buying cycle and wanted to offer an end-to-end solution, ranging from jewelry estimation, certification, insurance, reparation, and resale.” With the launch of the platform in January 2020, ExJewel will take the first important step to digitalize the industry – the future will show if that step will be long enough to also transform the largest market of the industry on the other side of the globe: India.