India's gems and jewellery industry is a bright star of the economy, and one of the important foundations of the country's export-led growth. The consumption of gold and jewellery products in India has grown rapidly over the years at the rate of 10-15 per cent per annum and today, the domestic Indian market is estimated to be over US$ 30 billion.
According to a recent study, India and China are now emerging as one of the leaders in the global jewellery industry in terms of consumption, besides production and trade. The countries jointly would account for over 30 per cent of global diamond market in 2015.
India possesses world's most competitive gems and jewellery market due to its low cost of production, highly skilled, low-cost and best artisan force for designing and crafting jewellery, along with strong government support in the form of incentives and establishment of special economic zones (SEZs).
Indian gems and jewellery sector is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 16.26 per cent during the period 2011-12 to 2016-17 on account of increasing government efforts and incentives coupled with private sector initiatives, according to a report of the working group on 'Boosting India's Manufacturing Exports', by Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
Shipment of gems and jewellery makes up about 14 percent of India's total exports, and the sector employs about 3.4 million workers, with the Middle East taking most of the market.
Gold with its intrinsic luster and ease of fabrication has always been the jewellers' favourite metal. Gold jewellery enjoys the leading position in various markets across the world and forms around 80 per cent of the Indian jewellery market, with the balance comprising fabricated studded jewellery that includes diamond and gemstone studded jewellery.
Gitanjali Group, the world's largest integrated branded jewellery retailer-manufacturer, plans to set up additional 300 shops in India by the end of current year in order to expand its retail business, as per Mehul Choksi, Chairman and Managing Director, Gitanjali Group.
Tanishq, the jewellery wing of Titan Industries Ltd, plans to invest more than Rs 1,000 crore (US$ 184.89 million) to expand its network across the country in 2013-14.
India has the distinction of being one of the first countries to introduce diamonds to the world. Diamonds manufactured in India constitute 65 per cent by value, 85 per cent by volume and 92 per cent by pieces of the world diamond production, making the country not only the leading global manufacturer but also one of the highest consumers of rough diamonds in the world. The increase in imports of rough diamonds by 12.65 per cent indicates an increase in cutting, polishing and other manufacturing activities in India.
Developed by the De Beers group of companies, the diamond brand Forevermark has benefited from more than a century's worth of innovation, creativity as well as technological advances. Today, the brand joins the group in celebrations for 125 years of diamond excellence and expertise.
Likely to come into commercial production in 2017, discovery of the Bunder diamond project in 2004 by Rio Tinto, signals a new chapter in an alliance with Rio Tinto presenting a unique opportunity for India to mine, manufacture and market its own diamonds. Once developed the Bunder project is expected to place Madhya Pradesh in the top ten diamond producing regions of the world.
The coloured gemstone sector is a fast growing segment of the Indian gems and jewellery industry. India is a leading source for a spectrum of gemstones, progressing from its traditional concentration on emeralds and Tanzanites to now manufacturing a dazzling array of coloured gemstones.
Jaipur is considered as the country's hub for the cutting, polishing, manufacturing and trading of all types of precious and semi-precious gemstones as manufacturers of Jaipur continue to successfully apply modern technology and exceptionally brilliant craftsmanship to produce highest quality gemstones.
China and Hong Kong are leading export destinations for the Indian colored gemstones and the global demand for these has been growing consistently over the last five years. The coloured gemstones from India have gained immense international recognition which is clearly demonstrated by the steady growth in exports each year, as per Mr Vipul Shah, Chairman, Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).