People will stare. Make it worth their while — these words of the famous American jeweller Harry Winston seem to be gospel for those who wish to make a career in the Gems and Jewellery industry. For as a jewellery designer, you must have an eye for gems and way with cuts and designs that will make them enticing. More importantly, you must know how to market your creation.
According to analysts at TechNavio, a technology research and advisory company, the Indian Gems and Jewelry market will grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 14.93 per cent over the period 2012-16. One of the key factors contributing to this growth is the increasing demand for gold jewellery by Indian consumers. The entry of organised retails stores across the country is another contributing factor. As per Research and Markets, a global resource for international market research and market data, the jewellery industry is a major foreign exchange earner, and provides employment to approximately 1.5 million people directly and indirectly.
“Each year, we need at least 45,000 to 50,000 people for back end and front end jobs,” says Haresh Soni, chairman, All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF). GJF is the national trade federation for the promotion and growth of the Gems and Jewellery Industry. “With the sector now getting more organised companies are looking for educated and skilled graduates,” says Soni.
To bridge the skill gap, GJF in association with Gem and Jewellery Skill Council of India, has rolled out a national certification and reward scheme called the STAR SCHEME (Standard Training Assessment & Reward). “Employees from both the manufacturing and retail sectors in 200 cities across 23 states will be trained under this scheme,” explains Soni. The week long training has been designed by the industry experts to impart practical knowledge and job related skills.
The industry offers several career paths. Merchandising, marketing, production control, quality control, logistics, designing ornaments both manually and with CAD, gemologist, diamond grading and sorting, and retail sales are some of the traditional jobs that are available. However, with major corporate players entering this industry, many new careers have opened up. “A few of them that are gaining immense popularity are jewellery photography, visual display, jewellery journalism, corporate communications, HR and public relations,” says Renu Kapoor, director, Advisory Board, Indian Institute of Jewellery (IIJ).
Presently, the manpower demand in the industry outstrips the supply. Kapoor says, “This will change only when the industry is ready to offer adequate remuneration,” According to Kapoor, the industry is yet to understand that the cost of training a person on the job far outweighs the cost of hiring a trained person.
“Trained professionals will have to appear for an exam at the end of the course and will be certified by the government of India,” Soni explains. Kapoor thinks the days of learning on the job are over. “One needs to decide one’s areas of interest and whether the industry excites them enough to pursue a career,” advises Kapoor.
A student with an eye for detail and patience could get into production as that will help to set up their own business, become a merchandiser or specialise as a quality and production controller. A creative person could opt for designing and also specialise in photography, as that will help in exploring the aesthetics. Those with the gift of the gab and adequate domain knowledge could get into marketing.
Kapoor believes that this is the most opportune time to enter the industry, as “jewellery is increasingly considered as an accessory in the lifestyle space along with bags, belt, shoe, watches etc., Same purchasing power is going to get distributed amongst all these products.” Learning techniques that can be applied to the entire gamut of jewels will open the flood gates of opportunities for young aspirants.
Indian Institute of Gems & Jewellery (IIGJ)— http://iigj.org/
Indian Institute of Jewellery Designing & Manufacturing — www.iij.net.in/
Gemmological Institute of India (GIA)—giionline.com/
Sales/ marketing and merchandiser – Rs4 lakh to 7 lakh p.a
Jewellery designers – Rs8000 to Rs10,000 p.m (depending on experience)