The Telegraph
Saturday , August 23 , 2014

Trendy clients fuel gold demand in NE

Guwahati, Aug. 22: The World Gold Council, a market development organisation for the gold industry, today said a steady growth in the demand for jewellery and trend-conscious clients make the Northeast a key market for the metal.

“There has been a steady growth in the country’s demand for gold and the trends that we see in the Northeast are similar. The fact that fashion-conscious women are willing to experiment with the latest designs in jewellery make the region an important market,” Vipin Sharma, the director (jewellery), World Gold Council (India) Pvt Ltd told The Telegraph here today.

Apart from jewellery, which constitutes about 75 per cent of the global demand, the council works on segments like bar and coin investment, exchange traded funds and demat accounts.

The council today forayed into the region with the launch of Azva, a bridal jewellery collection, here.

“We work with the industry to find out ways to promote and create markets for gold. As far as Azva is concerned, we have tied up with leading retailers in 40 cities across the country. Here in Guwahati, we have partnered with Manik Chand Jewellers to set up a dedicated zone for the bridal jewellery brand,” Sharma said.

Over the past decade, leading retailers have opened shop in Guwahati and some other cities of the region, a trend that reflects the growing demand for branded jewellery.

The council, for its part, has conducted its research on an evolving Northeast market for designer gold jewellery.

“We understand that weddings continue to be the biggest driver of the demand for gold. As a matter of fact, 50 per cent of the demand comes from marriages alone. Azva’s target customers are the young, fashion-conscious brides-to-be,” he said.

The USP of Azva, Sharma said, was its versatility and the choice it offered to customers.

“One can team the bridal collection with a variety of outfits as the range is vast. The brand is inspired by one idea — the seven vows of a wedding, which is reflected in the designs,” he added.

Asked whether the Northeast can become a thriving bullion market, he said, “The demand for gold is universal and the precious metal cuts across income groups and regions.”

The first quarter of 2014-15 has seen a 39 per cent dip in demand against the corresponding period.

“It could be for factors ranging from import restrictions, elections to a weak monsoon. But over a period of time the demand has been steady,” Sharma said.

On whether the council foresees a good demand for brands ahead of the wedding and festive seasons, he said, “We would anticipate Azva to be accepted by people here like it has been across the country since 2012.”

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