India’s fascination with the gems and jewellery dates back to the time of the Indus Valley Civilization. Traditionally, India has been the home to diamonds, semi-precious stones, and gold. In the Indian households, gems and gold are still considered as imperatives for providing social and economic security, the value of which may never depreciate.
Besides India, gems and jewelry are part of many other cultures and customs around the world. They have been an important part for both aesthetic as well as investment purposes. The Gems and jewellery industry has gradually become important for the Indian economy due to its contribution to India’s total exports. In this article, Mr. Rahul Desai, MD International Institute of Gemology, talks about the career opportunities in the gems and jewellery industry in India.
Career Opportunities in the Gems and Jewellery Industry in India
by Rahul Desai
Gems and Jewellery Market in India
The gems and jewellery industry in India is a lucrative career option to consider for several reasons. It is one of the fastest growing sectors in India and accounts for around 7% of the country’s GDP and 15.7% of its total merchandise exports.
On the global front, the Indian gems and jewellery industry contributes to 29% of the world’s jewellery consumption, with the UAE, USA, Russia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Latin America, and China being the biggest importers of jewellery from India. The cumulative Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in diamond and gold ornaments in the period April 2000 – December 2017 was US$ 1,111.52 million, according to Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
Being labor intensive, the industry currently employs over 4.64 million workers, which is projected to reach 8.2 million by 2022. Since the industry is one of the oldest in India, there has been a long history of training and sharing of knowledge. Those starting out in their career do not require a large amount of capital to do so, but there is great monetary value to be gained over time. The sector also offers the advantage of allowing you to make a career for yourself anywhere in the world.
Career Options in the Gems and Jewellery Industry | Gemology Careers in India
The gems and jewellery industry is extremely accommodating, with positions available across various verticals, such as manufacturing, trade, retail, and design. Whether you’re creative, scientifically minded or have an eye for economics, you can find a job for yourself that suits your interests and skills.
If you are a keen observer, you could take up work in a laboratory as a lab gemologist. Here your role would consist of identifying and studying gemstones and determining their origins and their creation. In India, there is great scope for diamond graders and sorters as it is the world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing center. You could either work with a reputed organization such as De Beers, for a jewellery designer or as an independent consultant. Professional gemologists are also often employed by jewellery stores to assess stones, make repairs, etc. You could also use your knowledge as a gemologist in a retail setting to help customers pick appropriate pieces of jewellery depending on their needs and drive sales.
The role of a gemstone appraiser is a complex job that requires great attention to detail, but it is also highly rewarding. Appraisers examine gems and estimate their value, which is then used for retail or insurance purposes. Auction houses employ such specialists to make purchases from private sellers and auction them. Should you choose this as a career, you will have the chance to witness some beautiful pieces of gemstones and jewellery and network with prominent collectors and industry members.
On the business side, you can become a buyer and trader of gems. One of the perks of this particular job is that you will get plenty of opportunities to travel around the world! You can also explore the world of online trading. Such a job requires you to be extremely business savvy, have deep knowledge of the industry and trends, both locally and internationally, and the ability to easily adapt to changing economic climates.
Of course, one cannot talk of careers in the gems and jewellery industry without touching upon the creative aspects. As a manufacturer, you can take rough stones and treat and cut them into beautiful creations that will be part of exquisite jewellery pieces. You could also train to be a jewellery designer and either work with a jewellery house or opt to set up your own businesses.
No matter what job you pick, if you’re considering a job in the gems and jewellery industry, it’s useful to have certain attributes such as diligence, meticulousness, attention to detail, creativity, a thirst for knowledge, and adaptability.
Required Qualification and Training
The gems and jewellery industry has been built on the legacy of family businesses, and knowledge was traditionally passed on to new entrants from those who were more experienced. Today, formalized institutes have elevated the kind of education available to those who want to enter the gems and jewellery industry. Students are being given access to technology that’s on par with international standards and are being exposed to market trends, ensuring their knowledge is always up to date.
Before you decide which course to pursue, you need to examine both your interests and your goals. If you have an interest in technology, you can work in a lab as a gem assessor, grader or sorter, and choose a course accordingly — some options include Gem Identification, Diamond Grading, Cut Design and Analysis, Pearl Grading and Polished Diamond Grading. If you wish to get into trading or retail, you should choose those that teach you to identify and assess gemstones as well as ones that will impart skills necessary for retail and merchandising. If you’re planning to get into a creative field, while studying jewellery designing, it would be useful to supplement these with courses on jewellery manufacturing and merchandising as well for a more well-rounded education.
While its roots in India may be traced to thousands of years ago, the gems and jewellery industry is constantly innovating and welcomes young players. The gems and jewellery market in India is home to more than 300,000 players, with the majority being small players. India’s gems and jewellery industry is on the rise, and with more creative and driven members will make it a force to be contended with on a global platform. Hence, if you are looking for a creative career with huge commercials, you could definitely consider a career in the gems and jewellery industry.
Author Bio: Mr. Rahul Desai is the present Managing Director of the International Institute of Gemology (IIG). He has also trained Jewellers around the globe, including in Istanbul, Ankara, Burma, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Bangkok.
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