NASHIK: Even though the lockdown severely affected all the sectors, gold business witnessed a surge post lockdown. After the second wave of Covid-19 gradually subsided, the administration eased up the restrictions, and many people were seen ticking off marriage in their priority list. As marriages are incomplete without gold, the online platforms helped residents book jewellery without any hassle. To understand the positive impact of lockdown on gold business, Deshdoot Times spoke to Chetan Rajapurkar, Director, Maharashtra State Board, Indian Bullions and Jewellers Association.
400% increase in gold loans: To begin with, he stated that the second lockdown boosted the business of jewellery. Gold helped people surviving the pandemic as many sold or mortgaged their jewellery to fight the financial crisis. The public’s faith was restored in gold. The gold loans observed a 400% increase as many opted for gold mortgages.
Marriages: The relaxations led to an increase in the number of marriages in the district. Many people booked their gold online and didn’t have to worry about the pandemic. The district consists of 7,800 jewellers and produces an income of Rs 10 cr per day in the current scenario. During the wedding season, i.e., in June, the jewellers saw 20-25% growth in their business. The current gold rate for the district stands at Rs 48,000 + GST per 10 grams of 24 Karat gold.
Online platforms: Only 10-12% of jewellers opted for an online platform to sell items in the first lockdown. However, in the second lockdown, almost 60% shifted to an online platform, and the sector observed 60-65% business online, thus generating decent revenue. The most pleasing outcome of these platforms was that people started trusting social media platforms. While some opted for online platforms, others created their own apps to ease up the work for consumers. Even though the essence of traditional shops lives on, the acceptance of online platforms points to new opportunities.
Festivals: Festivals shined as a ray of hope as the sector earned huge profits. When offline, the sector generated a revenue of Rs.50 cr per day on special occasions like Akshay Tritiya, Gudi Padwa, and Diwali. When shifted online, the sector saw a business of Rs.25-Rs.30 cr this year. Maintenance Cost : Jewellers with extremely posh shops were severely affected in the lockdown. They were the only ones who faced a backlash as their maintenance cost exceeds Rs.30 lakh. The ones with small or medium-sized shops didn’t feel the harshness of the lockdown.