Gold buying is an inseparable, and almost mandatory, part of Akshaya Tritiya celebrations for millions of Indians. And after two years of Covid-induced lull, festive sentiments among traders and consumers appear to be stronger this time. Gold players and associations that DH spoke to said demand has surpassed expectations as Covid-related concerns have largely subsided.
The government’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) predicts the demand to have gone up by 5-10% from pre-pandemic levels for Akshaya Tritiya.
Overall the industry is looking at 25 tonnes-plus sales in gold this year across the country, as per a PTI report quoting a prominent jeweller.
“This year, we are expecting a 5-10% growth over 2019 and 2020”, said Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC.
Experts also believe sustained aggressive marketing and trade promotions have played a role in increasing in-store visits. Somasundaram P R, Regional CEO, India, World Gold Council, said, “Even with gold prices at a high, initial market feedback points to a buoyant Akshaya Tritiya due to a heightened interest in gold following risks posed by inflation and global uncertainties.”
Industry players are upbeat too. Kalyan Jewellers, the Kerala-based chain, saw a significant increase in footfall, sales volume and value even when compared to the pre-Covid days of 2019. “While an uptick in sales in the southern markets was expected, the response from the non-south markets has been extremely encouraging,” said Ramesh Kalyanaraman, Executive Director, Kalyan Jewellers.
Tanishq said it saw very good response from customers who were looking forward to celebrating Akshaya Tritiya after two years. The Tata Group’s jewellery arm said its bangle collection ‘Kalai’ has been very well received whilst earrings and finger rings were also favoured. “Our safety protocols and preparations ensured that we served very large numbers of customers across our 390 stores,” said Arun Narayan, Vice President of marketing and retail, Tanishq. Jewellers across Bengaluru reported a good response.
“After two years, business has been good,” said a representative from Neelkanth Jewellers.
Several others were overjoyed with the rise in footfall. “On normal days, the business is still less. But, today, the footfall was definitely more than what it used to be during pre-pandemic times,” a representative from Bhima Jewellers said. In the city, one gram of 916 hallmark gold stood at Rs 4,792.