Creating innovative design in jewellery
By Syed M. Aslam
Dec 13 - 19, 1999
The World Gold Council aims to change the face of entire gold jewellery
business and trade of Pakistan. Since it entered the country in 1997, WGC, which is the
marketing arm of gold miners worldwide with the primary objective of boosting the gold
take-off, has organised many events for the first time.
For instance, in 1997, a delegation of Pakistani jewellers attended the
Gold Asia Show in Malaysia for the first time as a representative body from Pakistan. In
1998, Pakistan had an exclusive pavilion for the first time at the International Show in
Dubai where local jewellers booked export orders of over $ 1 million. Last year WGC
launched the first-ever amateur gold jewellery design contest Zargalli 1999, which
received 1,650 designs from over 500 designers. Of these 46 were short-listed and were
displayed at exclusive fashion shows in Karachi and Lahore. The six selected designs were
given the cash prizes.
The international exposure as well as the Zargalli contest last year
helped fuel renewed interest in the gold jewellery locally as the seven participating
jewellers each were allowed to fabricate a winning design which drew encouraging response
from the buyers at the participating outlets as well as at the roadside exhibitions.
The manager of WGC for Pakistan and Egypt, Yusuf Akhtar Hussain, told PAGE
that the launching of Zargalli 2000 is aimed at creating innovative designs in dailywear
jewellery to attract the attention of the working women, a segment which has thus remained
neglected by the gold jewellers in Pakistan.
He also said that the WGC is aiming to change the way of gold jewellery
purchase into impulse buying, a yet unknown phenomenon in the Pakistani market. In
addition, he added, WGC has plans to introduce the concept of branded jewellery in
Pakistan like that already in vogue in various parts of the world.
Five jewellers, four from Karachi A.K. Motiwala, Ar-Raheem,
Chhotani and New Ruby and one from Lahore Karat, will be participating in the
Zargalli 2000 contest. The contest is open to anyone who can draw or has an artistic
inclination. WGC intends to work with the trade and the government to help boost gold
sales in Pakistan which is the ninth top gold consuming nation of the world.
The annual gold consumption has constantly increased since WGC begun
its operations in Pakistan in 1997 from 53.7 tonnes in 1996 to 81.8 tonnes in 1997
and 91.2 tonnes in 1998. This year the gold take-off in Pakistan in projected to touch
116.4 tonnes depicting a substantial increase of 30 per cent over the 1997 figures,
according to WGC.
The fact that WGC intends to target the working women segment to boost
the gold jewellery sales in Pakistan is based on the fact that this particular segment
though having a purchasing power was always been neglected for whatever reasons to give
jewellery sales a much needed push. The dailywear lightweight jewellery would be
competitively priced to help bring this vital segment into the fold of gold trade in
Pakistan, Yusuf Akhtar Hussain added.
The gold jewellery designing contest itself would help locate the
hidden talents in Pakistan which due to absence of such contests were not able to play
their due role to bring innovations to the local gold jewellery trade. The participating
manufacturers will turn the designs into gold ornaments to help bring a breeze of fresh
air to the overall trade in the country. All these measures would help strengthen the
local gold jewellery market which is the most important prerequisite for exports.
In addition, such contests would not only help boost sales of gold
jewellery in the country but also bring it at par with the international standards to help
stir increased interest in the foreign markets to promote exports, Yusuf added.
Talking about the thus unheard concept of impulse buying,
Yusuf said that the availability of branded quality jewellery at competitive prices
specifically directed at working women segment which can buy it at affordable prices would
give a boost to gold jewellery sales in Pakistan for the benefit of not only jewellers but
also the government which earns a substantial revenue from gold imports. It would good for
the overall economy of the country, he added.
The WGC is sure that the Zargalli 2000 contest will be an even greater
success than its predecessor to discover latent talents in jewellery designing which with
the help of the participating jewellers would give a much needed boost to bring in a fresh
air of creativity in the gold jewellery business. The fact that it has been able to
motivate the jewellers and the trade on one hand and the potential designers on the other
to come together to break the monotony in the jewellery market is an indication that the
gold take-off in Pakistan will increase in the years to come for the benefit of the
jewellers, buyers and the government.
WGC has also held jewellery design workshops in Karachi and Lahore with
the support of the Export Promotion Bureau. It has brought foreign experts in jewellery
manufacturing to help better educate the local talents which until now have not been able
to find an outlet to express their artistic inspirations.