MD of Rajesh export says Gold Industry is due a transformation to overcome challenges

Posted by Sahaj Desai
January 12, 2018

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Rajesh Export

The most sattvik (pure) metal considered by the holy scriptures of Hinduism needs no introduction. Rajesh Mehta, the Rajesh Exports MD, figures it an industry of Rs 10,000 crore. This roughly contributes 7% to India’s swelling GDP. Although the rates were placid, no strong peaks were observed in the annual demand for gold between the years 2001 and 2012. The national demand always varied between 700 and 900 metric tons. The gold demand is dependent on income groups, marriage season, and gold rates.

Retailers have presented a surprising chain of statistics. It’s an urban myth that the rich invest in gold heavily. The champions of gold purchases are actually the middle-class people. More than 50 per cent of the annual sales are made up by marriage orders from this income group, mainly in the winter months where muhurats or auspicious times lie aplenty.  

The gold industry plays an important role in the Indian economy, especially in the jewellery industry. Apart from being a market of Rs 251,000 crore, it directly employs a population of 2.5 million people. These staggering figures give a sense of pride to the patriotic, but the truth is, the gold industry is in trouble.

According to the Rajesh Exports MD, love for gold has pushed the industry to the edge. We’re addicted to gold imports since there are not enough gold sources. Restrictions are being flouted as a result. It has prompted the government to reduce gold imports with some more restrictions. Sadly these restrictions are also affecting the growth of the sector. Gold outputs meant for investment and outputs meant for consumption have to be segregated to curb the blowback of the restrictions.

Limited research and technological application is further slowing down the growth. While the number of skilled gold workers is waning, the lack of technologically advanced tools is mothballing jewellery manufacturing units. It’s no lie that the Indian gold industry is specked with ‘family businesses’. We lack a central processing unit that can spread the gold business evenly throughout the country.

Thankfully, certain measures have been taken by those sitting in the Parliament:

  • Import duty has been hiked to 15%. It shall deter businesses and people from importing, but Rajesh Mehta believes it should be lowered down to avoid gold smuggling
  • Gold coin lending has been restricted to 50 grams per customer
  • The loan-to-value ratio is now confined to 60% of the total gold cost
  • Bulk gold imports in a single go are now a strict no-no

To sum it up, the gold industry earns good revenue through exports and provides a decent number of employment opportunities. Gold industry tycoons like MP Ahmad, Rajesh Mehta, and Gopaldas Zaveri agree that the industry is due a transformation. It can only happen if all the stakeholders in the gold and jewellery sector push it together.


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