AFTER a long hiatus, gold is likely to glitter this Akashaya Tritiya and the industry is expecting high double-digits volume growth given the positive consumer sentiment and stable prices. Retail price of gold has come down to around Rs 31,500 per 10 grams from around Rs 33,700 in mid-February. “We expect robust demand for gold/gold jewellery this Akshaya Trithiya due to price stability since the past few months and the improved consumer sentiment since Gudi Padwa.
Looking at the current momentum we expect at least 10 percent demand growth this auspicious occasion,” All-India Gems & Jewellery Domestic Council Chairman Anantha Padmanabhan said. Expectations are conservative as the general election is still on in some parts of the country, which will impact the overall demand. It can be noted that the Northern and Eastern states are yet to complete the polls. Of the seven phased polling, only four phases are over and across the Southern and the Western states. Echoing similar views, World Gold Council Managing Director Somasundaram PR said this Akshaya Tritiya looks more optimistic than last year as the market has settled down after policy changes including note-ban and GST which had hit the industry very badly.
“Organised retail players, who are gaining ground with their more targeted marketing, are having greater impact on the positive consumer sentiment,” he said. However, he admitted that places where the polling will take place during the festival (northern and Eastern states), might have negative impact with people hesitating to carry gold. India Bullion and Jewellers Association National Vice-President Saurabh Gadgil said he expects 15-20 percent growth in demand this Aksahya Tritiya
. “The sentiment is positive as in most places voting will be over and also the festival falls virtually at the beginning of the month when salaried people have a thicker pockets,” he added. Kalyan Jewellers Chairman TS Kalyanaraman is expecting a 25 percent sales growth as a result of their planned efforts during the last two months. Kalyan Jewellers has launched a pre-booking scheme through which customers can select and place their jewellery orders in advance, and simply pick it up on Akshaya Tritiya or closer to that date, thus avoiding the rush and long wait. “We have seen a 30 per cent growth in pre-booking compared to last year,” he added.
Titans jewellery division Chief Executive CK Venkataraman said the current sentiment and jewellery market outlook look positive. “In past five years, we have seen a double-digit growth every year and we expect this Akshaya Tritiya season to be very good and has ruled out the polls impacting sales. Last year it opened 30-40 stores with most of them covering small towns. We are hoping to see a good share of business and walk-ins coming from these markets.