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`India must move on to export value-added jewellery'

Our Bureau

Chennai , Oct. 8

FOR a country that cuts and polishes nearly 95 per cent of the world's diamonds, India is not widely known for these skills. It should move on to exporting value-added jewellery, says Mr Umesh Ganjam, Joint Managing Director, Ganjam Nagappa & Son Pvt Ltd, the Bangalore-based high-end jeweller.

Speaking to Business Line at Crafts Council of India's international jewellery convention Grass to Gold, of which it is a sponsor, Mr Umesh said it was necessary to brand Indian jewellery and set up more training facilities for craftspeople for the occupation to become a viable economic opportunity, he said. Quoting a World Gold Council study, he said that there were around three million craftspersons in India.

For its part, Ganjam has modernised its jewellery-making unit and set up a product development cell where craftspeople can experiment with technology, he said.

Ganjam, which is now present only in Bangalore, may set up shop in Mumbai also. A few of its products are also likely to be available in Japan soon, Mr Umesh said. The store, which is making the transition from being a local, traditional jeweller to an international high-end luxury one, has a boutique called Ganjam by Design in the Leela Palace hotel in Bangalore and has exhibited at several international shows.

The Grass to Gold convention was held in association with the Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Union Ministry of Textiles.

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