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Ambassadors Abroad; Lindsey and Helen welcomed at IIJS Mumbai

14 Feb 2020

Lindsey and Helen

Lindsey Straughton and Helen Dimmick are NAJ’s Ambassadors abroad in India for IIJS Signature (the India International Jewellery Show), from 13th until 16th February, and are providing regular feedback via social media which the following account hopes to capture.

What a welcome

Well, what an amazing welcome. Lindsey and I feel like royalty with the reception we have received and Jayant (Raniga, of PureJewels) is definitely the star turn!  We seem to have spoken to everyone - Jay is extremely well connected and well regarded. He is the King of Facebook in India - and the UK.

After the ‘Lighting of the Candle’ opening ceremony - it certainly ignited a flame in me - the seminar got off to a flying start with Rishikesh Trivedi discussing how digital opportunities can transform businesses.  I really was hanging on every word and truly inspired.  On reflection I do think this should be the medium in which we [UK industry] can connect and initiate the many, many bilateral trade opportunities available.

Helen, Jayant, Stephen and LindseyImage right; Helen, Jayant (Raniga), Stephen (Webster) and Lindsey.

The Seminar event is hosted by the chairman of the GJEPC Pramod Agrawal, and overall, I’ve been overwhelmed by the positivity of each speaker. I think it’s fair to say that India is experiencing extremely challenging economic times, yet this is not dwelt on; it’s more about positive opportunity.  I do query if this is because the country has been traditionally used to hardship, and just gets on with life…? 

Cognitive bias was also a feature of the programme, and this particular seminar really challenged my preconceived ideas about the Indian Jewellery industry. Guess what - it’s not just about price; but quality, opportunity, cooperation and outreach.

Other notable speakers and subjects include Sachin Jain, President of Forevermark India. He showed how they are using AR (augmented reality) face, mood and voice recognition and other cutting-edge technology to enhance the sales process at every customer encounter.  For example, an ingenious sales or ‘smart tray’ to electronically recognise the properties and key sales features of each piece placed on it. Delight and intelligence mix (although for myself I would much prefer a well-trained sales professional) there is no doubt this makes an excellent sales tool!

The future of diamonds and the impact of Laboratory grown stones also provided debate with some of the leading industry figures.  Another example of how we all face exactly the same challenges and opportunities, no matter where in the world we are.  Other topics included ‘how to make a business stand out?’ giving great tips on how to brand your business with relevance for each different sales/ or social media platform.

IIJS be known

The journey

The event was excellent although somewhat challenging after an 18 hour journey and just four hours’ sleep; fortunately there was plenty of red bull on sale (although it is a good idea not to overdose on these and not be able to sleep later!)

I must reference the great opportunity we had to see some up-and-coming designers at the Artisan show, several of which had an innovative approach that was just so interesting.

Finally, perhaps the biggest lesson of day one is cultural.  We each have our own preferred method of communication which is totally different.  The Indians do all their business via WhatsApp.  Whereas we think this is perhaps for more informal social occasions and alternatively send an email, it is their main method of communication.  Similarly, replying to an email isn’t always appropriate, but people will respond immediately to a WhatsApp message almost 24 hours a day.  We have discussed how we will each contribute to advising on our cultural and communication nuances to ensure we understand where we are both coming from and achieve relationship harmony.

 You can also read about 'Ambassadors Abroad' from Retail Jeweller. 


Source: NAJ