India's Passion for Gold: Velvetcase

Bang, Nupur Pavan; Singh, Puran; Kuriyan, Vikram. "India's Passion for Gold: Velvetcase", 2014
Discipline: Finance; 
Industry: Jewelry; 
Length: 18p; 
Subjects covered: E-Commerce entrepreneurialism; Finance; Fiscal policy; 
Publication Date: September 15, 2014
The largest consumer of gold in the world in 2012-2013, India was a growing market for gold jewellery, largely owing to its importance in the cultural and religious traditions of the country. Gold prices in international markets had been increasing, but this had little impact on India's voracious appetite for gold. Heavy gold imports had led to an increase in country's fiscal deficit above the sustainable level of 2.5-3% of gross domestic product (GDP) and touched 4.2% in FY2012. Velvetcase, a made-to-order jewellery company in Mumbai, had started operations in the beginning of 2013 and was concerned by the government's recent policies on gold imports. Among many other measures, the Indian government had raised import duty from 4% to 10% during the year. The increase in import duties raised input prices, consequently slowing the demand for gold jewellery to some extent. Velvetcase believed that its unique business model of making jewellery using low karat gold would not only satisfy India's passion for gold, but also result in improving the current account deficit (CAD) of the country by lowering the amount (in grams) of gold used in the making of jewellery.

Learning objective:
  1. To point to the factors unique to India that make it the largest consumer of gold in the world.
  2. To familiarize students with the bearing that gold has on the national accounts of India.
  3. To impart an understanding of gold jewellery market dynamics and trends in India.
  4. To illustrate the potential challenges and opportunities facing a jewellery business in India.
  5. To emphasize how market opportunities are created through innovation in the context of the jewellery market.