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Stephen Rego

He has been a journalist since the mid-1980s, and has spent close to two decades tracking the gem and jewellery industry while holding different editorial positions in industry specific publications and websites

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IGJA Awards: Identifying True Gems

Top performers of the gem and jewellery export industry felicitated at a special awards function held in Jaipur

IGJA Awards: Identifying True Gems
IGJA Awards: Identifying True Gems
IGJA Awards: Identifying True Gems

By going beyond turnover and evaluating performance based on all-round excellence, ensuring transparency through third party assessment and incorporating awards in new categories, IGJA, the oldest awards scheme in the gem and jewellery industry has stayed relevant more than four decades after it was launched.

On Saturday, March 12, top performers of the gem and jewellery export industry were felicitated at a special function held in Jaipur. The India Gems and Jewellery Awards 2015 (IGJA) ceremony was organised by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the apex body of the industry's export sector.

The winners received their trophies at the hands of Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, and Rajpal Singh Shekhawat, Rajasthan's Minister for Urban Development.

The GJEPC's Awards function is the oldest among the many award functions held by the industry, having been instituted over four decades ago. It is also perhaps the only one that maps business performance, rather than design or marketing skills and achievements.

This scheme has constantly evolved over the years with the changes in the business environment. Over the first three and a half decades, many categories were added to reflect new developments, and some that were no longer relevant were also axed along the way.

A few years ago, however, there was a total makeover, and the older Awards Scheme was reborn as the IGJA. Evaluation of a company's performance was no longer based purely on figures, but new criteria such as value addition, investment in R&D, CSR activity, etc each with appropriate weightage were added. The aim was to judge a winner's ability to deliver 360 degree excellence.

Similarly, new segments were introduced to make the scheme more broad based - separate awards in the Small, Medium and Large categories were given to the best exporters in the diamonds and jewellery segments. And, new awards were instituted to reflect new realities and concerns - Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, Most Innovative Company, Most Socially Responsible Company, Best in Gems & Jewellery E-commerce, etc.

The process was also revamped to encourage greater participation and transparency. Dun & Bradstreet came on board as a Knowledge Partner with a proprietary quantitative model to shortlist nominees, based primarily on computation of composite scores calculated by considering various financial and quantitative indicators. The final selection was done by a Jury comprising eminent personalities from outside the industry.

The changes seem to have broadened the appeal of the awards - this year the number of nominations received rose by 34%, according to GJEPC.

'Excellence with Ethics', the central theme of the new IGJA, encourages companies to be the best in their business on all fronts, but it equally requires them to uphold transparency, follow best practices and contribute to larger all-round development of society.

A quick glance at the Merit List released on March 12, and the brief profiles of the winners published in the IGJA souvenir, indicate that the scheme seems to be making significant headway in identifying what many describe as the 'true gems of the industry'.

A few snapshots from the publication serve to illustrate the point
- Kiran Gems Pvt Ltd, which has won multiple awards for its performance in the Cut & Polished Diamonds segment is the world's largest diamond manufacturer, and currently processes over 5% of global rough diamond production; it has also installed AMS machines (that detect attempts to mix natural diamonds with synthetic ones) in every sales office across the world

- Hari Krishna Exports Pvt Ltd, the Best Growing Company of the Year (Large) has clients across 46 global markets, with 80% of its annual turnover being from repeat customers.

- Vaibhav Global, a joint winner of the Most Socially Responsible Company award, has tied up with Akshay Patra Foundation an has provided 10,00,000 meals to needy schoolchildren in and around Jaipur since January 2015. Every jewellery piece sold by Company's UK-based home shopping television channel (TJC) contributes to one meal in India.

- Renaissance Jewellery Ltd, adjudged best in Precious Metal Jewellery Studded (Medium) has over 1.1 lakh sq ft of manufacturing space and caters to most large retail chains, including speciality jewellers, department stores as well as electronic retailers in the US

- Emerald Jewellery Industry India Ltd, winner in the Precious Metal Jewellery Plain (Medium) category recently joined hands with the Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group and others to create a new Guinness record for the world's longest gold chain

- Lemon Technomist Pvt Ltd, awarded for being a Most Innovative Company, has developed technology-enabled specialised services such as Diatomography-S technology and Re-Imagineering Diamonds offered to diamond companies across the world and across the value chain.



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