World Gold Council plans consumer marketing in India, promotes digital gold

The WGC will also promote digital gold sales in India, with physical offtake having declined significantly over the past few months due to closure of retail stores and factories.
Faced with an unprecedented decline in demand, the World Gold Council (WGC) is planning to start consumer marketing of gold in India.

In a conference call, David Tait, chief executive officer (CEO), WGC, said, “There is a feeling of depression in the bullion industry due to a sharp decline in retail demand. The recovery did not come the way we expected. There was an unprecedented debt and employment issue in the market. Hence, we are looking at consumer marketing of gold in India.”

The fall in gold demand was led primarily by record high prices in India. Gold price is hovering around Rs 45,500 per 10 g. In the global market, gold is trading nearly $1,660 an oz.
This necessarily means the WGC will promote digital gold sales in India. Gold sales has declined significantly over the last few months due to closure of retail stores and factories, following the government order which aims to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).


WGC, like other global bodies for luxury items like De Beers, used to invest in promotion of gold in India. But WGC has not invested in promotion of gold sales in India in the last decade or so. Tait, however, did not divulge the money global miners are planning to spend on sales promotion in India.

Divulging the short-term and long-term view on price of gold, which is hovering around record in both global and Indian markets, Tait said, “Gold as an investment vehicle and as a luxury item will be of benefit and in any form, including exchange trade fund (ETF).”

He further added that people have started questioning long-term viability of the financial system and the mistakes committed by the world in handling the current crisis.
Meanwhile, WGC is working closely with large institutions for a bullion exchange in India. It is also working with assaying centres for a greater degree of consumers’ trust in gold. Jewellery industry employs 6 million people in India.

“Customers of above 35 years of age see that the worst is behind and hence, they would come back to purchase jewellery. Those above this age threshold have other responsibilities, including family and other saving plans, that have gone for a toss. Cash flows have really been impacted. Therefore, they will cut down consumption in the short run,” said Ajoy Chawla, CEO, Tanishq.

Consumers may look to buying lower ticket size jewellery but they may go in for bigger size for occasions like wedding. Geographic dispersion of sentiment would also play a pivotal role in jewellery selling, said Chawla.

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