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SEEPZ Undergoes Revitalization: A Catalyst for India’s Studded Jewelry Exports

Mumbai, India—Renowned as India’s premier hub for modern jewelry manufacturing, SEEPZ, the Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone, stands as a pivotal force propelling the nation’s studded jewelry export sector. Nestled within the confines of Mumbai’s North-West, this compact export zone, spanning less than a square kilometer, commands an outsized influence, particularly in supplying jewelry to the United States.

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Efforts to rejuvenate SEEPZ, breathing new life into its operations, especially within the gem and jewelry domain, are underway. Spearheaded by the launch of Bharat Ratnam, a Mega Common Facilitation Centre (CFC), SEEPZ 2.0 embarks on a transformative journey. Inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January, the significance of this endeavor was underscored by the presence of India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal, at the commencement ceremony in March.

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Symbolizing a paradigm shift in India’s studded jewelry export landscape, Bharat Ratnam epitomizes SEEPZ 2.0’s ethos. Spread across six floors and spanning 115,000 square feet, this state-of-the-art complex heralds a comprehensive service model aimed at advancing jewelry manufacturing. Offering cutting-edge technical amenities such as CAD rendering, 3D printing across various mediums, and metal casting facilities, Bharat Ratnam serves as a collaborative platform for manufacturers, irrespective of scale.

Colin Shah, a leading jewelry exporter and the driving force behind the Bharat Ratnam project, lauds it as a revolutionary initiative democratizing access to high-level jewelry manufacturing. The Mega CFC also hosts a modern Skill Training Center, envisaged to equip over 1,500 individuals annually with contemporary techniques, with a quarter of the trainees representing individuals with special needs.

Anticipated outcomes of the Mega CFC include an enhancement in the quality, diversity, and efficiency of jewelry offerings, fostering an environment conducive to scaling up export volumes. Complementing this initiative is the vision to replace aging infrastructure with modern edifices like the New Enterprises & Services Towers (NEST), slated to accommodate existing as well as new entrants into SEEPZ.

SEEPZ’s pivotal role in India’s studded jewelry exports is underscored by statistics from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, indicating its contribution of over 50% to India’s total studded jewelry exports between 2021-2023. Moreover, projections by the SEEPZ Gem & Jewellery Manufacturers Association hint at a potential surge, with exports potentially reaching between $7 billion to $10 billion in the near future.

Colin Shah shared insights with National Jeweler on SEEPZ 2.0’s implications for the jewelry manufacturing landscape in India:

National Jeweler: Among the various technologies at Bharat Ratnam, which are deemed most crucial?

Colin Shah: The large 3D metal printers stand out, being the first of their kind in India. Linked to that are the laser color printers and diverse plating facilities, alongside lab amenities for testing jewelry durability and strength.

National Jeweler: What new capabilities will these technologies confer upon Indian jewelry manufacturers?

Colin Shah: With CAD-driven design becoming prevalent, the large 3D metal printers offer distinct advantages, particularly for smaller units. Additionally, the plating options enable manufacturers to diversify their offerings, catering to a wider array of materials and finishes.

National Jeweler: How has the vision of SEEPZ 2.0 impacted the industry?

Colin Shah: The government’s overhaul plans for SEEPZ have injected a fresh impetus into the industry. The swift realization of Bharat Ratnam and forthcoming projects like NEST towers augur well for the sector’s expansion, offering renewed opportunities for both existing and new players.

SEEPZ’s metamorphosis heralds a new dawn for India’s studded jewelry exports, poised to elevate the nation’s standing in the global marketplace.

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