Gold is back in favour with consumers shifting their focus on the precious metal on the back of moderation in prices. And Akshaya Tritiya, falling on April 27, may provide a good opportunity for Indian consumers. But jewellers fear that retail purchasers may not go for the traditional 5-10 gm coins. To counter this, the World Gold Council, the gold sales promoting agency sponsored by miners, is planning to popularise half-gm coins.
"Reducing the coin size will serve two purposes. Consumers will continue to aspire for gold but at a lower investment, thus saving money to fulfill other needs. At the same time, they can also celebrate the occasion which is auspicious for buying gold," a jeweller said.
Meanwhile, WGC has lined up a number of plans to attract retail customers. The council has organised a month-long (ending on April 27) shopping festival of gold jewellery across West Bengal, Maharashtra and Gujarat to make consumer aware of the importance of this occasion.
In Maharashtra, the council is planning to expanded its reach to Tier-II and III cities such as Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur and Marathwada. In Gujarat, it is planning to reach small cities and towns such as Jamnager, Bhavnagar, Navsari etc.
In the South, where the festival is celebrated with much fervour, the council is planning to engage 10-15 partners for its promotional effort this year instead of 1-2 till last year.
"We are promoting gold with a motto to add gold in the regular shopping portfolio of consumers and we would continue doing so irrespective of the price movement," said Ajay Mitra, MD (India sub-continent), WGC.
WGC has envisaged a five-year plan where a postman could book gold orders and ensure delivery in rural parts of the country. It has also engaged saree shop-owners to offer gold jewellery items on the very next counter. "If plans are approved, per capita gold consumption in India will rise substantially from the current level of about half a gm," Mitra added.