Reinvigorating SEEPZ, the Epicenter of India’s Studded Jewelry Exports

SourcingApr 09, 2024

Reinvigorating SEEPZ, the Epicenter of India’s Studded Jewelry Exports

The zone’s modernization will enhance and increase India’s jewelry manufacturing capabilities while aiding small and mid-sized businesses.

Bharat Ratnam, a Mega Common Facilitation Centre (CFC)
The Bharat Ratnam Mega Common Facilitation Centre is one of the main features of the revamping and modernization of jewelry manufacturing operations within the special export zone known as SEEPZ in Mumbai.
Mumbai—It is India’s single largest cluster of modern jewelry manufacturing facilities, the engine powering its studded jewelry export industry.  
It singlehandedly delivers more jewelry to the United States than most other supplier countries. And it lies in a designated export zone covering less than one square kilometer (less than half a square mile) in Mumbai North-West. 
The Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone, or SEEPZ as this area is more widely known, is being revamped with a new outlook and infrastructure to “refurbish and rejuvenate” operations, particularly those in the gem and jewelry sector.  
The most prominent symbol of SEEPZ 2.0, as it is known, is Bharat Ratnam, a Mega Common Facilitation Centre (CFC) that was inaugurated in January by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  
A senior member of Modi’s cabinet, India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal, presided over the commencement-of-operations ceremony in the middle of March, an indication of the importance attached to this project. 
The Mega CFC clearly symbolizes the new direction in which India’s studded jewelry export industry is moving. (Studded jewelry refers to jewelry that is set with diamonds and/or colored gemstones and the precious metal content is relatively low.)  
The six-floor, 115,000-square-foot complex is a one-stop center that will facilitate the upgrading of what the industry describes as the “three Ts”—technology, techniques, and training – that will be crucial to take jewelry exports to the next level.  
Three floors are dedicated to a comprehensive range of cutting-edge technical services including CAD and CAD rendering; 3D printing in metal, ceramic, resin, and wax; and casting in gold, platinum, and silver.  
Manufacturers, irrespective of size, can use these machines on a time-share basis. 

Colin Shah, a leading jewelry exporter and head of the working group that spearheaded the Bharat Ratnam project, describes it as a “360-degree service model to engage in high-level jewelry manufacturing.”  

According to Shah, “This is a pathbreaking concept for democratizing access to entrepreneurs big and small, catering to global and domestic markets.” 

It also has a modern Skill Training Center that will provide over 1,500 personnel with in-depth knowledge of the latest techniques and technology each year, about 25 percent of whom will be individuals with special needs. 
Leading exporters believe the Mega CFC will help enhance the quality, diversity, and efficiency of jewelry offerings, and enable scaling up the number of pieces for export, boosting economies of scale for the trade. 
The vision of SEEPZ 2.0 also encompasses replacing the 50-year-old buildings with new, modern structures more suited to the current technologies, and fully equipped with state-of-the-art systems. 
The New Enterprises & Services Towers, also known as NEST 01, NEST 02 and NEST 03, will consist of three six-floor towers with more than 500,000 square feet of built-out areas. They will rehouse all existing units of the gem and jewelry industry and also offer space to new entrants wishing to set up operations in SEEPZ.   
Between 2021-2023, studded jewelry exports from SEEPZ have ranged between $2.75 billion and $3 billion, figures released by India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council show, or more than 50 percent of India’s total studded jewelry exports.  
According to estimates of the SEEPZ Gem & Jewellery Manufacturers Association (SGJMA) a few years ago, SEEPZ alone enjoyed an approximately 18 percent share of total U.S. studded jewelry imports, or  about 80% of the country’s total supply to the U.S. market). 
Industry leaders aver that with the better infrastructure and technology, jewelry exports from SEEPZ can be expected to grow exponentially, possibly even reaching between $7 billion and $10 billion in a few years. 
 Related stories will be right here …

Shah, the head of the working group for the Mega CFC, answered more questions from National Jeweler about SEEPZ 2.0 and what it will mean for the future of jewelry manufacturing in India.   
National Jeweler: There are a variety of new technologies and machines available in the Mega CFC. Which of these are the most important? 
Colin Shah: Among the range of technologies, I would highlight the large 3D metal printers, which are the first of their kind to be installed anywhere in India and, linked to that, the laser color printers, as well as plating facilities in various type of metals and finishes. 
Alongside [these] are the lab facilities for testing and certifying durability, strength, and other parameters in studded jewelry.   
NJ: What new capabilities will these add to jewelry manufacturing operations in India? 
CS: With designing shifting more and more to CAD, I think the advantages of the large [3D] metal printers are quite clear, especially for the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprise) units.  
Further, with plating in various colors also becoming possible, smaller manufacturers can take up orders outside their regular areas of expertise. Those doing gold, for example, can now easily take smaller orders of say palladium or titanium, which they earlier would have found difficult to handle or even had to refuse. 
As for the lab testing facility, clearly instead of sending new lines to Europe or the Far East for certification … manufacturers will now only have to reach Gate 1 on the border of the zone; so much simpler, faster, and more economical. 
NJ: What impact has the vision of SEEPZ 2.0 had on the industry? 
CS: The government plans to totally revamp SEEPZ has provided a huge boost to the industry. There is a new vibrancy, and the public-private partnership has worked so well that we got the Mega CFC up and running within 14 months after the start of the project.  
Moreover, the construction of NEST 01 and 02 as well as NEST 03, which is in the pipeline, opens new possibilities for smaller units that were facing constraints due to aging infrastructure. The number of units in SEEPZ is likely to go up by the time all three become operational in about a year from now. 
With manufacturing units outside the zone also being given access to the Bharat Ratnam facilities, many units there can also take up exports using the e-commerce and postal/courier dispatch mode for smaller orders as well. 

The Latest

My Next Question webinar
Recorded WebinarsApr 12, 2024
Watch: What Jewelers Need to Know About Insurance

From cybersecurity liability to trade show coverage, insurance experts share tips on how to build the right policy.

Evil Eye Charm with Turquoise Disc
CollectionsApr 12, 2024
Piece of the Week: Lionheart’s Evil Eye Gemstone Charm

The charm is a modern rendition of the evil eye amulet that has been worn for thousands of years.

The Jewelry Symposium scholarship winners 2024
Events & AwardsApr 12, 2024
The Jewelry Symposium Announces 4 Scholarship Winners

Ahead of its trade show next month, TJS awarded free registration and accommodations to one jewelry professional and three students.

Brought to you by
The Blueprint for Success in Scalable, Personalized Jewelry Retail

With Ho Brothers, you can unlock your brand's true potential and offer customers the personalized jewelry experiences they desire.

SRK Empire and SRK House
Policies & IssuesApr 11, 2024
SRK Exports’ Journey Toward Net Zero Impact

By the end of this year, SRK’s diamond manufacturing complexes will achieve net zero emissions, one of an impressive array of achievements.

Weekly QuizApr 11, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this seven-question quiz.
Take the Quiz
AGTA logo
Lab-GrownApr 11, 2024
AGTA Bans Lab-Grown Diamonds, Gemstones at GemFair

Members can still sell lab-grown stones, it said, but only natural gems are allowed on the show floor.

Steven Rosdal
IndependentsApr 11, 2024
Steven Rosdal, Co-Founder of Hyde Park Jewelers, Dies at 77

He is remembered for his charisma, passion, integrity, kindness, and wit.

Jewelers of America Fly In Washington, D.C.
Brought to you by
How Jewelers of America Represents Your Business

For over 30 years, JA has advocated for the industry, fought against harmful legislation and backed measures that help jewelry businesses.

Macy’s Herald Square store
MajorsApr 11, 2024
Macy’s Opens Books for Possible Buyout

The retailer also appointed two new board members, avoiding a proxy fight from a potential buyer.

AGS Conclave 2024 logo Austin
Events & AwardsApr 11, 2024
10 Can’t-Miss Sessions at AGS Conclave 2024

From lab-grown diamonds and AI to the inevitable Taylor Swift mention, here are some of Conclave’s most intriguing educational offerings.

Sylvie Jewelry model
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
Sylvie Launches New Nature-Inspired Collection, ‘Tulira’

The bridal collection consists of 35 engagement rings and seven wedding bands.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea in 18-karat yellow gold
WatchesApr 10, 2024
These Are Rolex’s New Watches for 2024

The crown introduced a dozen timepieces in Geneva, including a heavy metal version of its deep-sea divers’ watch.

Levy’s Fine Jewelry diamond education
IndependentsApr 10, 2024
Levy's Fine Jewelry Explores Diamond History

The family-owned jeweler has a new education section on its website dedicated to the history of diamond cutting.

With Clarity NFL wedding bands
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
With Clarity Partners With NFL on Wedding Bands

The limited-edition men’s rings can be customized with one of 12 team logos.

Chrono24 watch inspection lab
WatchesApr 09, 2024
Chrono24 Debuts Pre-Owned Watch Authentication Program

The program, now live in Europe, will roll out to the U.S. this summer.

6.21-carat fancy vivid pink diamond
AuctionsApr 09, 2024
Phillips to Offer 6.21-Carat Vivid Pink Diamond

Colored gemstones and signed jewels are the focus of its upcoming Geneva sale.

Jewelers for Children POS System Donations
MajorsApr 09, 2024
Jewel360 Announces New POS Integration, JFC Partnership

The point-of-sale software can now prompt customers to round up their credit card purchases as a donation to Jewelers for Children.

Charles & Colvard moissanite bypass engagement ring
SourcingApr 08, 2024
Charles & Colvard Debuts B2B Portal for Moissanite

Select independent jewelers and retailers can now purchase moissanite through Charles & Colvard Direct.

Amber Rank
Events & AwardsApr 08, 2024
AGS Announces First Recipient of ‘Women in Leadership’ Scholarship

Amber Rank of Exclusively Diamonds will receive mentorship, registration to AGS’s 2024 Conclave, and $500.

Jaeger-LeCoultre citrine pinky-ring watch
AuctionsApr 08, 2024
Sotheby’s ‘Rough Diamonds’ Sale Is All About … Watches

The auction will take place Thursday and is underground, literally.

JOGS logo
Events & AwardsApr 08, 2024
JOGS Show Returns to Las Vegas for a Second Year

The trade show is moving downtown to the Expo at World Market Center.

Kira Diam solar plant
Lab-GrownApr 08, 2024
Indian Lab-Grown Diamond Manufacturers Keep Growing

A combination of factors is driving growth in the industry despite the precipitous drop in prices across the board.

Brilliant Earth and Jane Goodall collaboration logo
MajorsApr 05, 2024
Brilliant Earth Partners with Jane Goodall

The company is teaming up with the Jane Goodall Institute to promote ethical practices and environmental conservation.

Monica Rich Kosann Slim Heart Locket in gold and Jacquelyn Jablonski
CollectionsApr 05, 2024
Piece of the Week: A Locket for Autism Acceptance Month

Monica Rich Kosann created the “Slim Heart” locket in partnership with model and philanthropist Jacquelyn Jablonski.

Professor Frank Fraley teaching
Events & AwardsApr 05, 2024
BIJC’s Jewelry Education Program for High School Students Begins

“The Future Jewelers Academy” kicked off at the Brooklyn STEAM Center this week.

703 carat Tanzanite
SourcingApr 04, 2024
703-Carat Tanzanite Sets Guinness World Record

Carved by Naomi Sarna, the “L’Heure Bleu” is now the world’s largest cut tanzanite.

Venzio Jewelers
CrimeApr 04, 2024
Police Searching for Suspects in $1M Mall Heist

Thieves targeted Venzio Jewelers in New Jersey’s Ocean County Mall.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy