According to Mr Dominic Hill, founder of Atelier Technology. a jewellery tech firm. the global jewellery industry is worth an estimated US$315 billion per year with an annual growth rate of 7 per cent. Thailand, China, and India are among the major jewellery exporting countries.
However, the jewellery business in most countries is based on personal trust and long-established traditions, so changes to meet the new technology requirements are rellatively slow.
According to Mr Hill, the industry has been disrupted by technology, but it is still one of the slowed to adapt and go digital, as evidenced by the fact that many in the business still repy on emails as their main communication channel in the overall business process.
On the other hand, some manufacturers have already embraced the use of robotices in their manufacturers process for casting, as well as 3D printing technology for making quick prototypes.
In addition, the industr is constantly facing th echallenges in managing real-time pricing of raw materials such as gold and silver, as well as exchange rate volatility as it affects their overall production process.
Changes in the industry are being driven by new requirement of the global supply chain. For example, QVC of the UK has turned to the digital platform requiring suppliers and component makers from the industry around the world to adopt digital and hybrid solutions for more effective management.
These changes have effected retail and brand management as wellas wholesalers, buyers and other stakeholders in manufacturing, product development and design.
Speaking regionally, each one of the Asean countries has a long-standing tradition of jewellery-making, based on the cottage-workishop model and serving local customers. Thailand is unique in Asean in having developed a major export-based world-class gem and jewellery industry.
Now, the Asean countries are beginning to develop their own jewellery sectors, each country offerig their own distinctive designs to markets around the world. And Thailand is set to play a role in these future developments.
Thailand's gems and jewellery industry can serve as a model and an inspiration to the counterpart industries iin the neighbouring Asean countries.
Bangkok Gems & Jewellery Magazine will be reporting the future growth of the Asean gems and jewellery sector as it unfolds.