Surat has an estimated GDP of $59.8 billion, and is one of the top 10 richest cities of India. Exhibition Showcase visited Surat in July and met visitors of the Surat Gems and Jewellery Show and was awestruck by the business oriented lifestyle of the people. While metros are growing as usual, Surat is growing magnanimously in its Diamond and Textile Industry.
Surat is the home to world’s biggest Diamond Industry. While moving in the city, a jewellery showroom can be seen around every corner. With the Wedding and Diwali season approaching fast, almost every showroom that was visited had a bunch of customers at all times, and the customers were from different regions too. The designs displayed are unique and intricate and very different from anything that is seen even in the biggest showrooms of metro cities. Amitabha Das, Director of Operations at International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research (IIDGR) in Surat said, “the diamond industry in Surat is unmatched in the world.” IIDGR’s work is grading diamonds, according to the punishing standards set by Forevermark, which is given to only 1% qualifying diamonds in the world. IIDGR is owned by De Beers and cuts and polishes 75% of world’s polished diamonds.
Various exhibitions are organised on Jewellery every year, in order to exploit Surat’s National and International expertise in this segment. Some of the shows are Surat Gems and Jewellery Show, Surat Sparkle Gems And Jewellery Exhibition and Sparkle International 2018. Visitors of the Surat Gems and Jewellery show were very positive about the relevance of exhibitions. We got the following response from them on their view about the significance of exhibitions, :
- Gathering of the people of the industry at one place, under one roof.
- New designs showcased
- A place to network to new exhibitors and strengthen bonds with old ones
- Much deserved recognition to the Surat Jewellery industry
- There are many long term benefits of participating in a show. Exhibitions are indeed a great way to not only generate business and create awareness, but also to infuse innovation through R&D in the market.
Known for its Textile Industry, Surat is often called as the Textile city of Gujarat or the Silk City of India. On a trip around the city, the Textile Markets are hard to miss. The sarees in Surat are in themselves very affordable pieces of exquisite artwork. The major activities include yarn production, weaving, processing and embroidery; and are a great source of employment for the semi-skilled & unskilled work-force of Surat. Around 40% of Indian man-made fabrics (MMF) are manufactured in Surat and sold as sarees and dress material at affordable prices throughout the country. MMF from Surat has already exported to UAE and Pakistan, and this industry is now looking at expansion in the international market. In 2017, 4 crore metre of fabric was being manufactured everyday on more than 6.5 lakh powerlooms. However, the 5% GST applied on the Textile Industry is adversely affecting the Surat Textile Industry and leading to lowered production according to South Gujarat Textile Processors’ Association (SGTPA) President Jitu Vakharia.
Some of exhibitions on the Textile Industry organised in Surat are Surat International Textile Expo (SITEX), Surat International Textile and Machinery Expo (SITMEX) and GarFab-TX.
Surat’s economy is characterised by a large number of small and medium size unorganised industries. Of the total small scale units registered in the state, Surat makes up for 14.9%. Optimizing its available resources, without exploiting the environment & complimented with a developing infrastructure, Surat is clearly a hub for business opportunities in India. The business tourism segment comprises of guests visiting the city on account of textile business, diamond cutting and polishing, traders, oil and gas refineries, industrial area in Hazira and contribute about 91% of the total demand generated.