Chennai: Gold buying on Akshaya Tritiya did not halt completely but took on the digital form as jewellers across major markets were shut due to Covid-induced lockdowns.
Considered an auspicious occasion to buy gold, this year too, like 2020, Akshaya Tritiya was celebrated under the shadow of the pandemic. Gold prices were up Rs 13 a gram at Rs 4,485 a gm in the Mumbai market on Friday.
Paytm and its subsidiary Paytm Money witnessed a 30% year-on-year (YoY) value growth in digital gold sales on their platform this year.
Paytm Money chief executive officer (CEO) Varun Sridhar said, “In the last three days, we have recorded 50kg of gold sales. The average ticket size has grown from Rs 1,600-Rs 1,700 to Rs 2,300-Rs 2,500 per transaction.”
Over the last three years, among Paytm’s over 500 million users, over 62 million users have purchased digital gold on their platforms.
Augmont Enterprises, an integrated precious metals management company, saw a 150% YoY surge in sales volume on Friday, compared to Akshaya Tritiya last year.
Augmont Enterprises director Ketan Kothari said, “Gold coins and gold bars in the range of Rs 3,000- Rs 4,000 are preferable for buyers this year. We’ve sold around 35kg of (digital) gold on account of Akshaya Tritiya this year.”
Delhi-based startup IndiaGold’s director Deepak Abbot said it has surpassed its average monthly sales volume on a single day on account of Akshaya Tritiya.
World Gold Council managing director (India) Somasundaram P R said, “With the second lockdown, many organised jewellers have adopted digital and omni-channel strategies to reach out to their consumers, learning from the lockdown experience of 2020.”
On the other hand, Kalyan Jewellers’ executive director Ramesh Kalyanaraman said, “Most markets in India remained closed and the overall sentiment was muted. Only 20% of our showrooms were operational and functioned under strict guidelines with reduced working hours. As expected, tractions in these showrooms were minimal. It is not appropriate to compare this year’s Akshaya Tritiya with any of the pre-Covid years.”