Indians are buying gold for one rupee, are you interested

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"A lot of people have been buying at one rupee,” according to Gaurav Mathur, managing director of digital platform SafeGold
"A lot of people have been buying at one rupee,” according to Gaurav Mathur, managing director of digital platform SafeGold

New Delhi : Seems like, the price of gold is falling down at great speed. As of now, Indians are buying gold for as little as one rupee as retailers are offering online sale in small portions to adjust with the shrinking demand in the world’s second-biggest consumer.

The possible reasons are the higher local prices and the fading appeal of metal among youthful customers which is compelling jewelers to adapt online purchases to appeal to a more internet-savvy, younger population.

“A lot of people have been buying at one rupee,” according to Gaurav Mathur, managing director of digital platform SafeGold, which has partnered with payments apps such as Flipkart Online Services Pvt.’s PhonePe to sell gold starting at that price. “It’s a low-risk way to try the product.”

Now, buyers get delivery of gold once they pay for one gram of the metal which is about 3,200 rupees in the current market scenerio. The low barrier of entry, compared with a minimum purchase of 1 gram in the traditional market, and faster transactions, which can be done on a phone in about 40 seconds, are the biggest lures for the product, Mathur said.

Since last year, close to 3 million people have already transacted on the platform and the company, which counts the World Gold Council as one its investors, is targeting to raise this to 15 million by next year, he said. The market is quite small as compared with the overall consumption of gold across India, which stood at 524 tons in the nine months ended September.

Gold sell in India has been declined because of the government’s efforts to control its trade dearth and fight so-called black money by discouraging investors who used the metal to evade taxes.

The demand of gold, last year, has witnessed a fall by about 23 percent from a peak of 1,002 tons in 2010. Meanwhile, benchmark gold futures in Mumbai are set to post a third year of annual gains in 2018 aided by a weaker rupee, which fell to a record low earlier this year.

Buying gold offered by SafeGold, Augmont Enterprises and India’s most popular digital payments service Paytm, backed by China’s Alibaba as well as Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, are trying to make inroads into a market dominated by traditional retail stores and chains such as Titan Co., the country’s top maker of branded jewelry, and Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri Ltd.

Augmont sells gold and silver coins and bars with quantities as low as 100 milligrams to make bullion affordable for the public, according to its website. With gold available in lower quantities at a more reasonable price compared with the retail outlets, the preference of people has gradually shifted to the digital gold buying method, it said in an emailed statement. Young buyers now prefer shopping for gold on e-commerce sites and apps rather than going to the store, thus saving time, it said.

Over half a billion Indians will come online in the next wave of internet users and shoppers, according to a report released jointly by Bain & Co., Google and Omidyar Network in August. Only over a third of India’s current 390 million users transact online, the report said, suggesting a massive untapped opportunity.

“With the way the e-commerce market was shaping, we realized that digital technology will soon be the future of gold buying,” Sachin Kothari, director at Augmont, said in the statement.