Hill+Knowlton Strategies is working with India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council on a communications program to bolster the sale of the county’s gold, diamonds and gemstones in the US.

The WPP unit has a $135K nine-month contract that runs through the end of the year. Its services include creation of a content hub, media relations and account management.

H+K also will be responsible for an influencer program, which includes outreach, coordination of loaning and managing payments.

The firm’s nine-member GJEPC team includes Laura Morgan, executive VP & head of consumer markets; Tyler Kenny, US influencer lead; and Colin Smillie, VP-digital & social media engagement services.

India accounts for 5.8 percent of the global export market. Its top markets are the US, Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates.

GJEPC reported June 15 that overall gross exports rose four percent to $6.3B during the first two months (April & May) of its fiscal year compared to the pre-pandemic 2019 period.

In May, India’s gem and jewelry exports slipped into negative territory due to the severe disruption of manufacturing activity as the second wave of COVID-19 rocked the Subcontinent.

That second wave also triggered another exodus of goldsmiths and artisans fleeing to their hometowns, according to GJEPC.

Colin Shah, GJEPC chairman, is hopeful that government support and increased trade show activity will “further enhance the morale of India’s manufacturers and traders and boost their export activity.”