Gold recycling has become an increasingly critical focus for businesses in India as the government seeks all available options for reducing the country's enormous influx of gold imports.
Because of gold's high value and the fact that very little of the yellow metal is ever re-exported, gold imports place a disproportionate burden on India's trade deficit each year. Various "Gold Monetization Schemes" introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government have had very limited success in curbing these gold imports.
With so much gold—perhaps 20,000 metric tonnes!—privately held by Indian families, recycling efforts are a common-sense means of limiting further inflows. Now, a company known as Muthoot Pappachan Group is conveniently bringing this service directly to people's doorsteps.
Muthoot's Precious Metals division, Muthoot Exim, operates brick-and-mortar gold recycling centers that it calls "Gold Points" in nine different cities across India. It's planning to presently add four more.
More exciting, however, is the recent launching of the firm's first mobile Gold Point. The vehicle is decked out with cutting-edge technology that uses x-ray fluorescence, or XRF, in order to determine the authenticity and purity of precious metals and therefore determine their value. The mobile station also has the capacity to melt the metals on the spot—with a customer's consent, of course—if necessary.
The corporate director, Thomas George Muthoot, told reporters, "The move will also be in sync with the government's vision to recycle as much gold as possible and our mobile van service will help facilitate it better."
The firm's CEO, Keyur Shah, agreed. "This is a strategic initiative from our end which is in sync with the government's initiative to reduce dependence on gold imports and help consumers recycle their old [or] unused locker gold."
In addition to this advanced technology for testing and melting gold, the mobile Gold Point is also tech savvy when it comes to paying out customers for their metals. For totals up to 20,000 rupees (about $300), they can be paid in petty cash like any other cash-for-gold operation. For sums above Rs 20,000, the company offers a variety of electronic options for instantly transferring funds to a customer's account. It is also using sophisticated network security for the mobile vehicle through a partnership with Sequel Logistics.
Thus far, Muthoot Precious Metals has recycled over 200 kilograms (6,430 troy ounces) of gold through its nine locations. This figure is expected to increase substantially now that customers can use the service on-the-go—or even driven right to where they live!
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.