It has been over a decade since De Beers Forevermark ushered in their irresistible offering of beautiful and responsibly sourced diamonds. The globally renowned diamond miner adheres to a very high benchmark of retail distribution in India, and have been instilling the wow factor of natural diamonds with a rare concoction of storytelling and technological applications.
Their sightholders and retail partners vouch for the brand value and consumer trust that come with working on their diamonds with unique inscriptions. Amit Pratihari, Vice President, De Beers Forevermark, discusses how the retail landscape in India helped the miner achieve around 30-35% market share.
Unmatched consumer density in South India
South Indian states have an appetite for better cut, colour, clarity, and the consumers don’t shy away from paying a premium for the same. Thus, the region contributes to 45% of the brand’s national volume. Resultantly, the distribution network is stronger among top retailers there.
“With Kirtilals, we have a large shop-in-shop inside their store in Somajiguda. We have another exclusive store in Sujana mall, Hyderabad. We also have a tie-up in Coimbatore with Sumangali jewellers of Coimbatore. The whole idea was to build freshness in the traditional environment of South Indian jewellery trade and the response, earned with years of micro-study of the market, has been phenomenal,” said Pratihari.
The miner has been known especially for executing a comprehensive level-up in omnichannel performance. Currently devising new strategies for better performance marketing of its retail partners on social media platforms, De Beers Forevermark also pays heed to integrating back-end operations. Instilling storytelling, its enticing buyers who can scan the QR code on every product and cherish the beauty of the jewellery that contain such diamonds.
As walk-in experience improves, the unique identification number inscribed in each diamond unlocks the door to the cut, colour, clarity, and grade of the precious stone, thanks to a patented nanotechnology. “That’s why we see a lot of repeat purchases happening. Around 60% of our sale are from first-time buyers who turn into loyal clients. Repeat purchase is around 30-35%,” mentioned Pratihari.
One of the USPs of De Beers Forevermark is that the brand sources its diamonds from mines it owns globally. The TracrTM blockchain technology adds a fillip to this advantage by ensuring provenance from mine to market across B2B spheres. Work is on to extend this facility to end-clients in future.
Pilot programme of exclusive stores
Braving India with several pioneering steps, De Beers Forevermark had started a pilot programme a few years before and now they have 15 exclusive stores managed by retail partners. Patented designs such as the Avaantii collection are sold at those stores which provide an exclusive experience unlike retail showrooms selling products by a multitude of brands.
“India is a market where buyers love to procure their jewellery from brands they trust. Thus, the pilot programme has been instrumental in understanding behavior of the end consumers,” said Pratihari, adding that the experiment has been successful with India accounting for 30% of total volume of global collections. The brand is in no rush to expand its exclusive footprint, given that it already enjoys the goodwill in 200 retail doors countrywide through the franchise model.
In 2017, The Organic World (TOW), sprouted as the green heart of Nimida Group in Bengaluru, sowing the seeds of sustainability to cultivate positive change in our way of life. Founded by Gaurav Manchanda, Director, The Organic World, this unique brand strives to offer a holistic range of organic and natural products. From pesticide-free fruits and vegetables to chemical-free homecare products, TOW provides consumers with over 3000 choices to embrace a healthier, cleaner, and more sustainable lifestyle.
Gaurav, during his return to India from the United States in 2016, identified a gap in the market for healthy and organic food options. Motivated by a personal quest for such products and a desire to offer the same to a wider audience, The Organic World was born in 2017. Starting with the launch of its first store in JP Nagar, Bengaluru, TOW quickly expanded. Today it has 15 stores across Bengaluru, and is exploring the franchise model and the plan is to steadily expand TOW’s footprint across South India.
“Our journey is only getting started. We plan to expand up to 100 stores over the next 18 months, and exploring cities like Chennai, Pune, and more,” he says.
TOW positions itself as a multi-brand retailer, hosting products that are not only organic but also differentiated, providing better value to customers as they journey towards a healthier lifestyle. The stores boasts a comprehensive product range, including fruits, vegetables, dairy, staples, personal care items, and home care products. The presentation of these stores is world-class, ensuring a unique and engaging shopping experience.
Gaurav sheds light on TOW's commitment to responsible retailing, focusing on three core pillars: authenticity, accessibility, and affordability. The company enforces a rigorous vetting process for products, maintaining transparency by publicly listing 25 blacklisted ingredients and chemicals not allowed on their shelves. This disruptive approach challenges the industry to prioritize healthier and sustainable products. TOW has created a strict ‘Not In Our Aisle’ list – a list of chemicals and harmful ingredients that do not find a spot on its store shelves, despite their industry popularity. This includes ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener, found in soda, juice, candy, breakfast cereals and packaged snacks; artificial flavorings/colors found in most packaged foods; Tertiary Butylhydroquinine (TBHQ), an antioxidant found in biscuits, microwave popcorn, butter substitutes and chicken nuggets; parabens, sulfates and phthalates found in personal and beauty care products; and a range of acids and toxins found in home cleaning essentials, to name some.
“When you step into our store, it's an interesting and world-class experience. We strive to be a full basket retailer, so you can complete your shopping journey within our stores. Now we have about 3000 SKUs on our shelves, and we continue to introduce interesting categories and products,” explains Gaurav.
The brand’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its product offerings. It has introduced a zero-waste section in select stores, encouraging customers to bring their own containers for grains and nuts. The company is conscious of consumer preferences, with a dedicated vegan category accounting for a significant portion of sales. TOW's initiatives have not only resonated with environmentally conscious consumers but also positively impacted its revenue.
The Organic World has embraced a tech-driven approach to bridge the online and offline shopping experience seamlessly. Initially partnering with tech enablers, TOW later developed its in-house tech stack, comprising apps, websites, and delivery mechanisms. This move provides the company with more control over data, enabling better insights into consumer behavior.
Acknowledging the challenges in the grocery and organic sector, Gaurav emphasizes the importance of trust in the brand and scale to stay competitive. The company strives to deliver within a two to four-hour time slot, and in a bid to make its last-mile delivery sustainable, TOW is exploring the use of electric vehicles.
In a market flooded with products labeled as organic, The Organic World sets itself apart through a combination of the 3As. The brand's strong category play, especially in emerging trends like veganism, further distinguishes it from competitors. The company's commitment to scale, transparent pricing, and a variety of unique products solidifies its position as a leading player in the organic and healthy foods sector.
“We work closely with farmers and a network of farmers under the brand Happy Harvest Farms. They are certified and organic. Additionally, we do our own checks internally, and based on these checks we believe that we are able to provide an authentic experience to the discerning consumer,” Gaurav asserts.
He is optimistic about the future, fueled by the growing awareness of health-conscious consumers. With plans to expand its store network and franchise model, TOW aims to be a dominant player in the Indian organic market. The brand envisions not only leading in the organic sector but also influencing responsible retailing practices across the broader retail industry.
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