How do you see high end jewellery retailing market is growing in India? Also shed light on your journey so far?
India is one of the highest purchasers of gold in the world and also the biggest consumers of diamond. High end jewellery as in branded jewellery retailing market is flourishing and will keep on growing.This is not only due to the domestic consumption of jewellery like buying jewellery for occasions, gifting purpose or to celebrate particularly during marriages or marriage related events - but also because in the recent times PRIVATE EQUITY INVESTORS (PEI) which earlier had inhibitions about investing in commodity price driven business like gold and silver are also taking keen interests and investing substantial amounts in the jewellery business.The PEI investment has increased from $50 million to $300 million in the last 5 years.
We grew into retail business in 1982 and started with our maiden retail showroom in AC Market, Kolkata. In 1988 we expanded our retail footprints in Kolkata and opened our second showroom in Bada Bazaar. In 1992 we expanded our horizons and opened our third showroom in Jaipur. In 1996 we opened our fourth showroom in New Delhi and in 1998 we opened another showroom in Lord Sinha, Road Kolkata. In the year 2015 we opened our manufacturing unit with a corporate office and a boutique showroom in Delhi which has been a big milestone for the brand. It has been an extremely illustrious journey for the family and it is by winning the trust and patronage of customers, the company has grown from strength to strength over seven generations.
According to you, what are the challenges of as far as offline jewellery retailing is concerned?
One of the main issues faced by offline retailing is to physically create and maintain jewellery designs with the current fashion trends as one incurs huge investment in the process of making real jewelry. Designs that are no longer trending or not in fashion incurs losses interms of labour charges and melting loss. With the ever changing paced fashion trends and the need of the consumers to own the most current outstanding statement pieces, retail jewellers have to keep introducing new products creatively in every three months.
Kindly shed light on your current distribution in online/offline space? Going forward, what are the plans as far as distribution expansion is concerned?
Our existence ismajorly into the offline market. More than 90 percent of our income comes through our retail stores and manufacturing units based in Kolkata, New Delhi and Jaipur. We are currently based in metropolitan cities but we have future agenda is to expand our retail foothold into Tier 1 cities, as these cities has immense potential with regards to the demand for high end Jewellery.
We are planning to come up with an e commerce website and mobile application by end of 2018.
How do you compete with leading brands such as Tanishq and CaratLane?
With all due respect we really don’t see much of a competition with regards to these brands as their target market is very different from ours. The level of customization and personal touch that we provide to our clients both in terms of our products and services is something that we are really proud of and keep trying to grow on.
This being said the way these brands are organized and handles their back end work flow is something we are working towards. This includes their organization structure and the way every department from their procurement to sales is in sync with each other providing a very efficient work flow.
What is your average selling price? Also shed light on your average bill size?
There is no average selling price that we follow. What we have are the products ranging from as low as 40,000 to as high as 2crores but we do focus on products ranging in the price category of 30 to 40 lacs.
Thus, average bill size also comes to around 15 to 20lacs.
Also how are you looking to extend the brand identity in the online channel?
We are coming up with an e commerce website and a mobile application dedicated to real Jewellery by the end of 2018.
At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?
The vision of The House of MBj is to redefine elegance, allure and style in the form of stunning pieces of jewellery and continue to maintain the credibility and trust in the market. Apart from the growing retail presence we also intend to make our presence on E-commerce and develop a mobile application by end of this year. It is our constant thrive to complement the growing international presence by participating in international shows and exhibitions and domestic market by entering into Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. It is also important to make the trade transparent as much as possible to sustain the trust of our clients.