Tell us about the Bandhan jewels. How did it started and journey so far? How the brand stands out to traditional jewellery brands?
The Gems and Jewellery sector is witnessing changes in consumer preferences due to the adoption of the western lifestyle. Consumers are demanding new designs and varieties in jewellery, and branded jewellers are able to fulfil their changing demands better than the local unorganised players. Bandhan Jewels was created because we realized that there was a gap in the market. It’s a retail partnership programme which is based on a concept like OYO rooms, where it’s a service platform provided by a bunch of professionals who understand the industry very well.
Bandhan Jewels’ differentiating factor is that they have a slew of brands that are sold under one roof with all possible generic jewellery under gold, diamond & platinum sold in the Indian market.
Also, kindly present your views on the current jewellery market in India. It would be great if you can highlight a few numbers?
The Indian Jewellery market is currently valued nearly at Rs 400,000 crores and is expected to grow up to Rs 750,000 crores in next four to five years. Over 87% growth in next 5 to 7 years i.e. over 15% growth year on year.
Since Style Quotient is also the official licensee of Being Human. How do you different celebrity jewellery to mass jewellery brands? Do you think celebrity range gets better brand recall value?
Though celebrity endorsements increase the brand recall value, for any brand-celebrity collaboration to be successful, the personal credibility of the celebrity is crucial. Celebrity endorsements act as an external cue that enables consumers to sift through the tremendous brand clutter in the market.
In the case of Being Human Jewellery, the jewellery range doesn’t only enhance your looks but also the lives of millions of underprivileged who get beneï¬tted through The Being Human Foundation. The cause of the underprivileged is very close to Salman’s heart and that brings the credibility to our jewellery since they are inspired by the values of compassion like love, care, share, hope, help and joy.
What kind of celebrity mileage you are planning for Bandhan Jewels?
We have recently chosen Isabelle Kaif as the brand ambassador of Bandhan Jewels. We think it is the perfect choice as she is a global icon and is soon making her debut in Bollywood.
According to you, what are the major retail challenges as far as celebrity endorsed brands are concerned?
Celebrity endorsed brands usually get great mileage in terms of brand recall and that usually creates pressure on the distribution network of the brand. The demand usually surpasses the operational capability of the organization and penetration into a market as diverse as India becomes a challenge.
Who do you see as your biggest competition within the same space?
We believe we have no competition currently as this a unique concept in the jewellery industry. Before this, there was no retail organization that was collaborating with local jewellers and supporting them in their endeavour of building a long-term sustainable and profitable jewellery business.
What are the plans to scale up the distribution for Bandhan Jewels in online as well as offline space? Any plans to venture into franchising?
We are already searching for franchises and have already appointed a few in India. We currently aren’t looking into the online space, because we believe that most consumers prefer to buy expensive items from brick-and-mortar stores, which are perceived as more reliable and which provide the opportunity to touch and feel the merchandise—a crucial factor in a high-involvement category driven by sensory experience.
How do you see celebrity licensing is evolving?
While India has had a long-standing culture of celebrity endorsements, the trend of celebrity licensing is only just catching on. These licensed brands lean heavily on digital media as a platform for conveying information, shaping brand identity, and building customer relationships. What also comes into play is the quality of the actual product. Consumers have become very savvy and will not buy sub-standard products, no matter whose brand it might be.
At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?
We have an extremely aggressive growth plan and we intend to open 50 stores in the next 5 years.