Tapping right target audience

In an interview to the Retailer, Mr Mitesh Gajera, Managing Director, Cygnus, speaks about the company and its future plans


Retailer: How do you define, in brief, Cygnus?

Mitesh Gajera (MG): Cygnus is a fine diamond jewelley brand, which comes from the house of Laxmi Diamond, a DTC sightholder. It is one of the largest exporters of polished diamonds from the country. Cygnus means a constellation of stars, which forms the shape of a swan. The brand was launched in July 2003 and, since then, it has been among the frontrunners to leave a mark.


Retailer: What is the USP of Cygnus store and what are the products offered?

MG: Cygnus fine jewellery store’s USP has been emphasising on unique designs of its products, which cater to urban and trendy tastes. The Cygnus store offers various product categories and includes neckwear, ear rings, finger rings, bangles and bracelets. All the products are crafted skillfully in 18 kt by using the most exquisitely polished diamonds.


Retailer: What is the strategy for tackling the competition in the market?

MG: Being a mass brand, Cygnus’ retail strategy is based on opening stores in malls, which have good tenant mix and anchors and opening standalone stores in upscale localities as well. By doing this, we aim at tapping the right target audience and will be able to sustain our brand in the competitive market.


Retailer: What is your estimate about the market size of jewellery industry in India?

MG: Apart from being the world’s largest diamond processing (cutting and polishing) country with 80 per cent share in world market, India’s favourable trade policies have made the country a hub for gems and jewellery. Increasing purchasing power and disposable incomes of the middle class has resulted in consumption growth in this industry by about 11 per cent in the five-year period preceding 2006. The demand will skyrocket to $ 20 billion (approximately Rs 800 billion) by 2010 and $ 30 billion (approximately Rs1200 billion) in 2015.


Retailer: How big is Cygnus stores network?

MG: Cygnus has two formats viz. standalone and shop-in-shop, which includes outlets in leading lifestyle stores like Pantaloons and Shoppers Stop. At present, we have 25 standalone showrooms out of which10 are franchisee-based showrooms. In all, we have 200 outlets across India. By 2010, we are planning to open at least 40 standalone showrooms. In future, we are planning to follow franchisee route only.


Retailer: How do you see the future of Cygnus?

MG: With the Indian economy booming in several fronts, new avenues have opened up. Suddenly, malls are springing up all over the country. India’s luxury market is estimated to be around $100 million (approximately Rs 4 billion). The economic upsurge has transformed the social landscape creating distinct consumer segments with widely differing mind-sets. Since diamond jewellery is in that similar luxury space, the consumer is paying a premium and it is vital that the consumer gets the overall shopping experience as well.

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