Gitanjali Group pioneered the launch of India’s first diamond jewellery brand, Gili, in 1994. While in the US, where it broke into a few years ago, the company has logged over Rs 1000 crore in sales, against the Rs 1500 crore transacted in India. Gitanjali Gems also bought the Nakshatra brand from DeBeers and set about establishing it with new vigour in a country. It is also seeking entry into luxury-lifestyle retailing through launch of Maya, a lifestyle department store by Gitanjali, and Giantti, which is a luxury ensemble for high-end luxury jewellery.
The group has always maintained a strong focus on branding and marketing using famous Bollywood and cricket stars as their brand ambassadors. The group has also backed it with special promotions during the major festivals and gifting seasons throughout the year and during the wedding season. Also innovative concepts of brand promotions and launch of collections are timed to create a buzz for potential customers.
The multi-brand approach with different brands positioned at different need points to reach out to different sections of consumers. The aspirational image that the group weaves around its diamond jewellery helps create demand for a product segment that was almost non-existent about two decades ago.
The Challenges overcome
The challenge in 80s and 90s was building up a viable business strategy, hence the transformation from diamond manufacturing business to jewelley manufacturing to retail. Gradually it developed into an integrated business model where the company has a presence at every stage of the pipeline.
Currently, Gitanjali has about 2700 sales doors and 250 franchise stores across the country, and plans to cross 44,500 by next year. They also plan to expand their chain of lifestyle stores, Maya, from the current mark of 10 stores to 50 in the coming year.
His understanding of the retail business and his learning in this process
“Jewellery retail in India was traditionally based on personal contact and trust. Thus, it required creating trust and confidence in the consumer’s mind through brand building, increasing recall and making the multiple brands available through a plethora of contact points. We have achieved some success in developing an India-specific approach to jewellery retailing and are constantly working to refine and improve it.”