India is known for its extravagant weddings and jewellery definitely plays a very important part at such events. As such, while the gems and jewellery industry remains the biggest business in India, the organised sector is systematically moving towards this niche wedding segment in order to rake in maximum profits. Some of the most reputed brands in the sector like Tanishq, Narayan Jewellers, Reliance Jewels, Senco Gold and the likes are launching a distinct collection or sub-brand catering exclusive to prospective brides. According to a 2016 AT-Kearney study, the Indian jewellery market is expected to touch close to Rs 5.3 lakh crore by 2018. “The jewellery market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.95% over the period 2014-2019 and the market share of branded jewellery is expected to more than double from the existing 20%,” says Shaankar Sen, Chief Managing Director, Senco Gold.
The Merchandising Factor
Today, women prefer jewellery which complements them and their fashion. Gone are the days of heavy jewellery. Taking this shift into account, brands in the segment are strategizing their merchandising plans, offering just what the new generation women are looking for. Elaborating, Sunil Nayak, CEO, Reliance Jewels, says, “Consumers are now shopping for jewellery to match different attires for various wedding occasions like sangeet, cocktail, etc. Reliance Jewels celebrates every moment of our patrons’ lives – whether small or big. We showcase an eclectic mix of gold and diamond jewellery for every wedding function, not just for the bride but for every member of the family. Our merchandise mix consists of beautiful heritage and traditional designs, taking into consideration regional and cultural preferences. These are exquisitely crafted by our artists.”
Fruits of Labour
In short, jewellery brands have become extremely conscious of the trends and are leaving no stones unturned in their endeavour to plan for the future with the right mix of design and innovation. For instance, Senco Gold derives 55% of sales from the merchandise category. However, Narayan Jewellers’ co-owner, Ketan Chokshi, maintains that there is a very fine line between merchandised jewellery and a non- merchandised piece. “At the end of the day, what matters is the design and quality of the piece. The surge in sale of wedding collection starts from Diwali and lasts till February. Every year, we come up with a new range and a new collection when it comes to the bridal segment. This year too we will launch an innovative bridal line,” he says.
While we may assume that the segment has gained traction only in the urban areas, Shaankar Sen informs to the contrary. “The opportunity for this merchandising category in Tier II and III cities is extensive. The thought process of these places is changing with time. Branded jewellery is of aspiration value to them and they are keen to wear new and trendy designs for their wedding,” he says. In fact, some of these markets are outperforming the metros. With jewellery brands realising the potential this category has to offer, no efforts are being spared to keep the business sparkling and shining.