Tuesday April 7, 2020

Jewellery: An Intrinsic Part of Indian Culture

Jewellery buying is not just a luxury in India

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Jewellery
Jewellery has been an intrinsic part of Indian culture and no other country in the world shares a more rich history than us. Pixabay

BY ADITI ROY

Jewellery has been an intrinsic part of Indian culture and no other country in the world shares a more rich history than us. Gujarat-based heritage house Narayana Jewellers has been a prominent player in the domestic market who have evolved over time and has been a part of the spectacular history. IANSlife caught up with Ketan and Jatin Chokshi, owners of the label to talk more.

Excerpts:

Tell us something about the history and lineage of Narayana Jewellers?

Ketan and Jatin: 2020 is very special for us as a brand as it marks our 80th anniversary in jewellery retail business. Though we have been into fine jewellery business for more than 138 years now, the company was founded in the name of M/S Ambalal Chaturbhai Chokshi in 1940 by Mr. Ambalal Chaturbhai Chokshi in the city of Vadodara. My father Mr. Narendra Ambalal Chokshi joined the business in 1969 and in 1984. restructured the company and re-launched it as “Narayan Jewellers” and introduced Jadau and Diamond jewellery along with gold.

Jewellery
While earlier gold was the only jewellery option preferred during weddings, jadau and diamond jewellery have found its place in the market now. Pixabay

How your history/famous lineage helping you evolve in the current market scenario?

Ketan and Jatin: The brand’s lineage of 80 years and the trust it has built amongst its peers and clientele have strengthened our foothold in the market. We have been catering to the generations in families with our heirloom designs being passed over from one generation to the other. A systematic and engineered approach to design with a USP of not creating a second piece of same design has helped us be a market leader in the wedding jewellery segment in Gujarat while building new clientele.

The brand has received more than 24 awards and styled the best of Bollywood, Hollywood celebrities over last few years, expanded its retail store, been a part of national and international fashion weeks including NYFW for last 5 season, Lakme Fashion Week, FDCI Couture Week. Narayan Jewellers has kept evolving and innovating to be relevant to today’s generations.

How have you seen the Indian jewellery market evolve over time in terms of customer preferences, price-sensitivity, designs-choices

Ketan and Jatin: While there has been a lot of evolution in the domestic jewellery market over the years, what remains constant is that jewellery buying is just not a luxury in India. It is a necessity and is considered auspicious. While earlier gold was the only jewellery option preferred during weddings, jadau and diamond jewellery have found its place in the market now.

Design choices in wedding and non-wedding segments have evolved with online exposure to fashion and what is happening around the world.

Who are your main target audience? Are you planning to expand your audience base?

Ketan and Jatin: While wedding and luxury clients are the main target audience, we are looking at everyone who understands and wants to buy jewellery which is high on aesthetics, design with the right mix of raw material and rightly priced is our target audience.

Since, traditional Indian customers buy jewellery on seasonal basis (wedding, occasions, etc), what are the different ways you can diversify your products?

Ketan and Jatin: We have been seeing jewellery buying all across the years, though the sales are higher during wedding and festive season. We are working on capsule collections for daily wear and to celebrate special days like Valentine’s Day, Rakhi, Mother’s Day, etc.

Jewellery
Jewellery buying is just not a luxury in India. It is a necessity and is considered auspicious. Pixabay

Tell us something about your association with Sotheby’s and Christies.

Ketan and Jatin: We had worked with Sotheby’s for “Emeralds for Elephants” Campaign to save Elephants and their habitats and with Christie’s for Gemfields project Blossoming for Project Nanhi Kali to help raise funds for the education of less privileged girl child. Our designs were very well appreciated and we helped raise 25% of the total auction funds at Sotheby’s and 40% of the total funds raised at Christie’s.

What are your future expansion plans?

Ketan and Jatin: Marking our 80th year in the retail business, we are planning to expand both domestic and international markets.

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Since you started a manufacturing facility for cutting and polishing of diamonds in Surat before joining the family business, are you planning to come up with a school or training institute for budding jewellery designers?

Ketan and Jatin: No. Not as of now. (IANS)

Next Story

Smartphone Production in India Witnesses Substantial Decrease

The negative impact from the supply chain side will last until the end of Q2 minimum

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Smartphones
The smartphone production in India is already set to decrease by nearly 40 per cent amid nationwide lockdown as factories are shut and there are no online sales either. Pixabay

Smartphone players are unable to gauge the full impact of lockdowns and global recession and there is going to be a sharp contraction as consumers are in no mood to spend on buying new devices and rather focus on stocking essential items like groceries and other daily needs.

The smartphone production in India is already set to decrease by nearly 40 per cent amid nationwide lockdown as factories are shut and there are no online sales either. According to Counterpoint Research, they have looked at parallels from recent recessions to help guide their forecast.

“Our conclusion is that we expect to see a sharp contraction as consumers withhold making discretionary purchases during periods of maximum uncertainty. The result is an extension in the replacement cycle,” said Peter Richardson, Research Director, Counterpoint.

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“However, we expect that extension will be limited to no more than six months,” he added. There is a visible impact to new devices being launched in India as the components sourced from China are still impacted while factories resume operation slowly and cautiously in that country.

The negative impact from the supply chain side will last until the end of Q2 minimum. The bigger worry, however, is the disruption of the global supply-chain that is set to impact the manufacturing — from smartphones to consumer electronics.

“We further expect that the long run average market growth rate will not vary significantly – but the near term growth rates will reflect the slowdown and then rebound — a similar pattern to that seen in recent recessions but allowing for the different level of market maturity,” explained Richardson.

While smartphone manufacturing has picked up in India over the past few years, the country is still dependent on China to a large extent for supplies of components.

Smartphone
Smartphone players are unable to gauge the full impact of lockdowns and global recession and there is going to be a sharp contraction as consumers are in no mood to spend on buying new devices and rather focus on stocking essential items like groceries and other daily needs. Pixabay

The COVID-19 lockdown has also forced smartphone players to postpone new launches for an indefinite period as online retailers have prioritized their operations and services keeping the essential services in mind.

It makes sense for the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to defer new smartphone launches but, at the same time, support retailers who have been hit strongly, according to Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research.

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“It has to be a collaborative effort from the government to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other players in the ecosystem to support the partners involved,” Pathak told IANS. (IANS)