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Breathing new life into coloured gemstones

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Milind Mathur

In the cut throat competitive jewellery market, retailers are revamping their business model to align with the current market demands. The Retail Jeweller brings out an interesting brand makeover story of an Agra-based jeweller, Kohinoor Jewellers. Read this post to learn more:

Manoj Chakraborty

Milind Mathur is a fifth-generation jeweller, from the famed Kohinoor Jewellers that has been in the business since 1857 in Agra. He was intrigued by gemstones right from childhood. Gemstones were what marbles are to children his age. Today, Milind is an expert in colored gemstones and is an avid personal collector of rare and unique gemstones from around the world.

After graduating in foreign trade and policies, Milind studied gems formally at the premier institute — the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Carlsbad, California. He further ventured into a diploma in jewellery business management – an education that paid off well once he returned to the family business back home.

 

Focusing on the ignored domestic market

When I joined the business in 2007 it was more export oriented. I then decided to shift the focus to the domestic market, where there is a huge demand for coloured gemstones.

Unfortunately, our business then was confined only to the top three gemstones — emerald, ruby, and sapphire. I decided to re-introduced the regular gemstones with a fresh perspective, by giving them a different cut and shape.

Coupled with it, we started building awareness in the Indian market through lifestyle media.  As jewellery begins to lose its investment connotation, we remain focused on positioning ourselves as an aspirational jeweller. Our aggressive marketing and PR associations has ensured that our brand has been worn by top celebrities in Bollywood for red carpet events. We had Katrina Kaif, Kriti Sanon, Sonakshi Sinha, Fatima Sana Sheikh, and most recently, Taapsee Pannu wearing our pieces at various events – this has worked wonders for our brand.

 

Building staff specialization

Coloured stones are still a specialised category and require a lot of technical knowhow. Our staff was not familiar with so many kinds of gemstones; so their familiarisation became our priority. In order to make them comfortable, I shared with them all the information I had on gemstones through meetings and notes.

 

Venturing into manufacturing; providing local jobs

Earlier, we didn’t have our own in-house manufacturing unit. That was one of my first accomplishments after I joined the family business – establishing our own manufacturing facility. Now we are able to cater not just individual clients from Agra, but also B2B businesses from outside the city. We have also been able to provide jobs to the local youth, who were otherwise forced to go outside Agra in search of work.

I also introduced Computer Aided Designing (CAD) in 2018, which has helped us reduce wastage of gemstones from a high 15 per cent to a dramatically low four per cent. I introduced several other technologies that have brought more transparency in our workflow, and added more value to the product.

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