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Reforming recycling industry, DRU GOLD becomes the go-to liquidation platform

Dru Gold’s aim is to tackle the challenges consumers face with the gold recycling industry through transparency, innovation and higher moral standards.

At times when the industry is battling lockdown, start-up DRU GOLD has saved many consumers from bankruptcy by providing a trustworthy solution for gold liquidation. The Retail Jeweller speaks with DRU GOLD CEO Akhilesh Agarwal to understand the brand plan ahead.

The Retail Jeweller (TRJ): What were the market gaps that made you launch DRU GOLD?

Akhilesh Agarwal (AA): A decade’s worth of experience in this industry has helped me pick valuable on-ground consumer insights to form DRU GOLD, which buys gold at a low price and sell it at a market rate. We save customers from financiers exploiting with high interest rates. Our aim is to tackle the challenges consumers face with the gold recycling industry through transparency, innovation and higher moral standards.

TRJ: There are many such retail outlets one can encash gold from. How is DRU any different?

AA: We support the ‘Make in India’ initiative to curb gold imports. Most of the unorganised sector value gold at 60% of the actual worth and charge very high-interest rates from 15-40%. Bettering such procedures, we use XRF technology to examine purity of precious metals, giving laboratory-quality results in the presence of the customer. We also release pledged gold and gold jewellery from banks, financiers and pawn brokers.

TRJ: What is the value calculation for exchanging gold or jewellery?

AA: We don’t exchange gold. We value the net weight and actual purity of gold to offer the best market rate.

TRJ: Where are your stores located and how do you plan to expand?

AA: At present, we have 15 stores in Hyderabad. We aim to reach 50 Branches by 2021-end and expand at the same speed, achieving 250 branches by 2025 across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra.

TRJ: Do you accept gold with embellishments as well? Or is it only plain gold jewellery?

AA: We purchase all ornaments. We remove precious stones studded in ornaments and return to customers as we estimate monetary worth of gold as per net weight and purity. Upon agreement, we melt the gold in front of the customer and release payment.

TRJ: How big is the market for this segment?

AA: Gold is the best asset class. Many retail investors have chosen gold as their preferred asset class over time. This is because gold is stable, transferrable and can be liquidated reliably and quickly in times of need.

TRJ: What are the challenges you foresee in organizing this sector?

AA: When DRU GOLD started in January 2020, plans and projections were designed to face industry risks. But the COVID 19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown forced operations to stall for a while. Nonetheless, we went ahead and became the only start-up in India to have opened 15 stores in 2020. DRU GOLD has served 2600+ customers amidst the pandemic because we wanted to help our customers sail through difficult times. We are still surviving the pandemic and have become better at aligning business planning and decision making in unforeseen circumstances.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News Service

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