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SGL Retail Jeweller India Forum 2019: Retailers Should Lure Millennials as they organise themselves with Technology

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The second session started with much promise on promotion of diamond business, with Richa Singh of Diamond Producers Association and Amrita Choudhary of Wavemaker starting the discussion.

Understanding consumer and changing market dynamics

Speaking about marketing innovation, Choudhary said, “Daniel Wellington sold over 1 million watches since 2011. It is one of the highest grown brands in Europe. With subtle branding through people, DW approached social media influencers and had them post pictures with DW watches in exchange of one such watch.”

Explaining a highly successful strategy of Tiffany’s, Singh said the brand launched a collection called paper flower for millennials wherein they spent handsomely on behind-the-scenes conversations about the collection. “Tiffany’s reversed the two year decline with an 8 percent improvement in Q2 sales.”

With over 520 million impressions and 67.8 MN completed views, DPA took the opportunity to have people talk about diamonds on other Indian occasions including wedding. Contextual advertising on current relationship trends in India. From Karva chauth to house fighting, DPA have covered all and featured respected influencers who made a difference to the social status of women in general.

Crystal-gazing to discover India’s retail potential in jewellery

Devang Shah, KPMG brought a crucial point of millennials not buying jewellery because they are feeling dissociated from it. “If we have 15% making charge as opposed to 0-1% charges in mutual fund or equity, we’ll continue being challenged. We need to drastically reduce making charge and explore internet marketing more than social media,” Shah said.

The panel discussion kick-started with Rajesh Kalyanaraman, Kalyan Jewellers, N Ananthapadmanaban of GJC, Vijay Jain of Orra, Saurabh Gadgil, PN Gadgil Jewellers, Ramesh Narang, Hazoorilal Legacy and Salish Mathew, Malabar Gold & Diamonds. Jewellers agreed that anyone fulfilling duties as a tax-payer and having better control of business is an organised businessperson.

Suggesting a revival of old school campaigning such as that of Nakshatra, N Ananthapadmanaban said it is necessary to go beyond social media advertising to reach volumes and mass.

Explaining a strategy for growth, Jain said the virtually impossible of 50% same stock growth was realized in Orra under Jain as the brand split the goal into conversion rate, kind of stock required, specific customer targeting and monitoring week-on-week. “Our prospects in diamond have doubled and stock growth is now 62%,” Jain said.

“Wedding jewellery overseas is starkly different from regional diversity in India. Our advantage of being regional has been Maharashtra jewellery. So the difference is more of a scale volume and a matter of choice,” said Saurabh Gadgil, PN Gadgil Jewellers.

Talking about customisation, Ramesh Narang, Hazoorilal Legacy said specialisation has helped them thrive better with time as they don’t want to spread nationally with their niche clientele. “We in the industry don’t tell the story of a priceless element to customers. As long as gifting exists, jewellery should be the one. Losing to tours abroad and gadgetry is because we are not united,” sad Mathew.

Thus, handmade should not face the market slash of making charge. “It is how we identify Indian jewellery with and so, premium should be charged on it.” Indian jewellery is the only place where the handmade jewellery is cheap whereas in foreign countries the handmade items are costly, said Salish.

“We target segments rather than generations. We create a regional flavour across campaigns so that people have a sense of belonging with our pitch. We are addressing different segments like wedding segment, casual buying segment. We use the regional staff to try to talk in the local language so that people get the same ambience here,” said Rajesh Kalyanaraman, Kalyan Jewellers.

Gold metal loans

Speaking about the cash flow from the banking sector, State Bank of India said that the banks have very stringent regulation. “Each activity is monitored by the RBI and the finance regulator. But changes are good for the organised sector. We look at the debtors very critically. We analyse each component instead of looking only at bottom line and top line,” says Suresh Nair from State Bank of India.

Adding more to the bank perspective, Kiran Shetye from Yes Bank said that for a retailer, the gold metal loan percentage should be higher as compared to CC. For a wholesaler, the gold metal loan percentage can be lower and it is ultimately up to the banks to take onus.

Kiran Shetye was also of the opinion that the large manufacturers are making use of gold metal loans and these loans have a validity of 6 months and markets have seen wide fluctuations in sale. So for safety, 60% of working capital loans and 40% of gold metal loans is advisable.

However, presenting industry’s perspective, Ashish Pethe from WHP Jewellers said, “Banks are getting more vigilant as some have burnt their fingers. Some are doing audits twice a year. Wherever there were clean facilities, they were asking for 255 collateral. Easy availability of capital were misused. It’s a step back to take the next leap.”

“MCX is the benchmark for bullion exchange now. We cover international, Indian rupee, custom duty and prevalent market price movements. But if during the time o expiry if I want to buy a 1kg gold bar, I can use the MCX price, say Rs80 minus spot price, I’ll get the delivery in Ahmedabad. Jewellers across India can use it. The purpose of MCX is to use the market price increase for retailers to have profit but be secured with the base price if price drops. You should hedge your assets to protect the same at MCX. That should be the prime goal and not making money there,” an MCX spokesperson said.

Designers on the high street

Talking about USP, Poonam Soni said that she used semi-precious stones and mixed metal. With shift in technology, statement colourful jewellery and subtle technical intricacy have been our USPs, Poonam Soni said.

For consumers, we tweak the regular product to suit the individual consumer’s needs  We have to take responsibility to promote Indian legacy of handicraft and not keep it confined to brand perception, Poonam added further.

Presenting designers point of view, Harshad Ajoomal, H Ajoomal said, “From a design aesthetic point of view, their has to be core relevance to current demands. Thanks to social media’s instant attention grabbing ability, it challenges the retailer to innovate in their own ways.”

Latika Khanna from Latique is creating Avant Garde and classic jewellery.  “While value addition and social media influence, there should be players setting the trends instead of following the same,” Latika said.

High-performance strategy for staff

P Vishwanathan of KPMG spoke about adopting the four pillars for better performance, drive higher employer engagement, string leadership and people strategy, create a high performance workforce and effective human resource function, Vishwanath said. In retail, stores are temples and the person at the counter is the god. So high performance strategy works around people, the business processes and governance, Vishwanathan said.

There are 4 elements in the people front that go into the high performance strategy are self awareness, simple organisation, role definition, goal alignment. A simple reward system is needed. So in case of over-the-counter negotiation, empower that rewarded staff to negotiate, rather than eliciting the issue to higher-ups. That pleases the staff to work harder and better, P Vishwanath from KPMG said.

Innovations at Retail

Among the things creating value addition in store, one should also involve people in public places with different technology. Indians are ready to be first movers. MirrAR is helping one try jewellery virtually for the first time in India and it is going places, said Meghna Saraogi, Styledotme

If I walk in to a fantastic store and get a chance to flaunt its jewellery therein, I’ll only walk in with a great smile. That is the experience we provide, Saraogi concluded.

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