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Finding alternate, profitable market opportunity for brand by Madhurima Shekhar from Manoharlal Jewellers

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Madhurima Shekhar, Vice President, Manoharlal Jewellers, New Delhi has a background in Finance. While doing her B.Com (Honours) from Delhi University, she used to play competitive chess and won Asians chess championship in the Under-15 category for India. She moved on to representing India in Commonwealth world championship. During graduation, she felt an inclination toward entrepreneurship. She then worked with JP Morgan for almost 2 years before joining the family-run business in 2019. Due to her financial background, she is comfortable with numbers and exploring things using data.

Analysed gold hedging virtually

We were hedging our gold positions and going through the normal process of replenishment where we sell something and buy the same back from vendors or bullion dealers. But there was a difference in the duration. For example, if I have sold something today, it’s not necessary that I will replenish it today. However, gold prices remained volatility for the last one and half years and holding inventory in terms of raw gold, coins or biscuits would not have been economical in terms of working capital.

So, we integrated MCX around the time of lockdown where one can buy gold virtually and sell it off when we buy gold physically. Although we were not replenishing during lockdown, we wanted to maintain the same inventory levels. This reduced our inventory cost by 30% while we got a rate hike of almost 60% in terms of actual monetary value. This also reduced interest cost from banks.

Launched silver jewellery and articles brand

We were not dealing in silver with the thought that silver is not a premium metal like gold. However, we used to receive lots of requests for silver jewellery from the youth. Even my friends and acquaintances expressed desire for silver jewellery. So, we launched oxidized and hallmarked silver jewellery and articles with ‘Mehr’ as brand name. People in the age group of 18-25 years wear silver and if we engage with customers at that age, then chances of brand recall increase when the same customers prepare for marriage. Opening a silver jewellery brand helped diversify customer portfolio and earn profits instead of spending on marketing without having an actual effect on the bottom line.

Associated legacy with marketing

We are now living in an attention-deficit economy where there is a content surplus and clients look for relevance. So, we are focusing promotions around brand legacy, quality, and jewellery that puts us in a more advantageous position than chain stores over design diversity. For example, we have 10 sets of jewellery sets worth Rs 10-12 lakhs that shows our design versatility and backend efficiency, thus giving customers ample designs to choose from. We are also engaging with customers online and got great responses in terms of footfall conversion and actual buying. Our social media activity was so intense that whenever we used to post a new design, clients visited us in the coming weeks, enquired about design and bought something similar. We have even converted some of these enquiries into high-value sales.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News Service

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