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Indian platinum market on an upswing

Platinum sales are on the rise in India. Not just in metros, it’s fast catching up in tier-II cities as well.

Last year, platinum retail sales in the country grew by 28 per cent. Compared to this, the US market grew by 8 per cent and Japan a mere 3 per cent. Taking into account the projections for 2015, globally the platinum market is expected to grow by 2.3 per cent in ounces vis-a-vis 2014. Significantly, India is the fourth largest platinum market in the world. Platinum Guild International (India) (PGI) is gearing up to latch on to the opportunity and push platinum sales further, particularly in tier-II cities.

“The Indian platinum market has achieved a growth momentum and seems to be close to the tipping point. The market growth will be secure and substantive, if platinum continues to remain an important part of the retailers’ and manufacturers’ business development strategy. We are gearing up to do our bit so that the sales volume is pushed further in the country,” Vaishali Banerjee, Managing Directorof PGI told Financial Chronicle. PGI, along with partners, has been successfully utilising digital media and integrating marketing programmes that have positioned platinum well amongst the younger audience and making it emotionally significant for them.

PGI’s strategic retail partners have performed higher than market average of +33 per cent in the last quarter. “In fact, by most global estimates, India specific growth is expected to be over and above the 28 per cent. PGI’s strong programme will aim to address the challenges and capitalise on the latent demand,” said Banerjee. From two manufactures and 15 retailers in 2000, the industry today has grown to 16 manufacturers and over 900 stores across the country, expanding steadily across tier II cities. At present, the key markets in India are Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi.

“One of the most successful marketing programmes to broaden appeal for platinum has been the ‘Platinum Day of Love campaign’. This first of its kind online campaign was incidentally launched offline through TV advertising, print and billboard. The Facebook page for ‘Platinum Day of Love’, played a crucial role in various stages ‘creating desire’ stage to take them to the final step of ‘advocacy’ in the consumer journey,” Banerjee said. Besides the social media space, the mobile space is the next interactive engagement led media, she said, adding that “we have also launched QR (quick response) codes for the latest platinum collection range on mobiles whereby consumers can check out an entire range of jewellery on his mobile and also search for a retailer and place an order for a piece of jewellery,” said Banerjee.

She said the men’s segment is a comparatively newer category, but has been growing fast. Introduced in 2010–11, this segment today stands at 21 per cent of the product split. Further, leveraging platinum’s strong emotional and aspirational appeal for its core target group, PGI has expanded platinum footprints into the new bridal segment with Evara. PGI has put together a dual consumer strategy to address the parents and the bride.

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