The era of branded luxury jewellery

Industry Watch July 2014Indian jewellery retail is witnessing a huge transformation. It has transformed from being an investment to a fashionable accessory. The entry of large number of luxury brands into India is further contributing to this transformation. Let us find out how.

The Indian jewellery industry is transforming at a rapid pace especially in luxury jewellery retail market. The organized retail market is growing at 12% to 15% in India. With the changing mindset of Indians towards branded products, the luxury retail jewellery market is gaining momentum as well in the Indian markets. Jewellery is moving beyond the concept of investment as people have started buying light weight jewellery that can be used on regular basis. Hence, this has led to demand of diamond jewellery which is beautiful, light in weight and easy to wear. The rally in gold price is another reason for emergence of diamond jewellery market in India.

A study by ASSOCHAM and YES Bank has laid out some facts that sound extremely encouraging for the Indian luxury market, which has attracted scores of global players. In spite of the economic slowdown, the Indian luxury market is pitted to grow at 25% till 2015 and is expected to touch $15 billion. Last year, India was an $8.5 billion market for global luxury brands. The bullish outlook is anticipated to continue unscathed in the luxury sector.

Luxury brands in India

In last few years, India has been flooded with many national and international brands that foray into luxury jewellery. Entry of renowned brands like Tiffany & Co., The Gem Palace, Harry Winston, Dia, Caratti, Ganjam, Mirari Jewels, Opulence By Jewelex, Alpana Gujral, Tara Jewels and Anmol Jewellery to name a few, have made a new market mantra which suits the needs and wallets of the upper middle class and high net worth individuals. The companies dealing in diamonds are following a new strategy of blending their products with Indian customs and traditions which gives a boost to sales and brand promotion.

Recently, at the Forevermark Annual Forum 2014, Sachin Jain, President of Forevermark India notified that India’s prominent jewellers, key retail chain owners and noted single store owners showed a keen interest in high-end diamond jewellery. He said, “Indian market is changing at rapid space. High-end jewellery is in great demand in the market. Tache, one of the leading manufacturers of high-end jewellery, associated with us, sold the costliest pieces at the Forevermark Forum 2014.”

Indian jewellers shift to luxury jewellery

The foreign players are making their mark in the gems and jewellery industry and are simultaneously creating product-line that fits everyone pockets as well as their needs. Light weight jewellery is in great demand as they offer fancy shapes and pocket-friendly as well. Considering increased competition as a result of entry of large number of foreign players in luxury jewellery retail, domestic brands are also converting and upgrading them from the mass to class luxury retail.

Shenaz Amarnani – an ace designer, who takes her inspiration from latest trends and designs in the market, also feels the demand for light weight jewellery has gone up in last one year. She says, “At present, gold market is very expensive, hence very few people are interested in gold. However, amidst of market condition the demand for light weight jewellery has grown in the market. Hence, right now you will find light weight jewellery collection at Mirella.”

Region and custom-based style 

As per the survey reports, many leading national and international luxury jewellery brands have been creating designs that match the Indian sensibilities. They have been closely observing the Indian customs, style and physique to mould their designs and styles of jewellery based on particular area, taste and preference of the people. Mia Collection by Tanishq offers varied collection for working women. Sandeep Kulhalli, Senior Vice President, Retail and Marketing, Jewellery Division, Titan Company Limited said, “Tanishq has been in the forefront of introducing jewellery for diverse audience including working women. The requirement of a working woman has witnessed a sea of change in this transformative world.” Work wear jewellery needs to be simple and light weight. The Mia Collection offers over 300 designs starting at `2,999.

Apart from Tanishq, there are many more renowned retail chains that offer varied collection for the consumers that match the needs of individuals. Tara Jewels, GRT Jewellers, Malabar Gold & Diamonds, Asmi, Kalyan Jewellers and there are many more that have been regularly coming up with their product line to cater the needs of the customers. Regarding this, Sanjay Banerjee, Vice President, Asmi Jewellery India (P) Ltd said, “Whichever domestic jewellery brands have already proved themselves in the market have upgraded their business-line, i.e., class luxury, which is growing rapidly, specially for the occasions like wedding, anniversary or religious and the consumers are more inclined towards these classy pieces with high-ticket prices.”

Brand stores penetrate the interiors of India

The increasing demand of the emerging luxury jewellery market, large numbers of players are beginning to make a mark beyond the metros, and particularly in small cities. There are brands like Gitanjali, Orra, Cygnus, Tara Jewels and Tanishq who have already successfully expanded through franchise route. Reliance Jewel has an aggressive plan to open over 300 stores in 5 years across the nation. Swarovski also aims to add over 25 outlets by the end of 2009. Future Group-owned Navras is also foreseeing to have around 100 in-stores in Big Bazaar by 2011.

Darpan Gupta, Owner, Mangatrai, a Hyderabad-based company admits to expand to towns to sustain in the market. However, the big players still cherish a mindset to expand their retail chains in the metros. He says, despite having the potential of the customers of tier I or II cities to buy luxury jewellery, they end up purchasing the merchandise from the main metros.

Known extensively for her contribution towards the NGO sector, Nisha JamVwal also loves exploring luxury in jewellery. “India is still very new to international luxury, and yet, paradoxically ancient India’s maharajas and maharanis were not foreigners to luxury. As for the way forward in terms of expansion of brands, the government needs to encourage growth by improving infrastructure and policies. This will only happen with good, steady, reliable and consistent governance. I believe that the joy and luxury of a product must be enjoyed and appreciated more than the calculation of its value. A Manolo Blahnik or Louboutin cannot be about value for money, as the shoe itself may cost whatever, but the design, materials and luxury take it to another level,” she said in an interview in a newspaper.

Designer or luxury jewellery is in great demand in India as the gold market continues to lose its sheen as investment. Consumers have become more brand and fashion conscious. They seek jewellery that can be worn on regular basis, rather than keeping them locked in their cupboards and using them in the moment of despair. This is the same time when international brands as well as renowned Indian brand are introducing novice products that is leading to a new era of branded luxury jewellery in India.