Anjali Jewellers is among the distinguished jewellery houses operating in eastern India.
They are now looking to expand their horizons. Annargha Uuttiya Chowdhuury, CMD, Anjali Jewellers, spoke to BE’S Kuntala Sarkar.
Q. How has the jewellery segment performed in the last fiscal in eastern India?
A. Indians do not consider jewellery solely to be an investment option; it has a great cultural value for them. For almost each and every social event, we prefer to celebrate with gold. People are buying gold for several purposes which influence the remarkable growth trajectory of the gold market. It was quite satisfactory in the last fiscal as well. Gold and diamonds are essentially assets. The value of gold has grown over the years.
Q. How did your company perform in the last fiscal year?
A. It has been a decent year for our company. In the current political situation, the market is cautious. This has definitely impacted our business. But on the whole, it has been a steady year for us.
Q. Has the sector mitigated the initial challenges posed by the GST and demonetisation?
A. The initial hiccup caused by the GST implementation and demonetisation is not there right now. Moreover, the new taxation regime has helped the sector to become more organised. Earlier there were many taxes but now there is only one GST. I think that has helped our sector. I feel the initial problems were momentary in nature and our industry has overcome them.
Q. What are your competitive and exclusive designs?
A. Anjali tries to cater to all. Along with heavy jewellery, we design daily wear jewellery as well. From the first day, our designs have been well accepted in the market. The design aspect is important because today people want to exhibit their jewellery rather than store them in lockers.
Q. What are your expansion plans?
A. We have expanded enormously following our online version. As far as I know, no national player has a committed mobile application like us. For us, our physical stores are actually an extension of our virtual stores as people can find all our exclusive designs and prices in our online version.
Additionally, we are also planning to open a store in Delhi.
Q. What are your plans for the bridal jewellery segment?
A. The present day bride loves to flaunt her jewellery.
Diamond necklaces are gaining popularity among younger purchasers. Accordingly, we are creating and concentrating on economical diamond jewellery.
For the bridal segment, heavy jewellery is also quite popular but not many can afford it. We are therefore developing traditional designs on costume jewellery. We have a separate retail chain named Noni, which exclusively caters to silver, pearl, and costume jewellery. As the price bracket of these products are comparatively low, it finds ready buyers.
Q. What are your company’s policies towards jewellery workers?
A. Our industry does not function like other industries. We are not directly linked with the workers. They have their own set up. They have one head karigar (designer) with whom we communicate and deliver the specific design. He delivers the whole plan to the people working under him. So, the workers are essentially his responsibility. He takes care of the workers’ demands and necessities.
Q. How beneficial is your collaboration with the film industry?
A. Collaboration with the film industry enables us to expand our clientele. It gives us positive publicity. It has given us an edge and extended our reach beyond our traditional market. These entertainment industry collaborations also enable us to use the brand image of celebrities for our brand and that augurs well for our business.