Success Etched in Gold

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The incredible success of Kalyan Jewellers in South Indian market can be attributed to business innovations and customer-centric service. Now, ready to shine through the length and breadth of the country and internationally, the Kerela-based gold major has set an ambitious plan to reach the 150-stores milestone by 2015. T.S. Kalyanaraman, Chairman and Managing Director, Kalyan Jewellers is the man leading the company to its golden glory. And how, in an interview to Namita Bhagat, he shares it all.

Brief us upon the history and development of Kalyan Jewellers.

Kalyan Jewellers (KJ) is the flagship company of the prestigious Kalyan Group headquartered in Thrissur, Kerala. Having origins in textile manufacturing and retailing, the group came into existence almost 100 years ago. It forayed into jewellery retailing in 1993. Today, Kalyan is the single largest directly operated jewellery retail chain in India in terms of number of showrooms and turnover, with the single maximum bullion purchase from SBI in jewellery retail crossing 5 tonnes.

Presently, KJ’s store strength is around 52 locations spread across five southern states, besides locations like Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Punjab. The brand leads the way in most of the markets where it operates. Unfazed by current slowdown, we expect to touch Rs. 13,000 crore turnover by the end of current fiscal compared to Rs. 10,000 crore in the last fiscal. Furthermore, the company has ambitious growth plans in the next few years.

How has the company positioned itself in the market? What is the typical customer profile?

The company has taken a unique positioning in marketing by focusing on trust, transparency and purity aspects of jewellery trade. It deals only in BIS 916 hallmarked gold of 22 carat and observes transparency in pricing by having a rate tag on the jewellery to clearly communicate the making charges.

Tell us about the brands and product range available at your stores.

Our brand portfolio contains five sub-brands for gold including Floret (flower-based designs), Tamas (colour-based designs), Bloom (kids jewellery), Rang (precious stones jewellery), and Eterna (traditional jewellery). We also have six sub-brands for diamonds, namely, Anokhi (uncut diamonds), Sakshi (diamond-studded mangalsutra), Bliss (duo bands for couples), Amore (diamonds for youth), White Mistry (platinum with diamonds), and Antara (bridal diamondwear).
The price range of the products is between a few thousand rupees to over Rs 25 lakh.

What is the location strategy for the brand’s stores? What is the average store size and investment needed to set up each showroom?

All Kalyan showrooms are stand-alone locations that are directly operated by the company. The average store size is 10,000 to 15,000 sq.ft. and major investment is in the stock of jewellery. However, size and investment will vary depending on the size of the market.

How do you plan to grow Kalyan’s retail presence? Would you be targeting international market as well?

Kalyan Jewellers is expanding to achieve a pan India footprint. We have recently opened new stores in Punjab, in Mohali and Ludhiana. We plan to have 100 stores by 2015 and also mark our international presence. We are targeting almost all Tier-I and -II cites in India along with overseas markets, such as Middle East and Gulf countries, Singapore, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka.

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