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The Golden Journey of Kalyan Jewellers

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Sandeep Kumar
Sandeep Kumar
A multimedia journalist with over eleven years of experience in print and digital media, Sandeep Kumar is assistant editor with Images Group. Books, retail, sports and cinema are an inextricable part of his life.

How Kerala-based Kalyan Jewellers is transforming itself from a regional brand to a national player that is in sync with the changing times and consumer tastes

Started in 1908, Kalyan Jewellers—a prominent name in the Indian jewellery industry—is one of the country’s oldest family businesses. From its humble beginnings to becoming a household name, the brand’s journey has been an eventful one. In the initial years, the brand was associated with the textile business (from manufacturing to retailing) before expanding into jewellery. The first Jewellery showroom spanning 40,000 sq. ft. was launched in 1993 in Thrissur, Kerala. This large format store introduced a new way of shopping to the city, which was used to jewellery showrooms of 300 sq. ft.

Extending its reach beyond South India, Kalyan Jewellers opened a store in Ahmedabad in 2012, which also was the year in which the brand began its association with Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who continues to be its national brand ambassador.

With a robust network of stores across India and abroad, Kalyan Jewellers has successfully tapped into diverse markets, catering to a wide range of customers. Its expansion journey includes the establishment of flagship stores in prominent cities and strategic partnerships to reach new demographics.

Kalyan Jewellers’ foray into e-commerce has further widened its reach, allowing customers to access its exquisite collections with convenience.

Brand Growth

In February 2024, Kalyan Jewellers reached the milestone of opening its 250th showroom in Ayodhya. Today, Kalyan Jewellers has a presence across 23 states/union territories in India as well as four countries in the Middle East. At the beginning of 2023, Kalyan Jewellers announced a meticulous plan to launch 52 new showrooms as part of its aggressive expansion to be present across India.

“Following an integrated approach, we have been scaling up existing operations in all the major metro cities, while simultaneously, laying strong emphasis on extending geographical footprint in tier 2 and tier 3 markets across North, East and West India,” said Ramesh Kalyanaraman, Executive Director – Kalyan Jewellers.

The brand recently entered a wide array of non-South markets like Bhilai, Jamshedpur, Rourkela, Patiala, Jammu, Haldwani, Haridwar, Dehradun, Nawada and Anand.

“We are now targeting to launch 80 showrooms, aiming to consistently focus on increasing our retail footprint across the non-South markets in India, particularly focussing on states such as Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Bihar and Maharashtra,” he added.

The expansion strategy aims to drive the next growth phase of the company, increase its market share significantly and be accretive to its return on capital profile.

Going Phygital

There has been a remarkable transition in the industry, with a notable shift from unorganised to organised players. Through the shift, the brand has been focused on adaptability, accessibility and convenience for its patrons. “This period presents a crucial opportunity for organised entities to seize a significant market share and hence we are proactively embracing change by adopting the phygital model through the launch of Candere stores,” said Kalyanaraman.

“The aim is to ensure multiple consumer touchpoints, aligning our strategy with the modern demands of the market. Through this, we aim to address the increasing acceptance of digital mediums, adapting to alternative business models, particularly the fusion of physical and digital (phygital),” he added.

Marketing Strategies

In addition to aggressive expansion, the jeweller has also been doubling down on its marketing. “Once we started expanding outside Kerala—in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka—we realised that to appeal to the locals of these regions, we will need to adopt an effective hyperlocal strategy,” explained Kalyanaraman.

“As jewellery is a nuanced trade, the designs as well as personal preferences change every few 100 Kms, hence it was important to address consumers in their language as well as understand their culture,” he said further.

Kalyan Jewellers is therefore focussed on going hyperlocal in terms of product offering across showrooms and marketing campaigns. The brand has also increased its focus on digital marketing as it believes that the emergence of digital mediums on the back of an enormous increase in the screen time spent by consumers has made it critical for brands to align their marketing budgets towards digital, social media & OTT, especially for including new content.

“We have introduced changes to our media mix with a more digital-centric approach, which has played a key role in targeting the next-gen consumers. We are now focussing on developing content in various shorter formats to amplify across digital platforms, especially for our vernacular campaigns,” said Kalyanaraman.

“We aspire to appeal to a wide audience by attempting to understand the local market preferences and trends in various geographies, which has been one of the key reasons behind the brand’s success across the country,” he added further.

Prevalent Categories

For Kalyan, there is a sustained and notable demand for heavyweight, studded, and traditional bridal jewellery pieces, especially during festive and wedding seasons. And it has been getting a good response from millennial and Gen-Z consumers.

The consumer demographic is also playing a critical role in the growing popularity of platinum jewellery pieces as well as dual-tone jewellery designs. There has been a significant change in men going for jewellery as well opening up a new segment which the brand aims to tap with ‘Senhor’—a men’s jewellery line it launched last year. “Men’s jewellery segment has been a fast-evolving category in India offering immense growth potential. As more and more grooms are increasingly choosing to wear their outfits with jewellery, especially in urban markets, we launched Senhor. Considering there has been a notable increase in the demand for grooms’ gifts, Senhor gained huge popularity. We foresee an uptick in revenue contribution from men’s jewellery,” said Kalyanaraman.

Revenue & Growth

Kalyan Jewellers posted a 31% consolidated revenue growth for the first nine months of the financial year 2024. “Driven by robust network expansion along with healthy same-store-sales-growth, the year has been good for the brand with positive performance across all quarters,” concluded Kalyanaraman.

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