By Aditi Roy
March 18, 2020 (IANSlife) Jewellery has been an intrinsic part of Indian culture and no other country in the world shares a more rich history than us. Gujarat-based heritage house Narayana Jewellers has been a prominent player in the domestic market who have evolved over time and has been a part of the spectacular history. IANSlife caught up with Ketan and Jatin Chokshi, owners of the label to talk more. Excerpts:
Tell us something about the history and lineage of Narayana Jewellers?
Ketan and Jatin: 2020 is very special for us as a brand as it marks our 80th anniversary in jewellery retail business. Though we have been into fine jewellery business for more than 138 years now, the company was founded in the name of M/S Ambalal Chaturbhai Chokshi in 1940 by Mr. Ambalal Chaturbhai Chokshi in the city of Vadodara. My father Mr. Narendra Ambalal Chokshi joined the business in 1969 and in 1984. restructured the company and re-launched it as “Narayan Jewellers” and introduced Jadau and Diamond jewellery along with gold.
How your history/famous lineage helping you evolve in the current market scenario?
Ketan and Jatin: The brand's lineage of 80 years and the trust it has built amongst its peers and clientele have strengthened our foothold in the market. We have been catering to the generations in families with our heirloom designs being passed over from one generation to the other. A systematic and engineered approach to design with a USP of not creating a second piece of same design has helped us be a market leader in the wedding jewellery segment in Gujarat while building new clientele.
The brand has received more than 24 awards and styled the best of Bollywood, Hollywood celebrities over last few years, expanded its retail store, been a part of national and international fashion weeks including NYFW for last 5 season, Lakme Fashion Week, FDCI Couture Week. Narayan Jewellers has kept evolving and innovating to be relevant to today’s generations.
How have you seen the Indian jewellery market evolve over time in terms of customer preferences, price-sensitivity, designs-choices
Ketan and Jatin: While there has been a lot of evolution in the domestic jewellery market over the years, what remains constant is that jewellery buying is just not a luxury in India. It is a necessity and is considered auspicious. While earlier gold was the only jewellery option preferred during weddings, jadau and diamond jewellery have found its place in the market now.
Design choices in wedding and non-wedding segments have evolved with online exposure to fashion and what is happening around the world.
Who are your main target audience? Are you planning to expand your audience base?
Ketan and Jatin: While wedding and luxury clients are the main target audience, we are looking at everyone who understands and wants to buy jewellery which is high on aesthetics, design with the right mix of raw material and rightly priced is our target audience.
Since, traditional Indian customers buy jewellery on seasonal basis (wedding, occasions, etc), what are the different ways you can diversify your products?
Ketan and Jatin: We have been seeing jewellery buying all across the years, though the sales are higher during wedding and festive season. We are working on capsule collections for daily wear and to celebrate special days like Valentine’s Day, Rakhi, Mother’s Day, etc.
Tell us something about your association with Sotheby's and Christies.
Ketan and Jatin: We had worked with Sotheby’s for “Emeralds for Elephants” Campaign to save Elephants and their habitats and with Christie's for Gemfields project Blossoming for Project Nanhi Kali to help raise funds for the education of less privileged girl child. Our designs were very well appreciated and we helped raise 25% of the total auction funds at Sotheby’s and 40% of the total funds raised at Christie's.
What are your future expansion plans?
Ketan and Jatin: Marking our 80th year in the retail business, we are planning to expand both domestic and international markets.
Since you started a manufacturing facility for cutting and polishing of diamonds in Surat before joining the family business, are you planning to come up with a school or training institute for budding jewellery designers?
Ketan and Jatin: No. Not as of now.
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Aditi Roy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org