Swarovski Gems to strike gold in India

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Who says that only diamonds are a girl’s best friend? Today’s woman is more experimental when it comes to fashion and jewellery and has moved beyond the traditional affinity towards the precious gem to something more trendy and designer. Tapping into this changing consumer perception and also taking care of the affordability criteria Swarovski Gems has launched an array of designs in association with homegrown brand Surya Golds.

Shimmer of hope
From daily wear to more high fashion wear the company is all set to transform jewellery as a lifestyle product. The latest collection is a blend of gold with Swarovski Cubic Zirconia, which is a synthetic gemstone that has become a desirable substitute for diamonds. Swarovski Gems (which is marketed in India through Signity Group) will be using Surya Golds’ distribution network and retail brand Agni CZ Gold Jewels, which has over 5,000 outlets (as per company’s data for November, 2011).

Ramesh Shoor, Director, Surya Golds

According to Ramesh Shoor, Director, Surya Golds, “Surya Golds is a pioneer in jewellery industry and aims at touching the hearts and conscience of its valued customers. It has grown 82 per cent over last year and looking forward to 100 per cent growth next year.” The company boasts of having the widest catalogue offering 22,000 to 30,000 pieces to choose from. The latest collection with zirconia is available in 18k & 22k white and yellow gold.

Rajendra Jain, Managing Director, Signity India, says that with zirconia and gold, Swarovski Gems is trying to create a new market category in the country that has been obsessed by the yellow metal. As a matter of fact there is around 80 per cent gold consumption in the Indian market and the company is leveraging on the latest consumer trends that is fast moving away from plain gold jewellery towards stone-studded gold designs. “This stone is a diamond look alike and has a laser engraving that makes it as luminescent as diamond. It is more economical and beautiful in terms of the varied colour range than diamond. With this latest collection, we are creating a new fragment of jewellery in the market, earlier it was gold with diamond and now it is gold with zirconia.” On the company’s association with Surya Golds he says that the latter is the leader in the market for gold jewellery and leads the pack on the back of quality and innovative designs.

Rajendra Jain,Managing Director, Signity India

Adding to that Kurt Zbinden, VP-Operations, SE Asia & Indian Subcontinet, Genuine Gemstones & Created Stones, Signity, says, “We have had our association with Surya Golds for a long time, which itself has been a strong player in the market for many years and we want to scale our partnership to new heights. Surya Golds has been our partner for over two decades, it understands quality and keeps innovating new designs and collections for our Zirconia Swarovski.” Other than family run business Surya Golds, the company also has tie ups with significant industry players like Tanishq and Gitanjali to market its products in the Indian subcontinent.

Making a new cut
Though Swarovski as a brand has always had a premium appeal to it, the new collection is positioned as affordable and cuts across all age groups. Jain adds, “There is no age limit when it comes to jewellery. The range has offerings for everybody and anyone who likes modern designs and quality products.”

Kurt Zbinden, VP-Operations, SE Asia & Indian Subcontinet, Genuine Gemstones & Created Stones, Signity

Kurt Zbinden, VP-Operations, SE Asia & Indian Subcontinet, Genuine Gemstones & Created Stones, Signity

Moreover, Kurt also says that since gold consumption has been very high in India, the company has looked at engaging with brands designing gold jewellery. Plus changing consumer perception for something trendier and value for money has pushed demands for its jewellery collections. “It is the younger consumer particularly, who is looking for something more fashionable and something that fits their budget. So we have a range starting from as low as $ 10 and up.” Kurt adds that for this particular launch the company is primarily focusing on Northern India.

According to RNCOS, currently, the industry is growing at a tremendous rate on the back of growing demand and increasing consumer preference. With various government efforts and incentives coupled with private sector initiatives, Indian gems and jewellery sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 13 per cent during 2011 – 2013. At present, Indian gems and jewellery market is dominated by the unorganised sector; however, the trend is set to change in near future due to the growing acceptance of branded jewellery market.

The size of the Indian gems and jewellery market was $ 30.1 billion in 2011 and is expected to be $ 45 billion by 2015 on the back of increasing domestic demand. The gems and jewellery market essentially comprises sourcing, processing, manufacturing and selling of precious metals and gemstones such as gold, platinum, silver, diamond, ruby, sapphire, among others. This industry is highly unorganised and fragmented with 96 per cent of the total players being family-owned businesses.

Hence to further expand its presence in the growing Indian market for gems and jewellery, Swarovski is also looking at investing in emeralds, as the latter is an emerging category in India.

Swarovski Gems’ main promotional tools have been organising fashion shows and PR activity for dealers. Recently, it organised a fashion show with Surya Golds with Bollywood’s emerging actor Ahana Deol as the show stopper. Swarovski Gems is also working with companies  in the e-commerce domain and at present its partners have tie ups with such e-retailers to sell its products online.

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