The third edition of the exclusive Platinum Buyer-Seller Meet signature event for authorised platinum jewellery manufacturers and retailers, was held at the Novotel HICC, Hitec City, Hyderabad on July 25-26. Organised by Platinum Guild International (PGI) – India, this leading platform showcased some of the most spectacular designs in platinum jewellery and introduced new designs developed by manufacturers for the upcoming festive season. This year, the meet brought together stalwarts from different industries to discuss disruptive trends and strategies to appeal to the minds and hearts of India’s millennial consumers.
The event commenced with a panel discussion on the first day in which the participants, moderated by Manisha Gupta, Editor – Commodities & Currencies, CNBC TV-18, shared their insights on key disruptors in the sector. They offered advice on how manufactures and retailers could address these issues to stay relevant in the market of tomorrow.
Pointing out that all the top three disruptive trends in the industry had a technology undertone, Murali Talasila, Partner and Innovation Leader, PwC, India, said, “Technology is the disruptor, it is the business model and it is the brand. It’s technology everywhere. For example, in businesses which involve moulds and models, like jewellery-making, 3D printing has taken over.” Agreeing with Talasila, Akash Banerji, Senior VP, VOOT, explained with an example from his industry, “Technology has enabled companies in the media universe to give consumers what they seek. With technology, they are able to take control of their viewing experiences, in terms of content as well as devices they choose for viewing.”
Saurabh Uboweja, CEO, Brands of Desire, outlined three definite disruptive trends that he had observed. “The way jewellery is consumed today has changed drastically over the past 5-7 years. Due to a spurt in the number of working women, who are very passionate and aspirational about building their careers, from being a festive-based purchase, jewellery is now workwear. It can no longer be as flashy as it used to be.” The second disruption he observed was that the market for jewellery is increasingly becoming a buyers’ (end-user) market. “Today, buyers are more aware. They know how to research and make choices; they have technology tools, discovery engines and social media guiding them about what is trending. This poses a challenge to sellers who now have to be deeply in touch with the markets and innovate ahead of others,” he suggested. The third disruption is in the area of shopping behaviour. “Earlier, people would go to jewellery stores, spend a couple of hours buying expensive jewellery, after taking numerous opinions, during the store’s working hours. Now jewellery is a 24-hour, online shopping experience. Retailers must keep up with this by building suitable capabilities,” he concluded.
The discussion moved to the subject of millennials as potential customers, since they seem to increasingly choose the ‘love metal’ over the ‘yellow metal’. Talasila observed that typical millennial customers, from the metropolis, have surplus income. They also usually spend a large amount of time on mobile devices and, therefore, can practically be fingerprinted in terms of their likes and dislikes, where they go, etc. Having a sound digital marketing strategy in place would enable retailers to gain a larger share of their wallet. The digital marketing strategy could also become the primary channel of delivery. “The basic principles of marketing do not vary; the channels and the way you reach out to your customer will,” he said. “As they are individuals with surplus income, they seek customisation. They do not want to buy ‘off the shelf’ products which anyone could be wearing. Individualism will drive customisation. Addressing these issues will help you stay relevant in the market of tomorrow,” he added.
The event concluded with a felicitation of key retailers who championed the ‘Season of Love’ campaign, which was started in 2016 as PGI India’s flagship in-store conversion programme. It also honoured various individual platinum stores, chains, manufactures and managers for their performance during the year gone by.
Rajeev Popley, Director, Popley Group: “Today, consumers have very specific demands. They want something which is subtle, something which is not ‘over the top’ and also fits in with the profile of their wardrobe. That is exactly what platinum is offering today.”
Joseph Prince, Director, Prince Jewellery: “Youngsters today have large disposable incomes and are spending a lot on digital gadgets. But a sentiment towards jewellery still remains and we have begun to create contemporary designs so that youngsters, even teenagers, can enjoy wearing them on various occasions.”
Vijay Jain, Founder Director & CEO, Orra Jewellery: “Platinum is usually purchased for self-consumption and people are willing to pay a premium for it. There are usually no buybacks for platinum because it is an emotional purchase – a wedding ring or a memento of an occasion.”
This is a partnered post.