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Shah Rukh Khan is not one to shy away from a challenge: TS Kalyanaraman, Kalyan Jewellers

30-May-2018
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Shah Rukh Khan is not one to shy away from a challenge: TS Kalyanaraman, Kalyan Jewellers

Back in 1993, T S Kalyanaraman set up Kalyan Jewellers with an investment of Rs 75 lakhs, and since then there was no looking back. The Chairman and Managing Director of Kalyan Jewellers stocked ready-to-wear ornaments at a time when made-to-order was the norm and changed the game. From taking superstar Shah Rukh Khan on a whirlwind tour to inaugurate Kalyan showrooms to getting Shweta Bachchan Nanda act alongside father, actor Amitabh Bachchan in their new ad for the first time ever, the brand is going all out with their marketing activities. In a chat with exchange4media, Kalyanaraman talks about the brand and the growth prospects in jewellery industry.
Edited excerpts below-

In many ways, Kalyan Jewellers is all about legacy. How do you manage to encapsulate and capture this in your advertising and branding?

We usually do two different kinds of advertising – the first type is product focused and aimed at when we have a collection to launch or if there are festivals around the corner. The second type is brand films, where the Kalyan’s legacy comes into play. The brand films also reiterate our tagline ‘Trust is everything’ in a creative manner. Our recent brand film features Amitabh Bachchan and Shweta Bachchan Nanda – her first on camera appearance for any brand.

What according to you are the future growth prospects in jewellery industry? Can the jewellery market thrive online?

The use of jewellery is deeply ingrained in our culture and tradition – from the birth of a child to the very end of his or her life, in one way or the other jewellery becomes an integral part. While the kind of jewellery worn might change, what will remain intact is the sentiments associated with it and therefore its relevance.

To a large extent, jewellery shopping continues to be an emotional exercise that involves families or couples coming together to pick the right pieces. While this will continue to happen with large ticket purchases, there is also a growing trend among the millennial to buy smaller pieces online. They are either everyday jewellery or items for gifting. The ticket size is small, between Rs 3,000 and Rs 75,000. But it is a trend that cannot be ignored, and Kalyan Jewellers wanted to have a strong presence in the online space, hence www.candere.com.

What's your marketing strategy?

At Kalyan Jewellers we opt for a multi-channel marketing approach. From traditional print to television, radio and digital, we explore all avenues.

Kalyan ropes in only the biggest of Bollywood stars. How do you narrow down on your brand ambassadors?

Our brand ambassadors are icons in their own right and exemplify the Kalyan brand values of trust and timeless elegance. Each one of them plays an important role in highlighting Kalyan’s best practices be it quality, transparent pricing, designs, service and innovation.

When it came to narrowing down on names that we wanted to be associated with, we looked at personalities and not just their box office history. We have a global ambassador in Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan, Shweta Bachchan and Katrina Kaif are also on board and we have regional brand ambassadors in Prabhu Ganesan, Akkineni Nagarjuna, Shivrajkumar and Manju Warrier.

How did you get SRK to travel 3 countries in 7 hours? How did that work in favour of the brand?

The market is very competitive, and it is important for us to make a strong presence. This is the main reason why we do things at a grand scale – be it the flagship showroom in Chennai or six showrooms on a single day in UAE, and later seven showrooms in one day in Qatar… it allow us to gain brand visibility and scale quickly.

Launching 3 showrooms across 3 countries is indeed a challenging exercise – and Shah Rukh Khan is not one to shy away from a challenge!

Tells about your plans to achieve the desired Rs 15,000 crore revenue in three years?

We cannot comment on future revenues but our target is to grow any existing showroom by 4-5 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

What would be your strategy for expanding the geographical footprint further? Any particular area you would be focusing more as we go forward?

We are in this business for the long run, and we believe in weighing our decisions and entering a market only when the time is right for us. We are currently at 122 showrooms across India and West Asia. Of this, 32 showrooms are outside India across 4 markets.

The current plan is to consolidate our presence in the domestic market. The Northern, Central and Eastern parts of India are markets that we would like to focus on.

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