Even as gold prices decline, jewellers are doing brisk trade. ET profile six of India’s leading jewellers who are leaving behind a glittering trail — regionally, nationally and even globally.
Mr. Satish Panchariya, Chairman
Key Business Fact: Among top 5 jewellers in the world
Mr. Satish Panchariya, a man with excellent skills and leadership strength, is the Group Chairman of KSS Limited. He belongs to a Marwari business family that has an enriched business background. An entrepreneur with the vision to be one of the leading Business profiles from India at an early age of 17 years, his first step to the world of business was in the year 1989 in the textile industry.
Mr. Satish established a company Alka Spinners Ltd. in the year 1989 and achieved exorbitant achievements in a very short span of time. In the year 1993, the company was renamed as Alka Sales Pvt. Ltd. and later in the year 1994, it was listed at Bombay Stock Exchange as Alka India Ltd.
After having a successful contribution in the textile industry and listing the company in share markets, he started developing a firm interest in equities. He was blessed with Almighty’s gift to learn new business structures in a very swift way. Adding to his milestones in business, he became a co-founder of the Vinayak Sahakari Bank in Ahmedabad. Mr. Panchariya belongs to a business family and they have a bank named Kuber Co-operative Bank in Ahmedabad. The royal family has a keen interest in Investment Banking and this is how Mr. Satish Panchariya developed the same interest.
Mr. Panchariya has achieved such great milestones that he has explicit contacts with listed corporate companies, business profiles and various other top profiles from the industry. With his amazing practical knowledge and a perfect god-gift of learning new things, Mr. Satish Panchariya has exclusive and all updated knowledge about Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) laws, banking laws and pursues in-depth knowledge about Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) & Debt Recovery Laws. Not only this, Mr. Satish has even excelled himself with knowledge about Income Tax, Customs, Excise Laws and all the other important laws of Indian Judiciary. He always desires to do something big and has also achieved such commendable milestones.
Not only this, his global business reach has spread vast enough and currently is a Director at City Gold Group, Australia. City Gold is a leading Gold Mining Company based out at Charter Towers in North Eastern Australia. The Company has invested over $190 million to develop the goldfield, has commenced extracting gold and plans to build up gold production from its underground mines in stages towards 320,000 ozs annually.
Mr. Satish is a very down-to-earth human with qualities such as an honest businessman, a motivating leader and a friendly counselor. He is a one man army who led his goals to glory at a very early age. His knowledge about corporate restructuring, mass psychology, IPOs and debt restructuring is also an outstanding achievement. His younger brother, Mr. Arun Panchariya, a delegate of Liberia is also a young business profile with whom Mr. Satish Panchariya shares his global reach by having offices in Dubai, Mauritius and London. Mr. Arun Panchariya is a businessman who has expanded his business reach not only across India but also across Europe, Middle East and Africa in the fields of trading, textiles, shipping, manufacturing and investment banking.
Adding up to one more milestone under his name, Mr. Satish Panchariya became a group chairman of the KSS Limited Group in the year 2012. He was selected as the Share Holder’s Chairman for his excellent skills in business development. The KSS Limited group currently holds leading brands like K Sera Sera Digital Cinema Pvt. Ltd., K Sera Sera Miniplex Ltd., Birla Gold and Precious Metals Ltd. and Birla Jewels Ltd.
Ms. Nikita Rattanshi – Co-Founder & Director
Key Business Fact: Among top 5 jewellers in the world
Born and brought up in Tanzania, Ms. Nikita Rattanshi moved to India in 2013 to take charge of the ‘Birla Capital & Financial Services’ which catered the Investment Banking and Merchant banking industries, as an Executive Director. The first born scion to a business family, her knack for ‘International Trade’ and a passion for contributing towards the development of the robust Indian economy inspired her to acquire a Masters in International Business.
Her key interests lie in running a huge business empire such as Birla. Ms. Nikita has excelled herself with merchant banking and investment banking and has an excellent practical knowledge about Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI)’s rules and regulations.
Not only this, she has studied over FCCB Transactions, GRD Transactions, Initial Public Offerings, Foreign issues and many other equivalent topics. Because of her exorbitant skills, in the year 2014, she was able to achieve milestones for Birla Financial Distribution and gained a lot of retail experience and third party distribution. She is a leader who has a vast experience in topics such as mass psychology, consumer behavior, retail markets, equities, and various others. She even has a good knowledge regarding Reserve Bank of India (R.B.I) and banking laws.
Ms. Nikita’s intellect and will with a blend of trying and experimenting things, made Birla enter the jewellery market as Birla Gold & Precious Metal Ltd in the year 2014. The company has not only entered the E-Commerce industry but is even launching up its retail stores across the Indian subcontinent in 2015. Her successful E-Commerce startup and tremendous love for jewellery made her come up with Birla Jewels Ltd. Birla Jewels Ltd. also known as BJewelz, is the company’s upcoming retail store which is going to expand over all the cities of India. A tough business mind, her grid and determination, and a positive attitude have made Ms. Nikita Rattanshi one of the young iconic personalities of the 21st century.
As a visionary she plans to see Birla Gold & Precious Metals Limited, establish a market leader, while also being an organization synonymous with the word ‘Gold’ and ‘Trust’.
MP Ahamed, Chairman
Key Business Fact: Among top 5 jewellers in the world
USP: Value for money
Born into a farmer family, MP Ahamed ventured into business in 1979 with an ice-making factory at Kozhikode. The business failed, and in 1981, he started trading spices and copra.
In 1993, the 36-year-old was advised to try his luck in gold. Ahamed, who has studied till high school, took the plunge. “I started with the Rs 50 lakh I had earned from my business and opened the first Malabar Gold & Diamonds showroom at Calicut,” says Ahamed.
At that time, unfair trade practices were rampant. “I started my business with the motto of transparency. We were one of the first in the industry to introduce 100% BIS hallmarked jewellery,” he says. A savvy marketer, Ahamed roped in global branding agency Brand Union to create a distinct corporate image in the highly competitive overseas market.
Malabar now has 82 outlets, of which 52 are in India and 30 in Gulf Cooperation Countries. It plans to expand to more states in India as well as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the US and UK. “We are among the top five jewellery retailer groups in the world, and are striving to become number one,” says Ahamed.
Rajesh Mehta, Chairman
Key Business Fact: Integrated player
USP: No making charges
Rajesh Mehta was a rank holder at the Karnataka higher secondary and senior secondary school examinations. But instead of pursuing higher education, the 16-year-old joined his father, Jaswantrai Mehta, in supplying semiprecious and imitation stones to jewellers. “I gradually developed an interest in the business,” says the 49-year-old Mehta.
In 1982, Mehta borrowed Rs 1,200 from his brother and started manufacturing jewellery in the garage of their Bangalore home. In 1995, Rajesh Exports entered the capital market with a public issue and raised Rs 10 crore.
The company mechanised manufacturing to cut costs to below 1%, enabling it to sell jewellery to retail customers at a ‘real rate per gram’. The company still does not levy making charges.
Mehta has an aggressive roadmap for his business. “Within four years, we plan to have 2,000 showrooms pan-India,” says Mehta.
Suvankar Sen, ED
Key Business Fact: Largest player in West Bengal
USP: Affordable bridal jewellery
When Suvankar Sen (29), joined his family business in 2007, he had an inheritance to build on. His great grandfather, Maranchand Sen, ventured into the gold jewellery business 75 years ago.Suvankar’s grandfather, Prabhat Chandra Sen, joined the business in 1950 and in 1968, opened the first shop in Kolkata’s jewellery hub, Bowbazar. And by the time Suvankar joined the business, his father, Shankar Sen, ran a chain of 30 stores.
“I have added 16 new stores and we have expanded to Odisha, Assam, Jharkhand and Delhi. We now have the largest number of retail outlets in West Bengal,” says Suvankar, an MBA from IMT Ghaziabad. Senco is also exporting to Dubai, Singapore, the US and UK.
Suvankar’s training has helped him give the business a professional edge. “My focus is to highlight the art and creativity that gold artisans from Bengal are famous for,” he says.But the major obstacle, he says, is that customers in West Bengal are extremely price sensitive. This has forced Suvankar to expand his business to other parts of India.
His other regret is that work takes away his leisure time. “I would love to go to Bali, my favourite destination,” says Suvankar, rushing into a video conference with an overseas client.
C Vinod Hayagriv, Managing Director
TURNOVER: Rs 600 crore
Key Business Fact: Jeweller to the rich and famous
USP: World-class design
In the 1800s, Cotha Krishniah Chetty started out by selling Armenian coloured beads to the British in Bangalore Cantonment. The company was appointed as distributor for Rolex of Switzerland, and imported products from Mappin & Webb, and The Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company of London.
“Rolex made diamond-encrusted dials with the name C Krishniah Chetty & Sons on top. Not many companies in the world can claim that honour,” says C Vinod Hayagriv, a fifthgeneration family member who joined the company in 1981, fresh out of school. This year, it is the only Indian company to be selected in an Antwerp contest on design, he adds.
And now that his two gemologist sons have joined the business, the avid golfer and traveller can look back at his own imprint on the company. “Excellence is a process. I am not tired, and that is something I could be happy about,” he says.
TURNOVER: Rs 1,385 crore
Key Business Fact: Public listing in May 2012
USP: Strong brand recognition
When Shrikant Gopaldas Zaveri joined the family business at 19, he already had a business philosophy. “I knew the tricks of the trade and the areas where I could add value to the business,” says Zaveri, who took over as CMD in 2000.
Selling jewellery was in his blood. In 1864, the late Shri Bhimji Zaveri started Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ) in a tiny tin shack at Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazar.
Deep insight into customer behaviour gave TBZ an early edge. In 1938, Bhimji Zaveri’s grandson Gopaldas Zaveri shook up the market by offering a full-value gold buy-back scheme, which is still in operation, says Zaveri. TBZ was also the first to promote lightweight jewellery and offer certified solitaire diamonds, he says.
The company was listed on the stock exchange in May 2012, but the family is still at the helm. “My business is an art and a science,” says Zaveri. He is keen to expand the store network to 57 from the current 23 across India by March 2015.
Dr B Govindan, CMD
TURNOVER: Rs 8,000 crore
Key Business Fact: Kerala’s highest tax-paying retailer
USP: Certified purity
In 1925, when K Bhima Bhattar started Kerala’s first jewellery showroom – a small shop in Alappuzha – he hadn’t dreamt of creating a sprawling chain of two dozen stores across South India. Instead, he focused on a key principle: sell pure gold. “This learning has helped me and my brothers to run the business successfully and to be a part of the lives of countless people,” says Dr B Govindan. The company was the first to implement hallmarking, bar coding and the rate card system, and get an ISO certification among jewellers, he claims.
This focus leaves Bhima with little room to offer discounts. Its other challenge is appealing to young customers.
Govindan’s three daughters and their spouses are helping the brand scale up. In the next five years, the company hopes to add 25 stores across India and establish a stronger presence in West Asia, he says.