Themes: Brand Management
Period : 1990-2002
Organization : Gili, Tanishq, Carbon, Oyzterbay and Trendsmith
Pub Date : 2002
Countries : India
Industry : Jewellery
- Devika Gidwani, Director of Diamond Information Centre, India
In the late 1990s, the Indian jewellery market witnessed a shift in consumer perceptions of jewellery. Instead of being regarded as only an investment option, jewellery was being prized for its aesthetic appeal. In other words, the focus seemed to have shifted from content to design. Trendy, affordable and lightweight jewellery soon gained familiarity. Branded jewellery also gained acceptance forcing traditional jewellers to go in for branding.
The branded jewellery segment occupied only a small share of the total jewellery market because of the mindset of the average Indian buyer who still regarded jewellery as an investment. Moreover, consumers trusted only their family jewellers when buying jewellery. Consequently, the branded jewellery players tried to change the mindset of the people and woo customers with attractive designs at affordable prices.
Before the liberalization of the Indian economy in 1991, only the Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC) and the State Bank of India (SBI) were allowed to import gold. The abolition of the Gold Control Act in 19922, allowed large export houses to import gold freely.
Exporters in export processing zones were allowed to sell 10 percent of their produce in the domestic market. In 1993, gold and diamond mining were opened up for private investors and foreign investors were allowed to own half the equity in mining ventures. In 1997, overseas banks and bullion suppliers were also allowed to import gold into India. These measures led to the entry of foreign players like DeBeers,3 Tiffany4 and Cartiers5 into the Indian market.
1] Business India, February 17, 2002.
2] The Gold Control Act of 1962 banned the holding of "primary" or bar gold, except by authorized dealers and goldsmiths, and sought to limit the jewellery holdings of families.
3] For more than a century, the name DeBeers was synonymous with diamonds. The company led the world in exploration, mining, and marketing of diamonds. As part of a venture agreement, De Beers SA transferred to De Beers LV (an independently managed company established in 2001 by DeBeers SA and LVMH Moet Hennessy - Louis Vuitton, the world's leading luxury goods company) the worldwide rights to use the DeBeers brand name for luxury goods in consumer markets.
4] Tiffany & Co (Tiffany) is an internationally renowned retailer, designer, manufacturer and distributor of jewellery, timepieces, sterling silverware, crystal, stationery, fragrances and accessories. In 2002, Tiffany had more than 100 stores and boutiques in US and international markets.
5] The Paris-based Cartiers is the maker and seller of watches, wedding and engagement rings, diamond jewellery and other luxury goods.