Saraf recently spoke to BW Applause and Everything Experiential about the current state of the jewellery industry and his vision for the group
Aisshpra Gems and Jewels are 3rd Generation Jewellers, established in 1940. For the last 78 years the Group has been providing exceptional jewellery pieces and unmatched service to our customers. The jewellery at Aisshpra is largely for the masses with gold, diamonds and gemstones dominating the entire range of inventory. There is also a fair amount of silver jewellery and artefacts and soon Aisshpra is also starting a bit of fashion jewellery in response to the needs of the local consumers.
Vaibhav Saraf, Director, Aishhpra Gems & Jewels recently spoke to BW Applause and Everything Experiential about the current state of the jewellery industry and his vision for the group.
What are your thoughts on ‘whether gold is the finest wedding investment still?
Gold is the only wearable investment and a luxury asset that only appreciates with time. For example, you can do the best of the decor on your wedding day but you cannot resell that decor in an emergency.
When it comes to gold, you are not spending the money you are investing in and this also gives an asset to the newlywed for their future or for their generations to cherish. Since the pandemic, when gold outperformed every asset and proved its mettle, it has earned newfound respect amongst the younger generation of brides and investors who have started showcasing more interest in the yellow metal.
Which piece of jewellery do people invest in today’s weddings?
In India, various cultures consider different types of jewellery or karigari as important. Mangalsutra is universal for every Indian bride and it is something she wears every day so that is something every wedding needs to invest in. Along with that, bridal jewellery includes head-to-toe pieces starting from mang tika to earrings to necklace to kamarbandh to bangles to hathphools to anklets to toe rings. Depending on the budget the family decides how many sets and how many accessories they will have for the wedding. Groom’s jewellery has become equally important as brides in recent years.
Do you think the jewellery industry survived the pandemic?
The yellow metal revived the obsession of Indians for gold during the pandemic. The last two years had their ups and downs for all sectors but overall, brands have seen an expansion in retail and digital presence. The jewellery industry has been a traditionally strong-standing industry, with businesses staying unaffected for a good part of the last century. So yes, the industry has survived the pandemic and has become stronger.
Tell us about the revenue prospect of Aishhpra Group?
Jewelry is almost essential in Indian culture, regardless of the region in consideration. 25% on a year-on-year basis and over 40% compared to pre-covid sales.
Coming to our revenue, pre-covid our turnover was close to around Rs 600 crores and this year we expect to cross Rs 1000 crore turnover. The jewellery industry might have gone through ups and downs due to the pandemic, but we’ve been going stronger. We have signed two more stores this year which will be opening next year. For the next year, we are projecting another growth of around 20 to 25% for the next financial year as well.
Has the demand come down due to rising inflation?
When it comes to gold and jewellery, it is an essential purchase, especially around the festive season and wedding season. The demand of the category goes through short-term fluctuations due to factors like Inflation mixed with off-season etc. But on year-on-year basis when we compare, it does find its own course in an upward direction.
What is your marketing strategy going to be this year, which mediums are you spending on the most?
With the newer generation being tech-savvy, we have started reducing our budget on ATL and increased our media spending on various social media platforms with Instagram being the leader, and YouTube.
BTL advertising has more impact on the target consumers and it increases our penetration in small localities too.
Talking about marketing strategy, people in smaller towns still prefer that one-on-one connection so what we essentially do is make a list of people getting married during the wedding seasons by collecting data from various sources and we send the brides and the grooms small gifts before the wedding, people appreciate the gestures here that the brand is looking out for us and then they give our jewellery brand an opportunity by buying their wedding jewellery from us.