Q] Tell us about the Brides of India campaign. How was it conceptualized and what kind of response has it received so far?
The Brides of India Campaign is our tribute to the new-age brides and their awe-inspiring individuality. The concept captures diverse moods of the brides across regions and communities. Through jewellery, the Brides of India Campaign reflects the common thread of wedding – emotions and joy. We are extremely happy with the evolution of the campaign centred on annual themes. The response has been extremely encouraging across the country. The campaign has managed to capture the imagination of the brides. The #MakeWayForTheBride wedding anthem of Brides of India 2021 has garnered six million views so far on social media platforms. This year, the campaign features 13 brides from various parts of the country in 26 unique looks covering a wide range of jewellery.
Q] #MakeWayForTheBride is the ninth edition of this campaign. Tell us about why you decided to take the concept forward for the ninth time?
#MakeWayForTheBride revolves around the grand entry of brides, characteristic of modern-day weddings. Because this is her moment on her big day and she’s here to own it! With the grand entry, the new-age brides are breaking the convention. Since its launch in 2011, the Brides of India campaigns have been helping in establishing us as a premier wedding jeweller.
Q] What impact did having Kareena Kapoor and Anil Kapoor as a part of the campaign have? A big part of your target audience is from down south, why not have a known face from there?
Our celebrity brand ambassadors Kareena Kapoor and Anil Kapoor have a universal appeal which transcends geographies. Their presence in the wedding anthem has enhanced the glamour quotient to the presentation.
Q] Tell us about the kind of spends you are looking at for this marketing campaign and the marketing mix.
The shorter version of the wedding Anthem is being played on television and streamed on OTT platforms as advertisements. On select TV channels and digital platforms, the full-length wedding anthem can be watched. Apart from the wedding anthem, the campaign comprises print ads, hoardings, social media promotions such as Reels, bridal look books, catalogues, product shots and videos, and a dedicated microsite as part of the brand website. The campaign will be activated on ground, with launch events and specially designed visual merchandising elements such as bridal swings.
Q] Tell us about your ‘One India One Gold’ philosophy...
We offer 10 promises to our customers which include transparent price tag indicating the exact manufacturing cost, stone weight, net weight and stone charge of the jewellery, assured lifetime maintenance for the jewellery, 100 percent value for gold when reselling old gold jewellery and zero deduction on exchange, 100 percent BIS hallmarking certifying the purity of gold, IGI and GIA certified diamonds ensuring 28-point quality check of global standards, buyback guarantee and responsible sourcing and fair labour practices. Our initiative, One India One Gold Rate aims to protect the consumer interest by providing them with a uniform gold rate without compromising on purity. Gold has been an inseparable part of Indian tradition since ages. One India One Gold Rate is the outcome of our unwavering belief in our key principles such as consumer interest, transparent business practices, and sustainable and inclusive growth
Q] What kind of market share does Malabar Gold & Diamonds have in the jewellery sector?
In India, our market share is three percent now.
Q] In March, Malabar Gold decided to spend 1600 crore on retail expansion in India, but with the pandemic here, are the footfalls you are receiving at the stores the same as before ...do you feel gold jewellery is a commodity that can be purchased online at all?
As the economy is gradually coming back on track and markets are reopening following the health and safety protocols, we are witnessing a gradual increase in footfalls in all our stores across the country. As customers have become more comfortable buying products online, the trend of buying lightweight jewellery has grown significantly. However, for high-value gold jewellery or bridal jewellery purchase, customers still prefer to visit our showrooms to touch and feel the jewellery before buying.
Q] What plans do you have for the future?
We will launch 56 stores globally with 40 across India and 16 internationally in FY21-22 to further strengthen our retail presence across the globe. The expansion based on the investment outlay of Rs.1,600 crore will generate 1,750 new jobs. In India, the expansion drive will focus on states like Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Kerala. The global expansion will further strengthen our presence in markets like Singapore, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and UAE. This is part of our ambitious expansion plan to triple the retail network from over 250 showrooms this year to 500 outlets by 2023.
Q] Owing to Onam...what kind of increase in sales did you witness in the Kerala market....is the sentiment better than last year?
Yes, as the market sentiment is gradually reviving, we are expecting a healthy increase in sales compared to last year.
Q] What were the challenges Malabar Gold faced during the pandemic?
The pandemic has severely impacted the jewellery retail business across the country. The demand has decreased significantly as saving lives and livelihoods became the concern for all. Our showrooms were shut during the nationwide lockdown aimed at decreasing the pandemic spread. We faced operational challenges during the pandemic. But we supported all the initiatives of respective state governments to reduce the severity of the infection spread. However, our business at the moment is gradually getting back on track with the unlocking of the economy. One of the key silver linings is stronger customer engagement with digital channels. As work from home, social distancing, etc. have changed the consumer behaviour, this gives us an opportunity to develop a new customer engagement narrative which is focused and more feedback-driven.