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jewellery retail 2010-08-30

Adding sparkle to franchise profits

Gitanjali Jewels, the flagship concept of Gitanjali Group is known for its exquisite jewellery line that includes classic, ethnic, and causal designs under multiple brands and collections. Santosh Shrivastav, MD, Gitanjali Jewels Retail Pvt. Ltd shares the success story of his company in an interview.

Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Shed some light on the origin, growth and success of Gitanjali Jewels Retail Pvt. Ltd?

Santosh Shrivastav (SS): We started with three company owned stores in Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru in the year 2007 and in a span of three years, we have touched 70 stores pan-India. Gitanjali Jewels is into jewellery retailing through different business models. It offers excellent business opportunity to those who are interested in luxury and lifestyle industry.

RK: What inspired Gitanjali Jewels to take up the franchise route to expand the business in India?

SS: In developing countries like India, franchising business models have proved to be successful as the reach and the connectivity with vast population becomes faster and easier. Franchising model helped us to cover a wide geography and mark our presence in different places.

RK: What is the USP of Gitanjali Jewels Retail Pvt. Ltd?

SS: Unlike its competitors who are rigid in their franchise models, Gitanjali Jewels has developed a flexible model to suit the needs of the market and the franchisees. The returns on investment are well planned and executed.

RK: What latest initiatives have been introduced in Gitanjali Jewels Retail Pvt. Ltd?

SS: The latest initiative has been the online POS system, which has helped reduce the lead time in the entire jewellery value chain. Besides this, we have introduced Me Solitaire and Me Design Studio, a revolutionary concept in jewellery customisation.

RK: What are the eligibility criteria for selecting the franchisees of your company?

SS: The prospective franchisee should have the following criteria:

  • A sound reputation in the market
  • A fair knowledge about the current market
  • The zeal and willingness to be a successful businessman

RK: How many franchised outlets do the company presently have?

SS: Presently, we are operating through 70 stores all over India. We are looking at such markets, which have the potential buying power.

RK: What kind of training and support does a franchisee get after partnering with the company?

SS: The company provides 360 degree support in terms of:

  • Project designing
  • Operations
  • Marketing
  • Recruiting
  • Merchandising

The franchisees as well as their staff members are given specific training about the market and products.

RK: Have you faced any challenges while establishing your business? If yes, what were they and how did you overcome those challenges?

SS: Every business has its own set of challenges, which can be tackled with good strategy and business acumen. One of the major challenges we have faced is the Indian consumer’s preference towards the local jewelers. The only way we could break this clutter is by offering world-class brands with complete assurance.

RK: Any advice for the young entrepreneurs?

SS: Never resist change and be a part of every revolution.

RK: What are the future plans of the company in terms of expansion through franchising?

SS: We do have certain strategies and plans in place to take our franchising model ahead. And one important thing that we are looking out for is to focus on tier II and tier III cities.

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