Gitanjali Group is a well known jewellery company having wide range of brands in its portfolio. The company also has Diya Jewellery as one of its premium brand offering reasonable range of diamond jewellery. In an interview Niyat Parekh, CEO, Diya Jewllery talks about the brand and its future expansion plans via franchising.
Abha Garyali (AG): Share with us the inception, growth and success of Diya.
Niyat Parekh (NP): Launched in 2006 by the Gitanjali Group, Diya Diamond Jewellery expanded its presence in India through distributors, retailers and shop-in-shop formats. Since 2010, Diya has entered the franchising market and has opened 15 stores across India till date.
AG: What inspired Gitanjali to introduce Diya as one of its diamond brands?
NP: Diya is the distilled essence of the Gitanjali Group’s almost five-decade long engagement with jewellery. Diya was launched as a brand to fulfill every woman's dream of possessing a diamond. Diya makes their dream come true by presenting them exquisite collection of diamond jewellery. Diya is modern yet traditional jewellery, priceless yet affordable and caters to the innermost desires of woman of every age. Technically also Diya diamond jewellery, delivers the best because of lower gold weight content and a high value diamond variable. Diya is the best economically priced brand that can be bought or gifted by anyone or everyone.
AG: When and what motivated you to adopt the franchise route for expansion of Diya?
NP: The retail industry in India is growing and presents bright future prospects. This is almost a Rs 80 thousand crore domestic jewellery market in India where the growth of branded jewellery is approximately 40 per cent every year. So, Diyaplanned opening exclusive stores as they are reliable, organised and penetrate well in the jewellery markets. Diya is targeting the Tier II and Tier III markets specifically.
AG: Diya has reached among the top jewellery brands. What strategies did the brand adopt to reach to this level? What strategies will you adopt in future to handle the competition in this sector?
NP: Diya is a brand that is designed with mixture of gold and diamonds. This makes the price range affordable. We provide a wide range of product designs. We started with distribution, retailing and shop in shop. Then over the time, we initiated franchise outlets and are growing with every passing year. Diya provides support to the franchise owners with store designs and layout, training to the staff, operational support and marketing support with advertisements, PR and other promotions.
AG: Where do you see the brand in five years?
NP: Diya Diamond is placed in franchise stores, shop in shop, luxury outlets, etc.Diya plans on expanding through exclusive franchise stores. Diya targets the Tier II and Tier III cities as well, as they are the new possible jewellery markets. In the coming financial year, we look on expanding at least a total of 20 stores in India. In the next five years we see ourselves with a stronger presence. We want to be considered in the league of superbrands like Nakshatara, Gili from the Gitanjali Group.
AG: What according to you is the scope for aspiring franchisees in this business? Is the future of this industry bright in the years to come?
NP: Unorganised sector still dominates the Indian gems and jewellery market. But this trend is expected to change in near future, with organised sector fast becoming the mainstream sales channel. The franchise industry has grown with a considerable rate since the economic slowdown and franchising presents a lot of opportunities in the fashion and lifestyle industry. With the growth in the jewellery market and with different brands competing for making presence in the market, franchising for jewellery is in demand. Diya Diamond has a wide collection of jewellery that is stylish yet affordable.
AG: How many franchisees do you have presently in India? What are your plans for 2012?
NP: We have our franchise outlets in 15 stores till date that are positioned in the metros as well as the Tier II and Tier III markets. By 2012 we plan on adding five to six more stores to our kitty.
AG: What are the qualities and qualifications that you seek for in your franchisees? How much investment is required by aspiring franchisees?
NP: We are looking for franchise holders who blend well with the brand vision and brand values and who can very well represent our brand in the market. We look out for a minimum investment of Rs 1.5 crore for an area of 500-1,000 sq. ft on locations like high street, malls and shopping complexes. We provide our franchise owners with marketing and public relations activities that can encourage and popularise the outlet and increase the footfalls throughout the year.