With the price of gold touching the sky, costume jewellery is more in demand. This has led to the emergence of many brands in the fashion jewellery sector, and Bracialeto is one such brand. In an interview Viral Shah, CEO, Bracialeto shares with us the brand’s future aspirations via franchising.
Abha Garyali (AG): Share with us the inception; growth and success of ‘Bracialeto’, the jewellery store? How has been your experience in the entrepreneurial world so far?
Viral Shah (VS): The idea of Bracialeto originally came to me on a foreign trip. That is when we decided to create our first product and test it in the Indian market. The response to this was great and the customers were extremely curious about our products. After six months of research, we introduced our patent locking. We have come a long way since then with changes specially suited for the Indian market. Anklets and other such jewellery items were introduced based on customer feedback.
I have spent more than two decades in the diamond industry and around four years in Europe and US. My entrepreneurial journey has been overwhelming. I had some new experiences and learnt new skills on the retail front.
AG: When and why did you opt for the franchise route for Bracialeto?
VS: After a year and half of Bracialeto’s launch, we decided to take the franchise route. The USP of our product is that our customers have the unique opportunity to choose their own beads and design their jewels instantly. The franchisee’s job is to guide and help them. Their knowledge and interaction is the key for satisfaction here. The franchisee has an edge in terms of local knowledge and a low cost outlay. This partnership ideally proves as a win-win situation for both. This in turn, helps the company achieve speedy expansion and we believe that this is the perfect route for Bracialeto.
AG: What is the success mantra for Bracialeto? In what ways is it different from other jewellery stores?
VS: Bracialeto is unique in many ways. The idea of designing one’s own jewellery is our USP. One can choose from a range of interchangeable Murano handmade glass beads in a play of colours and patterns with decorations and intricate lively details. Bracialeto jewellery is crafted in 92.5 per cent sterling silver. Currently, there is no comparable product in the market. As a pioneer in this field our journey started from scratch, whether it was visual merchandising, packaging or even kiosk design.
AG: What are the new initiatives for success that the company has taken in the present year?
VS: Bracialeto is always looking for different ideas to build their brand. We are currently busy planning a new collection which will be a more high-end collection as compared to our other previous collections. Bracialeto will be coming out with a brand new cutlery line soon as well. It will be launched by a Bollywood celebrity under B & B (Bracialeto and Beyond).
AG: Where do you see the brand in five years time? What are your plans till the end of 2012?
VS: By 2012 end, we are working towards three kiosks and 60 outlets.
AG: How many franchise outlets does Bracialeto presently has?
VS: Bracialeto has 25 outlets in total and 9 are franchised.
AG: What according to you is the scope for aspiring franchisees in this business? Is the future bright in the years to come?
VS: Accessories are the fastest growing market, especially the fashion and imitation jewellery segment. India with 17 per cent of world population has the lowest median age of 24. The growth story has just started.
Murano glass beads in sterling silver (92.5 % pure silver) offer the chic and classy European look. Beads and charms have been there for 10,000 years (African to Indus civilizations) and will be there for another 10,000 years to come!
AG: What are the qualities and qualifications that you seek for in your franchisees? Is it essential to have a jewellery background? How much investment is required by aspiring franchisees?
VS: Franchisees do require prior retail experience but it is essential that they are passionate. A new idea or product needs more efforts but the results are definitely worth it.
AG: Share with us the challenges that can be faced by your franchisees? How can these be overcome?
VS: New product or new concept takes a while to set in. Rent is a challenge. Learning and following a system and retaining the best or front-line employees are the top challenges. These can be best overcome by having realistic expectations and patience.