Asmi, a premium diamond jewellery brand from the house of Gitanjali group offers an affordable range of jewellery. In an interview Pankaj Shah, CEO, Asmi Diamond Jewellery shares his views on the expansion of the brand via franchising.
Priyanka Rai (PR): Share with us the inception; growth and success of Asmi?
Pankaj Shah (PS): Asmi Diamond Jewellery was originally introduced by the Diamond Trading Corporation (DTC) in the year 2002 and was subsequently handed over to Gitanjali Gems Limited in 2006.
Asmi in Sanskrit means “I AM”, stands for the woman with a distinct identity. The brand value & the concept of Asmi is for the woman of spirit. Brand’s mission is to empower women and applaud her for various achievements in her life. The design concept of Asmi Diamond Jewellery revolves around curvilinear forms that symbolise the ‘inner fire of woman.’ Asmi is sold across 900+ selling points and is present is 350 cities across India. Within a span of initial four years, Asmi had grown over 200 per cent because of the visionary strategy behind it. Asmi has majorly focused on tier II and III tier cities. It has crashed the dominance of the local jewellers by introducing brand which is affordable, elegant and light in weight.
PR: What inspired the brand to take the franchise route?
PS: We do not consider jewellery as a commodity. We marjory focus on affordable price point, balanced gold and diamond ratio, quality of diamonds and trust and goodwill because these are the things that customer seeks. The reason to opt for the franchisee route is mainly because franchising helps to ensure a good shopping experience and build loyalty. It conveys a clear message of our brand values to prospective customerIn a franchise store we offer more options to select the product.
PR: What is the specialty of your brand? What are the challenges you have faced during your entrepreneurial journey so far?
PS: Asmi jewellery depicts the various stages of a woman’s life. It offers a range of exquisitely designed & perfectly crafted diamond jewellery. The USP of our brand is that its gains customers’ confidence with its affordable price point, balanced gold and diamond ratio, quality products and trust and goodwill. We provide our customers the ‘Third Party Certified for Diamond’ Authenticity. We use18 Kt Gold which is hallmarked by BIS. All our jewellery is insured for the end consumer with exchange and life time buy back policy. Asmi also specialises in creating innovative everyday wear jewelley which is light weight yet stylish; a gift that is remembered and cherished for a lifelong.
The major challenges faced are from local jewelers as they have been dominating the market for years altogether and the brand pricing as it would be slightly expensive than the local jeweler.
PR: What strategies has the brand adopted to deal with the competition in the market?
PS: Asmi is the first jewellery Brand to address the needs of the Indian woman; asserting her identity, making her own destiny, rewarding her own toils and therefore buying her own jewellery and not waiting to be gifted.
Products that sell well are rings, pendant & earrings with the average selling price being Rs 20,000 - 55,000 (the finishing of the pieces is very good with optimal usage of gold). Asmi Jewellery stands out in comparison to others is because the brand is authentic, affordable, and accessible
PR: What according to you is the scope for aspiring franchisees in this business? Is the future bright in the years to come?
PS: Franchising offers Customer satisfaction and loyalty which in turn gives high level of inventory turnover. The business owner who wants to initiate the business for them we offer, training program, relevant materials and allocate personnel. Initial training at commencement and on-going training will conduct at regular intervals. Our team provides the marketing and promotional advice/ assistance with appropriate business planning and ongoing help with operational problems.
PR: What are the qualities and qualifications that you seek for in your franchisees? How much investment is required by aspiring franchisees?
PS: For the brand expansion we are looking strong business mindset partner. The prospective franchisee should be a resident or having business in the territory and great financial backing is extremely important.
The prospective franchisee would require an investment of minimum Rs 1-2 crore along with an area 350 – 500 sq.ft for Asmi EBO. For Asmi MBO, the investment would require Rs. 2-4 crore and area require 500-900 sq.ft.