Business Expansion May, 17 2017

We are obsessed with delivering a positive customer experience at our stores: Atul Sinha

Caratlane maintains a pleasant bond with all its franchisees and looks forward to grow even faster this year.

By Ekta Sharma
We are obsessed with delivering a positive customer experience at our stores: Atul Sinha

Caratlane is now widely known to offer a distinctive shopping experience to its patrons both at its stores and on the e-shop. The brand maintains a pleasant bond with all its franchisees and looks forward to grow even faster this year. We did an interaction with Atul Sinha- Sr. Vice President, Marketing & Retail Sales, CaratLane on the plans for Caratlane, association with Tanishq, handling the competition and much more. Read on .......

Your partnership with Tanishq was a major moment of joy. Anything bigger and better you are planning soon?
Tanishq’s association with us, through a strategic investment by the Titan Company, is very meaningful to us, especially since Tanishq was created with the express purpose of making jewellery an object of adornment and beauty and bringing purity, quality and transparency into the jewellery industry; while CaratLane was created to keep the spirit of beautiful jewellery alive. Together, we share a common mission - to offer beautiful jewellery and a distinctive shopping experience that fits today’s values and lifestyles

What do you think is the best part about operating via franchise model?
There are many benefits of building our retail network through franchisees. Franchisees come with a strong entrepreneurial spirit which helps us grow the business well. They also often bring in a lot of local knowledge that is crucial in choosing the right location and building a good clientele for the store. Apart from these two benefits, franchisees also bring in their own capital and hence it helps us expand our business more quickly.

Who is your competition and what is your biggest strength and strategy that beats them?
Our intent is not to worry about competition but to stay focussed on our mission - to make beautiful jewellery that is affordable, accessible and forever wearable. We want to continuously raise the bar in making modern, wearable designs. We want to keep innovating and leveraging technology to deliver a better customer experience, both online and at our stores.

How many current stores do you have? Plans for this year?
We now have 16 retail stores across India - the newest ones being at Gold Souk Mall (Gurgaon), High Street Phoenix (Mumbai), Mall of India (Noida), Phoenix Marketcity (Pune) and Koramangala (Bangalore). We are planning to open more stores in the coming months. Our stores are very different from the typical Indian jewellery store, which tend to be very large, with a guard and an usher who walks you in. Our stores are designed for the customer who walks into a mall or a duty-free shop. There is no glass and you can walk right up to the products. You can touch, feel and experience the jewellery without any pressure. It’s more inviting than what the retail store environment currently is in India. Our stores allows our customers to touch, feel and experience the brand

There are a lot of new locations where brands are opening their stores apart from malls. What do you think is the new and trendy locale for opening a jewellery store?
CaratLane has a footprint of only 16 stores today. There is a huge opportunity for us to open many more stores across the country. But we want to first focus our business in the metro cities before we move on to mini-metros or tier II cities.

What are the major challenges ahead of you? How are you overcoming them?
Given that we are a relatively new brand in the jewellery industry, one of our biggest challenges is to build awareness of our brand and give potential customers a better idea about the kind of jewellery we sell. We are doing this by building our communication not just through traditional media routes such as print and hoardings, but also through digital media like Facebook and Google. Word of mouth also plays a crucial role in building a clientele for our stores. This is why we are obsessed with delivering a positive customer experience at our stores.

Any plans for diversifications into newer segments?
We plan to continue our focus on solitaires and precious jewellery at this point in time. We have also recently made Nebula by Titan watches available at CaratLane. 

Related: Franchising is an extremely powerful tool: Yashovardhan Gupta

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