IN CON­VER­SA­TION “THERE IS AN OP­POR­TU­NITY FOR ON­LINE AND BRICKAND-MORTAR SET-UPS TO LEVER­AGE EACH OTHER’S STRENGTHS”

Images Retail - - CONTENTS - – By Shubhra Saini

Atul Sinha- Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent, Off­line Mar­ket­ing, Carat­lane di­vulges the brand’s roadmap for fu­ture.

Carat­lane started its jour­ney as In­dia’s first on­line jew­eller but to­day, with mul­ti­ple stores and Try@home, they have emerged as an Om­nichan­nel jew­eller that stays abreast with the evolv­ing tastes and pref­er­ences of con­sumers. Talk­ing in de­tail about the ex­pan­sion strat­egy of the brand, Atul Sin­hase­nior Vice Pres­i­dent, Off­line Mar­ket­ing, Carat­lane di­vulges the brand’s roadmap for fu­ture…

How do you see the present jewellery mar­ket in In­dia in terms of size and growth po­ten­tial? Where do you see it head­ing in the next five years?

The jewellery mar­ket is huge in In­dia, but with prob­lems that are ripe for dis­rup­tion. And I am proud to say Carat­lane has been a mega dis­rup­tor - we are chang­ing the way jewellery is man­u­fac­tured, sold and bought in In­dia. We are in­no­vat­ing across all di­men­sions with bold­ness; solv­ing prob­lems like man­u­fac­turer-re­tailer con­nect, per­son­al­i­sa­tion, shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence, lack of trans­parency etc.

Give us in­sights about the brand’s ap­proach to­wards Om­nichan­nel re­tail­ing?

We fol­low an Om­nichan­nel strat­egy for all our func­tions - mar­ket­ing, mer­chan­dis­ing, sup­ply chain and cus­tomer ser­vice. We make sure that our cus­tomers feel part of the same ecosys­tem re­gard­less of the medium they are in­ter­act­ing with us with. Our prod­ucts, prices, pro­mo­tions, lan­guage, tonal­ity, iden­tity re­mains con­stant across chan­nels.

Are there any unique ini­tia­tives that you have taken on­line (re­gard­ing so­cial me­dia, e-com­merce, etc.)? How are you lev­er­ag­ing the on­line space to boost your rev­enues and cus­tomer con­nect?

Carat­lane be­lieves in ex­pe­ri­enc­ing jewellery in in­no­va­tive and con­ve­nient ways. Tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion have bet­ter equipped on­line jew­ellers in their bat­tle against phys­i­cal re­tail play­ers. Our brand is now as­so­ci­ated with var­i­ous de­sign in­no­va­tions around so­cial and cul­tural mo­tifs and con­tem­po­rary style. We take a 360-de­gree ap­proach in our mar­ket­ing plans as we see our­selves as an Om­nichan­nel jewellery brand. We have four sales chan­nels that we con­tin­u­ously im­prove upon: On­line, Mo­bile, Re­tail Stores and Try-@-home. Apart from this, we are con­stantly ex­plor­ing other new-age chan­nels.

One of our app - Per­fect look app / ‘Magic Mir­ror,’ gives cus­tomers another in­no­va­tive way to vir­tu­ally try­ing on ear­rings in three di­men­sion (3D). All a cus­tomer needs is to pose in three dif­fer­ent an­gles and our cus­tomised soft­ware will stitch the cus­tomer’s pho­to­graph with the ear­ring and pro­vide a 180-de­gree

dis­play of the ear­ring with ac­tual size on real time ba­sis.

We have just started on our mis­sion to democra­tise jewellery by of­fer­ing chic and con­tem­po­rary jewellery that is beau­ti­ful, ac­ces­si­ble and for­ever wear­able. You can look for­ward to more in­no­va­tive de­signs from us in the fu­ture. We strongly be­lieve that tech­nol­ogy can be lever­aged to pro­vide a bet­ter shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence to our cus­tomers and you can ex­pect some break­through in­no­va­tions from us on this front.

Why are you shift­ing fo­cus off­line and open­ing phys­i­cal stores?

There is an op­por­tu­nity for on­line and brick-and-mortar set-up to lever­age each other’s strengths. We al­ready have 21 re­tail stores in 8 cities across In­dia and 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 du­tyfree 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 al­low our cus­tomers to touch, feel and ex­pe­ri­ence the brand and with such for­mat, it only helps our busi­ness. Our brick-and-mortar pres­ence com­ple­ments our on­line pres­ence rather than com­pete with it.

What is your USP? Do you in­tend on hav­ing a pan In­dia pres­ence soon?

There are few things sig­na­ture to Carat­lane. Few but very ef­fec­tive in bring­ing to­gether a jewellery buy­ing revo­lu­tion. It be­gins with our in­nate quest to com­bine art and tech­nol­ogy which we brought to­gether through our Stream­lan­etm sys­tem. It elim­i­nates in­ef­fi­cien­cies from the sup­ply chain. It keeps our over­heads low, en­ables us to get our items de­liv­ered ef­fi­ciently, and re­sults in sav­ings of up to 20 per­cent over tra­di­tional re­tail stores. Our jewellery is de­signed to min­imise un­nec­es­sary gold weight and in­stead fo­cus on the aes­thetic ap­peal of the jewellery. It is de­signed to suit mod­ern life­style needs so that women can wear it every day. We al­ready have 21 re­tail stores across In­dia and are plan­ning to open more stores in the com­ing months.

Please tell us about your tie-up with Tan­ishq? Do you re­tail Tan­ishq or any as­so­ci­ated Tan­ishq brands in your stores or on your on­line por­tal?

With Ti­tan’s ma­jor­ity ac­qui­si­tion into Carat­lane, the best of In­dia’s jewellery brands now be­long to­gether. Jewellery lovers can look for­ward to more choice and more de­signs as a re­sult of the part­ner­ship and In­dia’s jewellery buy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence con­tin­ues to evolve, only faster. Through this part­ner­ship, we have been able to make greater progress in mak­ing beau­ti­ful and af­ford­able jewellery even more ac­ces­si­ble. We now man­u­fac­ture some of our jewellery at Ti­tan’s state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity at Ho­sur and this helps us get ac­cess to bet­ter de­signs at un­matched qual­ity. We are strate­gi­cally aligned, but op­er­a­tionally in­de­pen­dent. To­gether, we share a com­mon mis­sion - to of­fer beau­ti­ful jewellery and a dis­tinc­tive shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence that fits to­day’s val­ues and life­styles.

The in­vest­ment by Ti­tan and the part­ner­ship with Tan­ishq, In­dia’s lead­ing jewellery brand, has cer­tainly in­fused a greater de­gree of trust amongst po­ten­tial buy­ers at Carat­lane. We have re­cently made Ne­bula by Ti­tan watches avail­able at Carat­lane.

What are the lat­est trends you are notic­ing in to­day’s con­sumers in gen­eral? What kind of prod­ucts are in vogue?

Con­sumers are be­com­ing more and more com­fort­able shop­ping on­line, which will only add to the growth of this seg­ment of jewellery sales. As Carat­lane, we want to help cus­tomers ex­pe­ri­ence jewellery in in­no­va­tive and con­ve­nient ways, by com­ing up with in­no­va­tive ways, from per­son­al­iza­tion to cu­ra­tion to home trial op­tions, to ad­dress con­sumers’ con­cerns.

How has this fis­cal year shaped up so far and what kind of growth rate do you ex­pect over the next cou­ple of years?

It has been a healthy growth month on month.

What are the chal­lenges for Carat­lane presently?

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.

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