‘PLATINUM EVARA HAS GROWN 15-20% IN H1’
VAISHALI BANERJEE, managing director – India, Platinum Guild International (PGI), speaks to Solitaire about the global trends that underpin its latest jewellery lines and platinum’s growing popularity as the metal of choice among young Indian women.
What new collections has PGI introduced this year?
This year, PGI has presented Platinum Evara and a new range of Platinum Love Bands.
Platinum Evara is inspired by the ‘Modern Feminine’ global design trend. We have reinterpreted this trend to create a range that is relevant to the modern Indian design sensibility – light, smart and chic. This trend explores fluidity through interlinks. The range interprets a palate of classic motifs like circles, petals and linear frames to create elegant and delicate Evara neckwear, earrings and bracelets. The Platinum Bond, which is an integral part of the brand and design, has been adapted to compliment the feminine contours, while remaining meaningful.
The new range of Platinum Love Bands embodies masculine and feminine design nuances, which connect with each other through a single design element. The global trend of ‘Bold Minimalism’ is the inspiration behind this range. Diamonds have been used to accentuate the design and femininity for the woman’s rings, while a substantive metal look with an interplay of textures and finishes adds the necessary gravitas to the men’s range.
Could you tell us about the year-on-year growth of Evara?
Platinum Evara has seen a growth of around 15-20% in sales in the first six months of 2017 itself.
We now look forward to a good festive season. With the growing demand for Platinum Evara, we have put together a beautiful line that we will be launching in the second half of the year, well before the wedding season sets in.
How many retailers are selling platinum jewellery in India? Other than southern India, are there any new regions that are warming up to this rare metal?
We have a presence in about 950+ stores across India. While the South has historically been our biggest market and will remain a very strong region for platinum, the West too is looking very promising for us, especially Gujarat.
For the year 2017, our attempts have been to grow the market in the North and the East.
Interestingly, platinum is growing as modern retailers pan-India are catering to younger audiences, as it signifies togetherness, relationships and rare and eternal love.
One of the main selling points of platinum jewellery was its rarity and higher value over gold. With platinum now becoming cheaper than gold, is it losing some of its investment appeal? Alternatively, has this created a spurt in demand for platinum jewellery in India?
The metal price is not the only factor that drives demand for platinum jewellery in India or globally, it is the emotional quotient. PGI’s strategy has been to create a distinct and differentiated space for platinum by creating an ownership of the ‘gift of love’ segment. Over the years, platinum has been established as the symbol of love. And it is reflected in the consumer’s desire and aspiration as per our brand track study — 40% of young Indian women consider platinum as their first choice of metal.
Platinum serves as a great business opportunity for retailers, as it targets and brings in young urban consumers, a high potential segment for the retailers. Platinum has built its appeal as a symbol of love and is bought and gifted to celebrate emotionally significant occasions. Hence, the price of the metal is not the only driver for purchase of platinum. At the current price however, there is a great opportunity to tap into the desire and aspiration for platinum among the young urban consumers to expand the retailer’s business further.
How is PGI addressing the new, growing segment of millennial buyers?
Even when we started in the year 2000, we were clearly focussed on the young, urban and affluent Indian population. We looked at a consumer group who considered platinum not just for its investment value, but more for its aspirational and emotional meaning.
Our strategy in India has always been driven by a sharp consumer focus and geared to provide for the unmet needs of the identified target audience. We have invested extensively in consumer research to unearth insights and build key sub-brands that address these need-gaps.
With this focus we introduced our brands Platinum Evara and Platinum Love Bands, as this audience relates to brands more than generic products or categories. Each of our brands is positioned perfectly for this audience and speaks eloquently to these consumers, through their emotional quotient, innovation and beautiful designs.
PGI launched its 100% hallmarked jewellery to address the other key need of authenticity, transparency and provenance which is very important for this audience. All authentic platinum jewellery in India comes with a Quality Assurance Card and bears the purity hallmark of “Pt 950” stamped inside the piece, assuring its buyers of the highest standard of quality and authenticity in the jewellery industry.