Our re­tail part­ners need in­no­va­tive prod­ucts that seek to de-com­modi­tise the sec­tor and al­low them to ap­peal to their con­sumers and earn good prof­its.

Solitaire - - PASSING THROUGH -

Peo­ple across the globe are cut­ting down on their lux­ury spend­ing. What are your sales ex­pec­ta­tions for Forever­mark in 2016? Stephen Lussier:

While we have seen macroe­co­nomic un­cer­tain­ties across the world, for­tu­nately Forever­mark sales have been grow­ing very strongly. Our world­wide sales were up 40% in 2015 which is re­mark­able given the global eco­nomic sce­nario. We saw growth in our key coun­tries – US, In­dia and China, and con­tinue to per­form very well. We couldn’t be more pleased. Our sales fig­ures are proof of the power of our con­sumer propo­si­tion. Con­sumers around the world find our brand to be very com­pelling. We are sure Forever­mark will con­tinue to grow this year as well.

What is Forever­mark’s strat­egy for In­dia in 2016? Stephen Lussier:

In­dia is the third largest mar­ket for Forever­mark and it is one of the fastest grow­ing mar­kets. We are very op­ti­mistic. 2015 was a good year for Forever­mark In­dia. We were up 35% in terms of vol­ume from the pre­vi­ous year. I think it is hard to find other brands grow­ing at the same rate in the world or even in In­dia in the cur­rent eco­nomic con­di­tions. When we look at the emerg­ing mid­dle class mar­ket, the mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties are going to grow man­i­fold in the next 5–10 years. And we should be able to grow along with it if we ex­e­cute our plans prop­erly. Our plan is two-fold. One is to deepen our en­gage­ment with our ex­ist­ing part­ners. We have got the best jew­ellers in In­dia as our part­ners. We want to de­velop this op­por­tu­nity with them. Our sec­ond pri­or­ity is to con­stantly in­no­vate. We are launch­ing the new Artemis col­lec­tion which I think is very in­no­va­tive in our sec­tor. Through this col­lec­tion we are bring­ing in cre­ativ­ity from the lux­ury fash­ion world into some­thing that is re­ally time­less – di­a­mond jew­ellery. In­no­va­tive strik­ing de­signs gen­er­ate ex­cite­ment for our sec­tor. We are going to launch an­other one in the months to fol­low. We want to use Forever­mark to bring new cus­tomers into the sec­tor. The In­dian woman has money to spend; she just needs a com­pelling propo­si­tion. A great ex­am­ple of that is our Capricci nose ring col­lec­tion which we launched last year. It sur­prised us with its pop­u­lar­ity and we de­cided to su­per­charge it this year with a tele­vi­sion cam­paign that will run from now un­til the mid­dle of May. We want to make the con­cept of di­a­monds very ac­ces­si­ble and of­fer some­thing women can wear ev­ery day. (L to R) Sachin Jain, Athiya Shetty, Bibhu Mo­ha­p­a­tra and Stephen Lussier at the launch of the Artemis col­lec­tion.

What are the chal­lenges in ex­pand­ing the Forever­mark brand within In­dia? Stephen Lussier:

The chal­lenges are not rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent from any­where else in the world. For any brand to grow, you need to have a com­pelling sell­ing propo­si­tion for your con­sumers – cur­rent and fu­ture, as well as a com­pelling propo­si­tion for your re­tail part­ners. And I think that’s why Forever­mark has grown as fast as it has. The idea that the con­sumer is buy­ing a prod­uct which is rare, beau­ti­ful and eth­i­cally sourced con­nects with the con­sumer’s de­sires.

Sachin Jain:

When we started, the re­tail land­scape in In­dia was very frag­mented and seg­mented. North­ern In­dia is com­pletely dif­fer­ent from South­ern In­dia. The re­tail in­fra­struc­ture in the South is much bet­ter in terms of larger for­mat stores and chain stores. We took the chal­lenge and turned it into an op­por­tu­nity by part­ner­ing with re­tail­ers across the coun­try and then working around their re­spec­tive mod­els. We also trained hu­man re­source on the floors, at a re­gional level as well as at an in­di­vid­ual level to bring ev­ery­one on the same plane and to en­sure that ev­ery­one speaks the lan­guage of di­a­monds. For a brand, good qual­ity re­tail space is im­por­tant. The in­dus­try also needs to do a lot more to at­tract the right tal­ent in the re­tail in­dus­try.

The men’s jew­ellery seg­ment has been grow­ing in In­dia. Does Forever­mark plan to launch more col­lec­tions ded­i­cated to the men’s seg­ment? Stephen Lussier:

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