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.

Solitaire - - INDUSTRY INSIGHT -

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.

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