In India, the Platinum Guild International’s (PGI) marketing efforts are helping drive the rapid growth in platinum jewellery demand. Demand in June was also boosted by a rush to buy jewellery to take advantage of the lower prices just before the introduction of the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 1 July.
Ms. Vaishali Banerjee, MD India, PGI here in an exclusive interview with G2J, assesses the platinum jewellery’s performance in India.
- We have already seen platinum jewellery sales grow at 42% from Jan-June 2017 with our key strategic partners and the overall expectations are high for H2 2017. According to our annual Retail Trade Barometer study, the projected growth for platinum jewellery is at 22%
- Our designs at PGI are reinterpreted keeping in mind the urban Indian desire for subtle and elegant pieces which makes platinum jewellery highly aspirational for the today’s consumers
How do you expect the platinum growth in 2017? What would be the impact of GST on platinum jewellery sales in India?
Vaishali Banerjee: Organized trade has welcomed GST at 3% which has brought in standardized taxes. Currently the challenge is implementation, which most of our partners are already working on. The demand for Platinum jewellery in India is driven by consumers who want to celebrate emotionally significant moments in their lives which cannot be postponed.
We have already seen platinum jewellery sales grow at 42% from Jan-June 2017 with our key strategic partners and the overall expectations are high for H2 2017. According to our annual Retail Trade Barometer study, the projected growth for platinum jewellery is at 22%
What would be PGI’s marketing strategy in 2017?
Vaishali Banerjee: Our continuous investment in consumer research to unearth relevant consumer insight has translated into robust marketing strategies.
Our focus this year continues to be the young, urban woman, who prefers lighter yet smart & chic jewellery. With that in mind, this year we will continue to expand our brand Platinum Evara that includes neckwear, earrings and bracelets, as well as a complete new range of Platinum Love Bands.
The Evara collection celebrates the global design trend of ‘Modern Feminine’. This trend has been reinterpreted keeping in mind the urban Indian sensibility. It explores fluidity through interlinks – specifically, interlinking various classic motifs to create the elegant and delicate Evara collection. The jewellery is modern, chic and smart. The Platinum Bond, which is an integral part of the brand and design, has been adapted to compliment the feminine contours, while remaining meaningful.
‘Bold Minimalism’ is the inspiration behind the Platinum Love Bands range. This trend combined with design hooks like contemporary love is all about being personal, intimate. Etchings of a rare love that last for a lifetime are the underlying themes across the 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.
Our men’s collection has also been a very dynamic category, and this year we would be looking at building distribution channels for the range.
Let’s talk about the trend 2017?
Vaishali Banerjee: Our consumer today is an evolved individual who is aware of international trends and is excited to try out new things. They desire contemporary designs that have an emotional appeal, and platinum has been known the world over for its symbolic designs. Our designs at PGI are reinterpreted keeping in mind the urban Indian desire for subtle and elegant pieces which makes platinum jewellery highly aspirational for the today’s consumers.
Throw some light on the recently concluded Buyer and Seller meet and Season of love.
Vaishali Banerjee: The 2nd edition of Platinum Buyer and Seller meet, which was held in Chennai proved to be very successful. PGI, in collaboration with nine manufacturers presented a diverse portfolio of over 4500 pieces, that included a range of best sellers and new developments in core categories like Love Bands, Evara and Men’s jewellery at the meet. The event was attended by 66 leading PGI strategic retail partners. The meet, also saw an increase in retailer engagement, for the newly launched collection by the manufacturers.
The timing was apt, as it was held right after a very successful second edition of ‘Season of Love’, and our strategic partners were looking at opportunities to grow their platinum business. We also received a heartfelt response from participant retailers for the business generated and also for the awards night.
Is there any plan to organize PLAT design competition in India?
Vaishali Banerjee: PLAT Africa presented by the world’s leading mining conglomerate of the precious metal Anglo American Platinum, in association with Metal Concentrators, is a prestigious competition open to students/apprentice and professional jewellers in South Africa. This is our second year of association with them and we are honoured to be a part of it.
Interview by Suresh Chotai