Kerala-based Chemmanur Fashion Jewellers is opening its first showroom in the Mumbai metropolitan region – in the planned township of Navi Mumbai - on 15 February. Yuvraj Singh and Paravathi Omanakuttan will grace the opening of the showroom, located on the ground floor in Raghuleela Mall. Boby Chemmanur, chairman and managing director, who is all set to give Mumbaiites a taste of Southern hospitality, shares his plans with Aruna Rathod of domain-b on eve of the launch.
What are your expansion plans in Mumbai?
I plan to set up 60 branches by 2010 worldwide and out of these six will be in Mumbai. After Vashi, we plan to open stores in Opera House, Goregaon, Vasai, Dombivli, and one place which is yet to be identified. This is the best time to set up a gold showroom as people are now buying gold as an investment. Earlier, it was just worn as ornaments. There are people who buy and sell everyday depending on the rate.
How do you plan to attract customers from other brands to your brand?
I am confident once a customer visits our showroom he/she will come back. The quality and collection is good. My policy is that I don't take a profit margin from customer for first 10 days of the shop inauguration. After 10 days I give 10 per cent discount and whenever anyone buys three tolas, we give a free gift.
Why did you decide to come to a mall in Navi Mumbai?
I have been planning since a year and our research tells me there are more than 4 lakh South Indians here. I find that the new generation is into malls. There are many shops and air-conditioned comfort which allows shoppers to move around comfortably. The parking facility is a boon. I found that abroad the same concept is followed. Many branded jewelers like Tanishq and others brands are in malls and same is the case abroad. An added advantage is the security. We have the brand name so wherever we are I am confident that people will come to us.
Do you plan to introduce specialty South Indian designs here?
We are introducing our own diamond brand called `Myown' diamond brand and also will be introducing naked diamond design which is diamonds without a frame, done with laser technology. As an inaugural offer we are offering 26 per cent flat discount. Besides this, for Mumbai, we will be introducing a world collection since there is a cosmopolitan crowd here. Our specialty is Italian designs in 22k gold. I concentrate on two ranges: 100 milligram which is very lightweight just Rs150 onwards but very tiny items like a bindi or, tiny earrings and then there is the other range with weightage up to 100 gm.
How often do you introduce new designs?
What do you expect from Mumbai?
Gold is a strong investment, so people buy all the time and all communities invest in gold. My expectation from the investment-savvy Mumbaikars is the same.
How can you afford to give a better price?
We import from London in bulk, so only we can offer a better discount. We also assure higher purity of the gold.
What will be your marketing strategy?
I want to give the customer the best. So besides just selling gold, we will be having a carat checking machine where clients can come and check their gold. It is a German-made machine which will be the first of its kind in Mumbai.
I also provide a valid purity certificate that no one is doing in Mumbai, at least not for gold ornaments. I am sure many will do this after me.
What is the customers preference when buying jewellery: gold, platinum or diamonds?
Customers need to be educated about platinum. The fastest moving is 22k yellow gold. Diamonds are a trend and a prestige issue. In my experience people prefer gold, then diamonds and after that it's platinum.
Why do you always call a film personality during inaugurations?
Having a celebrity is a part of marketing. It's a good way to register the area where the store is located. It's a good way to start as the public is always interested in them.