Kalyan Jewellers- ‘Vishwasam’ trust.
Company Name – Kalyan Jewellers
Founder – T.S Kalyanaraman
Kalyan Jewellers is an Indian jewelry store chain owned by the Kalyan Group. T. S. Kalyanaraman Iyer is the chairman and managing director of Kalyan Jewellers and Kalyan Developers. Kalyan Jewellers is the the largest jewellery store chain in India. Today they have 129 retail stores spread across INDIA and MIDDLE EAST and looking for more expansion opportunities.
# How It All Started
Kalyanaraman, who ran a number of textile stores, started Kalyan Jewellers in 1993 in Thrissur, Kerala. He credits his customers for starting the jewellery stores as it was the customers who felt there was lack of a trusted gold jewellery brand. Kalyanaraman is said to have started his jewelry business at a time when there was no gold standard and no hallmarking. So in order to win customers’ trust, he wanted to change the ethics of the jewelry business and hence ran a campaign called ‘My gold, my right’,” wherein he educated the people about gold standards. Ramesh Kalyanaraman claims that the company introduced BIS certification, rate tag, and loyalty programme and other incentives, thus reducing competition.
The first jewellery shop named Kalyan Jewellers in Thrissur City was launched in 1993 with a capital of Rs 75, 00,000. Later they expanded the business to 32 showrooms all over South India. Currentyly they are well ahead of the country’s biggest listed jeweller, Titan, a Tata group company.
Kalyan’s marketing strategy and Interesting Reasons behind its Success.
- Early Disruptor: Kalyan Jewellers, when started off, is said to have taught its customers how to test the purity of their gold and to expose cheating craftsmen. Their first game-changing card was played when they became the first jewelers in town to attach price tags to their gold and gem collection, thus angering competitors who accused them of ruining the trade.
- Transparency: Earlier in India, customers paid for the jewelry based on its weight. Thus the Jewelers’ used to make their profits by adding wastage and putting up extra jewelry making charges, which lead to wide price variation between different stores. Kalyanaraman recognized this and attempted to bring transparency with detailed price tags mentioning making and wastage charges. Even most of their diamond ornaments come studded with a hallmark which marks its purity and hence guarantees the worth of customer’s money. All this created a loyal base of customers who knew what they were paying for.
Kalyan Jewellers also introduced other firsts like ‘loyalty programme’ and a ‘BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards)’ certification on gold jewelry.
- The customer is the King approach: Every Kalyan store is different yet delivering options from across the country. Rajesh and Ramesh Kalyanaraman explained the diversity of their stores in this way “We have a chameleon approach, we change to become the winner in every local market – that is one of the greatest advantages,”. “Take Mumbai as an example. We have a store each in Thane, Vashi, and Borivali. In Borivali, our designs cater to the Gujarati population. In Vashi, we showcase what South Indians like, and in Thane, jewelry is designed to the taste of Maharashtrians.” Thus stating that they change their stores as per their customers’ likings.
- Price: At Kalyan Jewellers they always ensured that they give the maximum value to their customers for the price that they charge. Coming from a business family that did businesses in various fields, they have always kept strong values as their pillar. Hence they offer 100 percent gold and zero amalgamation, alongside the mantra of less margin, more customers.
- Place: Kalyan Jewellers have always had quite huge stores with a lot of diversified collections, to meet the demand of different population in different places with different tastes. They have followed more of a region-centric approach. They supply the product to an area as per the crowd and taste of that area. The more the demand of a product in a particular region, the more the supply and the more the variety has always been their motto and that is how they have marked their presence in almost 90 places across India.
- Promotion: The Company spends about two percent of its revenue on marketing. They have always had a region-centric approach and so they have different ambassadors for different states, as for Mumbai, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and North of India. Kalyan Jewellers have chosen the best and the most renowned ones in all the places to promote their brand. It has roped in Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Shivaraj Kumar, Nagarjuna Akkineni, Prabhu Ganesan, Manju Warrier, Sonam Kapoor and Katrina Kaif(being a recent addition) as their brand ambassadors.
- Attention To Detail: A news that did rounds sometime back was when a person called Narayan Gowda (Karnataka Public Works Department) was Pleasantly taken aback at receiving a call from the top honcho of the company. This was kalyanaraman ’s way of ensuring personal attention. He every month talks to at least 10 customers, selected on a random basis, to get a first-hand feedback. Mr. Gowda post that said he intends to be a repeat customer.
This degree of attention to detail is one of the reasons why Kalyan Jewellers, a relatively recent entrant to the business, has tasted big success.
# Kalyan Jewellers Campaigns
Majority of Kalyan’s brand awareness is driven through Outdoor advertisements. Their Social media presence is comparatively weaker. They generally advertise on Television and on the Print media.
Their tag line being about Trust, all their ads revolve around the same. For each of the southern states, Kalyan has a different brand ambassador—Manju Warrier in Kerala, Prabhu in Tamil Nadu, Shivarajkumar in Karnataka and Nagarjuna in Andhra Pradesh. And as they expanded they roped in more stars. Let’s have a look at few of their most famous campaigns’
In 2012, Kalyanaraman launched a marketing campaign that took the company beyond the southern markets. They had signed none other than the Big B. With this, Kalyan was set to make a splash in the western and northern markets. The campaign was what showed that customers were currently being cheated by jewelers, as there was no guarantee that the gold they sold was standardized and unadulterated. Kalyan Jewellers, on the other hand, was selling jewelry with the stamp of BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards), which certifies product quality. This ad with the help of their brand ambassador, Clicked.
The brand which opened its first showroom back in 1993 celebrated its silver jubilee i.e. its 25 years in the Indian jewellery market with an ad which featured Shweta Bachchan Nanda alongside Amitabh Bachchan (brand ambassador). The ad showcases Amitabh Bachchan as an honest retired government servant who fights for what is right. Though this advertisement received a lot of flak, the film was about a deep rooted sense of right and wrong and not being a part of anything that would shake ones trust – not even the smallest of the things.
Kalyan Jewellers at present has 132 company-owned stores, of which 100 are in India and 32 are in the Middle East, including Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the UAE.
The company has an e-commerce presence through acquisition of Candere in FY18. They believe it will serve a miniscule segment as their turnover is very huge. They consider E-commerce as a very small part of their business, with Kalyan Candere contributing only 1-1.5 per cent of the total business. The company expects the e-commerce platform to grow its share to 2-3 per cent of the overall business in two to three years.
But amid all this, Kalyanaraman sticks to his well-tested golden rule: “Whether national or international, customer satisfaction is most important for us and we will act local to meet customer expectations.”