Monday, 1 April 2013

The Value Proposition

Most Indian companies specializing in the U.S. retailer, cater to the mass market. Bapalal Keshavlal is an exception. Its wide assortment of design-intensive high-end jewelry from $1,000 to $150,000 is clearly aimed at the couture jeweler. “Design and quality are the foundation pillars of our company,” says Romy Mehta. “From merely being a quality-conscious manufacturer, the company has transformed itself into a luxury designer for the world’s most elite jewelry stores.”
To create its jewelry, Bapalal Keshavlal uses a combination of handcrafting techniques and technology, the latter including CAD CAM and lasers for marking and engraving. For Mehta, quality is a given. “The kind of segment we work in, the tightest control is a must. This is maintained at every stage.”
diamond necklaceIn fact it is not only manufacturers working on high-end products who emphasize quality. Most Indian manufacturers believe that only by developing and maintaining high standards for design and quality can they be competitive in the international markets. And they have taken steps to ensure that their products meet those standards.
There is a widespread emphasis on training, with factories not only employing trained and skilled personnel, but also creating extensive in-house training programs and sending staff and workers for refresher courses at institutes like the IIGJ set up by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council. A growing number of manufacturers now supplement local staff with the expertise of foreign consultants.
“In the last few years, we have seen a lot of improvement in the industry” says Kothari. “The technical upgrades which we can afford gives us an edge. And the sheer availability of technically skilled people like CAD engineers adds to it.”
Additionally, Shah says that the new generation coming into the jewelry industry has also contributed to this change: “They have a mind-set which is geared to customer service and satisfaction and have been able to instill greater professionalism in the industry.”
Indian manufacturers are confident that the Indian jewelry product has evolved immensely over the last few years and can compete favorably with centers like Hong Kong. But that does not make them rest on their laurels. Rather, they are pushing ahead to evolve further, pushing the envelope on design and sharpening their cutting edge


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