Trends

Design Innovation: The Way Forward for Indian Jewelry Manufacturers

TrendsMar 16, 2022

Design Innovation: The Way Forward for Indian Jewelry Manufacturers

Creativity and design thinking help these jewelry manufacturers turn problems into opportunities.

20220302_ Pink-&-yellow-twins.jpg
While the prices of yellow diamonds are comparable to their white counterparts, some of the pink diamonds command 10x premium. Image courtesy: P Hirani
Aesthetics and craftsmanship are at the core of jewelry making. The emphasis among manufacturers has therefore been on designing products. In design thinking, the emphasis shifts to thinking and problem solving. It is about creating a holistic experience encompassing the entire business ecosystem that includes the product, the processes and the service.
 
Fine Jewellery Manufacturing Limited specializes in fashion and basic jewelry from 10 cents (and below) to a $250 to $1,000 price range. With the recent increase in diamond prices, logistics and freight, the cost of doing business has gone up substantially. 
 
Budget conscious consumers while shopping are flexible to a point. They may upgrade within a range of $500 to $999 but are unwilling to go beyond $1,000.
 
“The products priced at $999 have now gone up to $1,200” says Sohil Kothari, Chairman Fine Jewelry. “Launching new products below $999 is the new imperative for us. Creative reverse engineering process and innovative diamond setting techniques such as illusion and floating diamonds have helped us launch products with fewer diamonds and less gold without compromising on their look and finish.”
 
Renaissance Global Ltd (RGL), a traditional OEM jewelry manufacturer has explored alternatives to boost their revenue and profits. They entered into licensing agreements with Hallmark, Enchanted Disney and Star Wars for supplying fine jewelry to retailers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Licensing deals gave them a foothold in the high margin branded jewelry space. During the pandemic, when the whole industry was reeling under pressure to stay afloat, RGL leveraged this time to strengthen its direct-to-consumer segment and embark on the brand’s next phase of growth by launching five direct-to-consumer websites.
  1. Enchanted Disney Fine Jewelry
  2. Star Wars Fine Jewelry
  3. Hallmark Fine Jewelry
  4. Made For You
  5. Jewelili
RGL’s investment in the latest technologies and design talent pool of 150 designers is their competitive advantage. The company designs and manufactures for specialty retailers such as Fred Meyers, Helzberg Diamonds, Signet and department store chains like JCPenney, Walmart and Macy’s.
 
An expertise in global fashion trends to craft over 1,000 unique designs per month has helped RGL consolidate its presence in the licensing business. All designs for the licensed brands are conceptualized, manufactured and exclusively distributed by adhering to the licensors’ guidelines.
 

20220302_RGL Villian ring..jpg
Maleficent Villain Ring: The purple and black combination of this ring accurately displays the villain’s fiery character and dark majesty.
 
Sumit Shah, Non-Executive Chairman and Global CEO of RGL said, “The Enchanted Disney fine jewelry collections are a rage among consumers and the Villain collection is the fastest moving. 
 
“Consumers are spoiled by choice; they seek products that connect emotionally and aesthetically with them. This unique collection is inspired by the drama, magic and mystery of Disney’s most glamorous villains. The dark Maleficent ring with a mysterious bloom carries many meanings. The black rose in the Maleficent Disney Villain ring stands for rebirth and new beginnings.
 
“Our innovations not only enhance production and manufacturing but also the overall consumer experience. With our recent custom-made, on-demand jewelry on our D2C platforms, customers can create their own digital design using the available tools on the company’s portal while sitting at home. Our forthcoming collaborative initiative with a European company will prove to be a game changer in customization.”

20220302_Rose.jpg
At higher prices the demand for jewelry is relatively inelastic. Featured here is a ring from Awesome Sparklers’ Rose collection.


Priti Bhatia, owner of Awesome Sparklers is a first generation diamond jewelry designer and manufacturer from Surat. A regular visitor to the JCK and Couture shows, Priti says, “These shows helped me understand the market, network, and forge relationships with independent single-store jewelers in New York and New Jersey. At higher price points, the demand for jewelry is relatively inelastic. Consumers have rediscovered the value of diamonds during the pandemic. They want to buy and gift the best diamond jewelry. The response to our rose collection has given us the confidence to exhibit at the JCK show this year,” says Priti. 
 
Darshit Hirani’s company, P Hirani specializes in fancy-colored diamonds and jewelry and will make its debut at the 2022 Couture show. Sourcing of rare diamonds in the right color and size – in adequate quantities – is their competitive advantage. Yellow diamonds are abundantly available and therefore, their prices are comparable to whites. Some of the pink and blue diamonds command 10x premium over whites. Red diamonds can cost between $3 million to $5 million per carat. Such is the rarity of red that you are lucky to get even one stone in a year. 

Manufacturing jewelry is a different ball game as you need a long-term vision, patience and surplus funds to invest. The traditional approach of thematic jewelry designing doesn’t work for colored diamond jewelry as the desired calibration and specification may not be available. One has to design on the basis of the diamonds available at a given point in time. 
 
“This value based, high margin business has lower stock turns where a retailer may even have to wait for four years to get a buyer. We are fully geared up for the demanding U.S. market with a flexible collaborative mindset and adequate inventory,” says Darshit confidently.

Note: This story was completed for publication in the special India Diamond Report newsletter prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the U.S.’s subsequent ban on Russian diamonds on March 11.
Anil PrabhakarAnil Prabhakar is an industry analyst, journalist and consultant associated with the Jewelry and watch industries.

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