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Indian jewellery giant reveals plan for Gulf expansion
July 9, 2016, 12:56 pm
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Kalyan Jewellers, India’s largest jeweller chain, has announced plans to aggressively expand its presence in the region, and grow its revenue six-fold in the region over the next four years.

The Kerala-based jeweller, which has a business worth $1.5 billion in annual revenues, expects to double its overall revenue to $3 billion by 2020, spurred by its expansion plans in the GCC region

Kalyan Jewellers has 100 stores in its portfolio, 21 of which are in the GCC. Currently in an “investment mode”, the company still has ambitious plans to expand its operations, with particular emphasis in the Gulf region, where its current annual revenue is $200 million.

“We plan to expand, we plan to enter new countries in the GCC [including] Saudi, Bahrain and Oman,” executive director Ramesh Kalyanaraman told Arabian Business. “This year, we are only opening in the UAE – we’re opening five stores - but already the paperwork [has been prepared] and the team is there in Saudi,” he said.

Kalyanaraman said Kalyan expects to earn 40 percent of its total revenue in the GCC in four years’ time– the equivalent of growing its current revenue six-fold.

“We intend to expand by 20 percent every year in Dubai, unless we reach a saturation point,” he says. “As of now, because the brand is only present in seven areas in Dubai, we have huge areas where we can develop. At least for the next three or four years we can expand at the ratio of 20 percent in Dubai.”

One obvious area where Kalyan does not have a showroom is one of Dubai’s major tourist locations - the Gold Souq. “We always have a [prerequisite] that our showrooms should be ‘this size’,” he said. “It didn’t match and we couldn’t get a space there, but we are still pitching. We will open showrooms only if we are satisfied.”

The plans for Saudi Arabia include opening 11 showrooms in the kingdom in two years’ time. “Saudi is supposed to be the best market for jewellery and the demand is very high there,” said Kalyanaraman.

While he didn’t divulge details of the planned locations, he said Riyadh and Jeddah are obvious choices, as well as the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

“Every location is equally good; it will depend on the number of showrooms that we open in each city [and] it depends on the volume of stores that we open there. It’s too early to say how many will be opened in each city, or how many will be opened in [total]. We have plans for multiple showrooms there.”

He said Kalyan will open five showrooms in Oman, as well as “one or two in Bahrain”.

The company also has a manufacturing unit in Sharjah that produces 150 kilos a month of jewels, which said he said will increase when the new unit in the emirate comes into full operation. “We opened one more manufacturing unit a month ago. It’s not in full-fledged operation yet, but our production is going to increase to 250kgs,” Kalyanaraman said.

Catering for the Arab market has been a key part of the company’s expansion strategy into the GCC region and recently the company recruited Arab designers to create its own line, Ameera – Arabic for princess.

“We employ Arab designers and they understand the designs better than us,” he says. “A lot more Arabs are starting to like Indian jewellery now. It’s a new change that has come over the past two or three years. Even when we launched in the GCC, it wasn’t this high. We launched a brand called Ameera, which is Arab wedding rings, and they are going well. We are going to launch one more [Arab] brand soon.”

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