Having crossed the 110 store mark across 57 cities in India, it would not be wrong to say that Reliance Jewels is literally carpet bombing the country as it continues on its aggressive expansion journey. Over the last few months, the company has especially become aggressive in the tier-2 and 3 cities, which have been the domain of traditional jewelers.
Talking about how the company is upending the jewelry business to entrench itself more solidly, CEO, Sunil Nayak said, “We pay a lot of importance on modern technology, like data analytics. And all the gathered data shows us that the smaller cities is where we should be.”
At the same time, the brand is aware that in a product domain like jewelry, quality control (QC) is critical for any brand to stay competitive build customer loyalty, ensure positive brand positioning and ultimately improve sales. It is a continuous process of ensuring the product quality as per the set standards at each stage of the supply chain – from sourcing raw materials to following well defined manufacturing and distribution processes, to designing and maintaining showrooms as per guidelines. And Reliance Jewels ensures that every product passes through stringent quality norms at each stage.
STANDARIZING QC IN JEWELRY
A major challenge for most jewelry manufacturers in India is the prevalence of the unorganized ecosystem and dependency on local artisans to ensure quality. It is imperative to educate them and implement standardized quality standards. In order to overcome the same, few organizations, like Tata Group’s Tanishq brand have come up with the concept of ‘Karigar Parks’, where artisans work in a controlled and monitored environment. The process helps in standardization of processes and products manufactured.
To boost confidence amongst its consumers about product quality, Reliance Jewels has set up QC technician rooms in its showrooms. In addition to assisting the brands in assuring positive consumer outreach, it also helps in showcasing product purity and help make minute repairs like changing posts, hooks and back chains, etc.
These value added services go a long way in customer retention, according to Nayak who said, “We also change the product sizes as per customer requirements and clean old jewellery as a free service. These QC tech rooms help in maintaining transparency and helping customers in old gold transactions, also in managing showroom stocks by cyclical cleaning activity.”
Other services provided at these QC tech centers include furnishing a diamond certificate that provides the customers with complete information on 4 C’s i.e. cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. This process is done by diamond certification agencies that work closely with Reliance Jewels. Additionally, every jewellery product is hallmarked and its purity validated by a BIS approved center.
NEW AGE BRAND AMBASSADORS
The QC tech rooms are present in all flagship showrooms of Reliance Jewels. Each center uses various technologies, including an X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF) for non-destructive testing, ultrasonic cleaners for cleaning of deep dust and color dullness, ergonomically designed QC tech working table and melting machines for melting the old gold.
Aware that these machines will be ineffectual without the right human talent to manage them and also enforce the appropriate policies at the QC Tech Rooms, Reliance Jewels’ HR team handpicks technicians for this division. In addition to having prior experience in jewelry manufacturing, they should be well versed with industry standards and policies, when it comes to checking various parameters, including product finishing and fits.
This combination of man and machine attempts to reiterate customer confidence in the purity of jewelry they are buying. However, the QC process starts well before the products reach the retail outlets.
At Reliance Jewels, quality checks are conducted in three stages – at Hallmarking agency, Diamond Certification Agency and at its distribution centers before the final products reach our retail showrooms. This ensures 100% inspection at all levels. Additionally, 10% of products received at showroom are randomly inspected by the QC technicians to ensure that there was no damage during transit.
Talking about how these QC tech rooms help in sales conversion, Nayak said, “They are brand ambassadors of transparency as all the operations are carried out in front of the customers. It directly impacts sales because a customer always opts for a one stop shop for all his jewelry needs. Providing these facilities under the same roof ensures that the consumer trusts the brand and definitely returns for more, thereby having a positive effect on sales and ROI.”
As Reliance Jewels looks to maximize the opportunities that exists in the smaller cities, it is dotting all I’s and crossing all T’s to ensure that customers will gradually shift from conventional jewelers and turn to them instead. And it is going the extra mile to reinvent its business models that will to offer better transparency and boost buyer confidence.