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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

June - 2011 - issue > 25 Promising E-Commerce Companies

Surat Diamond Jewelry: Gearing up with online retail

ST Team
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
ST Team
Being born in the third generation of a diamantine family, Rajiv Mehta knew that quality and attention-to-detail ensures customer satisfaction. He was also observing the global market closely and seeing the booming online retail, understood very well the necessity of changing with time and the importance of embracing new technology trends. These played a big role in shaping the business model of his company, Surat Diamond Jewelry. From being a diamond jewelry manufacturing company formerly, as time moved it got into cataloguing and finally transitioned to online sales of jewelry. The growth was gradual and evolutionary.

Surat Diamonds Ventured into online sales in 1998, way before the dotcom bubble burst, and a time when the concept of e-commerce was still un-evolved in India, there were not many Indian players in the ecommerce sector. The first customer the company had was from Texas, U.S. For a long time majority of their company’s customers were from abroad since most Indians were timid to spend online. The company has witnessed a change in this scenario in the last few years with more and more Indian customers coming in and the recession slowing the foreign customers. “Now about 80 percent of our customers are Indians and the rest 20 percent are foreigners, this used to be the other way around. The number of Indians buying online has increased drastically in the past few years,” says Mehta, CEO, Surat Diamond Jewelry.

The company is focused at offering customers a pleasant jewelry experience. Since inception, it has endeavored to make diamonds more accessible, transactions more convenient and the experience, as fulfilling as possible. Every item of jewelry sold by the company carries a guarantee certificate and they prides on their policy of fairness. Once a purchase is made the jewelry will be delivered to the customer in 7 – 10 days. Even then, it is not very easy to attract and retain customers, “People still would like to have touch and feel of things before they buy them, so we provide them with quality products with special offers online and make the value proposition outweigh the negatives,” says Mehta. “People who are buying jewelry for 10,000 or 25,000 stay happy with this, still those who go for 25 lakh or 30 lakh worth of jewelry prefer in shop shopping,” he adds. They also offer their customers, who purchase for above Rs. 50000, the unique opportunity to design their own rings.

In India, as a measure of the trust and confidence reposed in the company by their customers, they sell diamond jewelry by mail order. They undertake mail order campaigns with most of the credit card companies like Citibank, Diners, HSBC, HDFC Bank, ICICI, SBI GE and UTI Bank credit cards and established mobile phone companies Orange and Tata Indicom. The company does not seem to care much about the competition in the market. Mehta says he has not felt any pressure from competition so far and he believes that if more people entre the market then the market will expand more and each player will have enough of it to work with. The company also partnered with firms like, Standard Chartered, Barclays, Axis, and Indusdind in BFSI, Kingfisher Airlines, Cleartrip , Yatra, Ezeego 1, Cox and King, and Easemytrip in travel, and hotels like Indian Hotels - Ginger hotels, Chiplun Hotels, and The Resort.

The company has tens of thousands of customers around the globe and this number is growing rapidly. Since the end of the great recession the number of foreign customers has once again started increasing and even the recession failed to slowdown the growth in the number of Indian customers. With their customer centric approach the company seems to be poised to attain great heights.

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