TETE-A-TETE WITH VIJAY SONI
Can anyone beat Dilli’s traffic, the answer ought to be a big NO! Guess the capital city needs to permanently follow an odd-even car number pattern! After battling a traffic jam for over 2 hrs, I finally reached Vijay Soni’s elite jewelry store. Having a prominence in the buzzing market of Pitampura, landmarks like Gopal (eatery) on the opposite and Pitampura Metro Station in the neighbourhood one cannot miss, Mahabir Danwar Jewellers (P) Ltd.
After making myself comfortable and sipping a hot cupa coffee, Vijay Soni – MD, Mahabir Danwar Jewellers (P) Ltd briefed me on hailing from a family of jewellers in Kolkata. Along with his brothers, they engage themselves in designing, manufacturing, wholesale and retail of exquisite handcrafted gold, diamond, kundan and designer fusion jewelry. They have maintained the essence of Kolkatta designs and craftsmanship in Delhi.
As I scanned through almost every product in the store, what caught my attention was the newly designed bridal, Partaj collection.
- Partaj, meaning hand engraving has intricate and painstaking handcrafted workmanship.
- Antique look and designs that will never fall out of fashion.
- An asset that could be passed on to generations.
As our conversation progressed, I was completely awestruck with Vijay’s attitude of being hands on with his team to follow up customer inquiries and feedback. As much as he believes in innovating designs, having a great finish to the product is much more important, and I so agree with him. His hunger for creativity and excellent craftsmanship only increases. What one can expect from Mahabir Danwar’s designs is detailed “karigari”, especially in their antique and nakashi work. Vijay further added that he loves designing himself. Talking on trends over the years and customers adapting to it quotes Vijay, “Indian consumers do like the latest trends, however their adaptability is slow in comparison to a consumer in the International market. To offer new collections we do take risks and design according to trends, however the risk is in a way that the customer can adapt to it. Once they are ok with this marginal shift, it’s easier for them to relate to the trending product.”
Being a jewelry designer, it was easy for me to indulge in the industry nitigrities while we discussed the importance of having an online presence and how selling jewelry online has created a revolution in the industry. Vijay further elaborated on Jewel Mantra, their online jewelry portal Jewel Mantra which offers the customers a selection from various product categories in diamond, gold, polki and kundan. However I do feel there should be a wider range of selections. “With Pan Card being mandatory for purchase of Rs 2 Lacs and above, it has affected sales for us and other retailers in the industry” mentions Soni.
Vijay highligts, “Every bride’s dream is to look like a princess on her special day. Often they are confused if should they opt for a heavy traditional bridal set or something they could wear much more. We make sure the jewellery we create for them is wearable and not only limited to their wedding day. While designing a bridal collection, understanding the to-be bride’s personality and the look she is preferring for herself is essential. After understanding the same we conceptualise, design and manufacture accordingly. We are overwhelmed when a customer is happy on how great they looked and showered with compliments on their wedding day.”
For me, appealing jewelry display and appropriate visual merchandising is important. This brings out a story in every product displayed without saying or doing much. Jewelry was well spread in the store. After spending some time with the store team, I briefed them on the importance of having a great display and we re-arranged the display windows and shelves. Following are some quick tips given to them,
- Similar collections should be put together, e.g. all products in Polki Jewelry should be displayed around the same area.
- Build a story, i.e. try making one product a show stopper supported by similar other jewels. eg. Jewelry with an innovative manufacturing technique could be displayed together.
- Product elevations and leveling for a beautiful visual merchandising.
- Educate the customer about the inspiration of the jewellery or on its USP (unique selling point/proposition)
Rating on a scale of 1-5, (with 1 being least and 5 highest)
Designs – 3.75
Manufacturing / Craftsmanship – 4
Pricing (Value for Money) – 3.5
Collections – 3
Display – 2.5
StylePrer Score – 3.5
Do mention your ratings in the comments below.
As the meeting drew to a close, my thoughts being, while the jewellery is stunning, there’s no compromise on style or quality of gemstones. As tasteful is the jewelry in the store, so is their hospitality.
StylePrer on behalf of Mahabir Danwar Jewellers, invites budding Jewellery designers to design and showcase their creativity with them. This is your chance to make your dream come true, don’t miss it!