The Indian jewellery industry has beheld a colossal influx of artistry, modernist designs and technological innovations over the last decade. Be it the radical wave of 3D printing, the recent e-commerce onslaught or the newfound realm of marketing virtuoso, jewellery retailers and even connoisseurs have left no stone unturned when it comes to pushing the envelope. Looking at how things have turned out in the past few years, it can safely be predicted that the jewellery space in India has reached a tipping point, leaving only more room for growth and global exposure. In fact, CaratLane, originally an online player, has put in hefty sums of investments to set up offline stores across cities in India. This is done to boost retail store sales and also because the essence of a brick-and-mortar is never lost on the consumer. On the flip side, the online jewellery space is home to innovations of its own. Take for instance The Glocal Trunk, an online jewellery retail platform which prides itself with being a pioneer in global fashion jewellery retail. Its products, although globally sourced, collectively promise a local flea market experience, complete with decadent boutique jewellery. Alongside, TGT also honours craftsmanship and has a special platform centred around the same. Their accessories come with an assortment of styles, stones and patterns, a vivid line-up of products that suit a myriad tastes and moods of every woman. Priya Kapur, co-founder, established TGT along with Minal Kapur, thanks to her experience in dealing with luxury brands, contemporary make-up techniques and also writing a book. With a stunning repertoire of all this and more, Priya has been spearheading The Glocal Trunk, only to see it rise and grow. We indulge in an elaborate tête-à-tête with Priya to know the inner workings of TGT and get a first-hand picture of the Indian jewellery retail scene a few years down the line.
The Fashion Enterprise: How did the concept of selling fashion jewellery from around the world come about?
Priya Kapur: The Glocal Trunk was born out of a thought to consolidate a platform for high fashion, affordable accessories and costume jewellery, one that simplified shopping for women from all walks of life. Trends change in the fashion capitals of the world in the blink of an eye. There was a dearth of the same trending accessories in our market, unless one travelled internationally. We decided to make it easier for the fashionable Indian consumer, as we believe that the accessories market along with the fashion industry is constantly growing.
TFE: What makes you the only global fashion jewellery retailer which offers a holistic shopping experience?
PK: Our vast collection of leading fashion jewellery is sourced from around the globe and brought to you in one seamless shopping experience, whereas our one-of-a-kind collections are designed by celebrated locally sourced designers.
TGT was particularly created for the love of tradition and the woman who cherishes her style.
TFE: What is your take on social media marketing and how has it helped position your brand to a larger audience?
PK: We have a strong social media presence on major platforms. The promotions we have created for all occasions and festivals have seen vast outreach, where audience’s footfall has reached staggering figures. Currently, it is professional women, housewives and the youth that we cater to. E-commerce business in India is still at a very nascent stage with women in Tier II & Tier III cities just getting acquainted with online shopping and the impact of social media.
TFE: What would you call the USP of your brand?
PK: We have two sections on our site, namely TGT Growth Buys and Design Me-Click Button jewellery. The former deals with NGO- created jewellery products where proceeds are directly channeled to the artisans and our NGO partners. The Design Me-Click Button concept features interchangeable customized jewellery, making jewellery buying a fun process, a first of its kind in India.
TFE: How do you think has imitation jewellery made an impact on the Indian market?
PK: India has seen an emergence of latest technologies as well as deluxe quality substitute materials acting as ‘real jewellery’. Imitation jewellery is now at par in quality and beauty with fine jewellery. Today, there are several technologies to enhance learning and execution aiding the latest trends. For instance, usage of laser and 3D printing techniques.
TFE: What set of challenges did you face during the course of establishing TGT?
PK: Challenges can be plenty when one is starting any new venture. However, as an e-commerce business, our major challenge was reaching the right audience and gaining their trust. Another challenge was changes in volumes based on seasons and trends. However, we have reached a balance on that end by providing jewellery products that can be worn daily and which are not restricted to seasons or dependent on an occasion.
TFE: While the jewellery market has significantly shifted to e-commerce, there are established retailers who are not quite being able to adapt to this change. Also, online presence means more competition, which puts pressure on newcomers to develop credibility and originality. How do you think both these issues can be solved?
PK: It is essential for any consumer to believe that they would not be cheated at any stage of their purchase. This problem was eased due to the C.O.D option we provided to our customers from the very initial stage. Hence, that is one thing I would recommend to build more credibility in the market.
TFE: What do you think about the ‘try-at-home’ service where customers can try the product in person before making a purchase? Would you implement something like that? Why?
PK: Yes, at a later stage we do have plans on that end. We agree with the concept of seeing and trying on a piece of jewellery before purchasing it. However, this concept is more conducive for precious and fine jewellery. Our current price points do not allow for the same.
TFE: What are your future plans for The Glocal Trunk?
PK: We see TheGlocalTrunk.com as a trusted destination for all fashion accessories, while maintaining the existent quality and price points. Following trends is a part of any fashion-based profession and we intend to do just the same while catering to a larger customer base. Introducing trends that are on the rise globally but haven’t reached India due to a dearth of apt mediums is also something that is our priority. We are currently working on The Glocal Trunk’s in-house signature range comprising curated artisanal jewellery.
TFE: What advice would you give to jewellery designers who are starting out their label?
PK: Don’t follow the crowd. Create your path and style and make that work for your brand. There are too many counterfeits and the herd mentality will kill the market instead of letting it grow. The growth potential is immense if one can carve out their own niche.
Photograph Credit: The Glocal Trunk