By IANSlife Features
New Delhi, May 2 (IANSlife) “In this crisis, there is a stage of impact to revival. Currently we are in the ‘impact stage which we are working towards sustenance. By the second half of the year, we will be in a stage of revival and slowly move towards recovering business,” states Sachin Jain, President of Forevermark India.
Jain, is a passionate business driver whose clarity of vision has carried various companies through rapid and abiding growth. With a career spanning 17 years at luxury goods and retail companies, he effortlessly juggles between multiple responsibilities whilst spearheading the business affairs of the brand.
IANSlife caught up with the “entrepreneur at heart” at STIMULUS 2020.
Q Luxury is said to be recession proof, do you think the economic slowdown will affect jewellery, especially the diamond segment?
Jain: We are currently in a very unique situation where different consumers are impacted in a variety of ways. There is a certain set of consumers who are not economically affected at all during this time. I don’t believe luxury is recession proof, but since diamonds hold a meaningfulness of genuine love and promise, the jewellery sector may be at an advantage during this time. All sectors may take time to recover in this economic situation but with the strong value a diamond holds, jewellery will see a faster recovery.
Q. Forevermark has many different collections catering to different needs; do you think post the lockdown we will witness desperate buying like in China?
Jain: In China the consumption patterns are very different. It is a high consumption market where saving is close to negative. Economically India is very different where there is no crazy consumption. For Indian consumers, saving is very important. This lockdown has taught people to be resilient just like a diamond. Post lockdown, consumers will be conservative in their spending patterns. I believe brands that are sustainable and who hold a true meaning in one’s life will survive.
Q. The wedding season might be one of the worst hit, do you feel when it comes to jewellery for weddings in India people will continue to spend as they did pre-COVID-19?
Jain: There are two segments of wedding shoppers, one the Bridal & Trousseau customers who will continue to purchase jewellery based on traditional sentiments but simplicity and classic products will be sought after which hold a feeling of gratitude. Opulence during this time will be avoided.
The second set of consumers in this category is the ones who purchase for celebratory reasons and may hold back due to the current situation.
Q. Prices for gold have seen an all time high, can we expect to see the curve flattening in this case too?
Jain: Gold prices are a function of the global economic situation. In the past we have seen that in a fragile economy, gold tends to be much stronger.
Q. Most brands are focusing on digital marketing during this period of lockdown; does the brand plan to take forward any customer engagement initiatives?
Jain: We believe in staying connected to our consumers through the digital space through simple messaging reflecting the current scenario. We also have taken some of our offline events like Diamond master classes online to our consumers through Instagram and other platforms which resulted in very positive responses from the participants.
Q. Forevermark retails through established jewellery partners, does this help cushion the impact of COVID-19 crisis on the brand, considering you don’t have overheads like rentals and retail stores?
Jain: We work very closely with our partners. While the business model may be different, we share our partner retailer costs. We have a deep rooted relationship with our partners and will help them bring back the customers once things settle.
Q. Brand ambassadors and social media influencers a thing of the past in the post COVID-19 era?
Jain: The concept of brand ambassadors has been diluting over the years as influencers endorse various products. We, at Forevermark feel that the qualities of a diamond represent itself well enough and therefore is the true ambassador for its category.
Q. Lastly as a brand what measures will you be take to ensure things go back to normal, or will it be a new normal for Forevermark?
Jain: In this crisis, there is a stage of impact to revival. Currently we are in the ‘impact’ stage which we are working towards sustenance. By the second half of the year, we will be in a stage of revival and slowly move towards recovering business.
STIMULUS 2020 was a one of kind webinar encompassing 70 speakers across 14 panel discussions. Organised by The Global Luxury Group, Crosshairs Communications (PR Partner) & WIN (Women Inspiring Network – Content Partner), it is designed to cut through the volume of rhetoric and despair surrounding the current COVID-19 scenario, which has declared the market slow-moving or outright stagnant. The aim being to connect with strategists, business owners and executives in order to canvas possibilities and new ideas in media, luxury, lifestyle, leadership and other industries.
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