Raniwala 1881: Balancing Tradition and Innovation in a Shifting Retail World

Abhishek Raniwala, Founder & Creative Director at Raniwala 1881, sheds lights on the remarkable evolution of the company’s business model, shifting from B2B to B2C. He provides insights into the dynamic world of retail and how the company caters to the new-age consumer without compromising the core legacy of a company that has stood the test of time for over two centuries.

Tell us more about your family history related to the world of jewellery, and your early experiences in the industry that made you realise that you were cut out for this profession.

The opulent history of my family can be traced back to my great great grandfather, Rai Bahadur Champalal of Beawar, who received the distinguished title of ‘Raniwala’ from the British in the 17th century. His love and admiration for exquisite jewellery continues as a legacy and a defining characteristic of the Raniwala family.

Growing up, I was constantly inspired by my grandfather, Shri Shushil Kumar Raniwala, who had a keen interest in jewellery. At a tender age, I had the opportunity to work with raw diamonds in Moscow, where I discovered my innate talent for cutting and polishing diamonds. It was then that I realised my true calling and developed a greater understanding of the significance of verbal agreements and personal perception in this field. This experience cemented my passion for the jewellery industry.

Abhishek Raniwala, Co-Founder & Creative Director, and Abhiyant Raniwala, Co-Founder, Raniwala 1881

Tell us about your company and when did you start your retail brand?

We, at Raniwala 1881, believe ourselves to be the purveyors of authenticity where we strive to bring novelty in our heritage every single day. Our design ideology is a nod to our continuous efforts to narrate the story of our legacy and weave it into beauty, for our customers.

Having successfully established in the competitive business-to-business market as Raniwala Jewellers, we decided to venture into the retail industry in 2016 with the aim to offer a holistic experience at the Raniwala 1881 atelier.

We were able to make a smooth transition into the retailing business and have been providing our growing tribe of retail customers with outstanding results.

Tell us about the new collection that you have introduced.

The mood board of the Raniwala 1881 Spring Summer 2023 collection, Raina, incorporates an ethereal colour palette of the summer evening sky … the soft glow of the sunlight enveloping the green lawns… Raina is the voice of a millennial woman poised to dazzle on a summer evening … dressed in a heavily embellished attire, looking grand yet graceful…

Raina is an heirloom treasure designed in 18-karat gold with striking polkis, accompanied with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, all mounted on gold with jadai work. Taking inspiration from the grandeur of architecture, our designs exhibit intricate details of the various crafts of Rajasthan.

On models: Raina jewellery by Raniwala 1881.

Customisation is a big trend these days. What’s your take on it?

In today’s times, customisation has become a popular trend due to the evolution in design and luxury. With the younger generation embracing curated experiences, this trend has gained significant acceptance.

Even in jewellery, personalisation enhances the experience and celebrities have contributed to its popularity by getting exclusive pieces especially designed to their preference. It is a culture that is gaining momentum, and I believe it is the way forward.

What are the current jewellery trends?

In the ever-changing world of jewellery trends, one thing that has remained constant and timeless is the elegance of white classic polki jewellery. Despite the significant transformation that the fashion and jewellery industry has undergone in recent years, particularly in terms of trends, it has not been able to replace the charm that a classic polki jewellery lends to an outfit or occasion. With its intricate designs, signature appearance, and unparalleled craftsmanship, polki jewellery adds a touch of sophistication to the wearer’s personality.

An artisan carrying out jadai work on a jewellery motif. Image: Raniwala 1881

What is the USP of the company and design philosophy and which markets do you cater to?

Our vision is to establish ourselves as the foremost and most lucrative jewellery design house globally while gaining the trust of our clientele. We are committed to the principle of designing pieces that inspire and commemorate our legacy. By staying innovative in our approach to designing and manufacturing, we aim to spearhead trends in the industry through extensive research and development.

Our primary focus is on serving the bridal jewellery market across India, with a focus on polkis embedded in 18-karat gold, and catering to the Gen Z and Millennials.

The grand boutique, Raniwala 1881 Beawar Legacy.

How significant is the price of gold in determining your plans?

In India, gold has always been considered a store of value. Other than its religious significance, in our culture gold symbolises status, investment, prosperity, and success. As the price of gold increases, consumers feel more secure and confident, leading to greater demand and consumption of jewellery.

I believe that the rise in gold prices will inspire more people to invest in jewellery and this, in turn, will create new opportunities for innovative jewellery designing.

How do you foresee jewellery retail demand in India and overseas during the rest of the year?

In the past, gold was the traditional symbol of status for women. However, in recent decades, diamonds have risen to prominence, primarily driven by extensive marketing campaigns that have effectively fostered widespread acceptance of diamonds.

I believe that the demand for diamond jewellery will remain stable because natural diamonds offer a unique value proposition and investment opportunity that will continue to be sought after. The demand will persist and remain consistent over time.

How do you stay relevant to cater to the new crop of customers?

To stay at the forefront, we serve, we maintain close relationships with both our business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients. This allows us to gain a deep understanding of their needs and perspectives, as well as the current market trends and research.

By staying attuned to these factors, we are better equipped to develop and introduce innovative concepts that meet the changing demands of the market.

Our partnerships with clients also enable us to cultivate a collaborative mind set, fostering an environment where ideas and feedback are openly shared and acted upon, resulting in effective solutions and successful outcomes.

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