Sunil Nayak, CEO, Reliance Jewels, maintains that to stay in competition and enjoy long-term business success, design innovation is critical and so is offering great customer service. A fitness freak and an avid traveller, Nayak believes in going the distance to ensure that not just the customer but even the staff in the 400+ strong retail chain is like a second family.
After some persuasion, we were able to secure an exclusive interview with the media shy Nayak, who revealed his ambitious expansion plans, as well as his personal mantras for running a successful business. The exclusive interview with Solitaire International offers a glimpse into the mind of this accomplished entrepreneur.
How did you foray into the field of jewellery?
Although my educational background is in finance, my career path of over two decades has been diverse, taking me across various industries and countries. I started my career with WIMCO Ltd., and later, Lupin Ltd. in India, after which I moved to Nigeria to head a trading company. Later, I worked with Ajanta Pharma Ltd., and developed markets in Africa for the group. I spent five years with the Landmark Group in the Middle East, where I was responsible for setting up the International Division and heading the group’s biggest brand, Centrepoint.
In December 2012, I returned to India and currently head the jewellery division of Reliance Retail Ltd. as CEO of Reliance Jewels. My journey with Reliance Jewels has been an exciting one, where I have created a new business model that includes four channels: standalone showrooms, shop-in-shop, B2B, and e-commerce. We are now gearing up for the launch of our omnichannel business, which will integrate all existing channels to offer customers a seamless shopping experience.
How does Reliance Jewels stay updated about the current trends? Reliance Jewels often comes up with high-design collections. How big is your design team?
At Reliance Jewels, we understand the importance of staying up to date with the latest jewellery trends to meet our customers’ evolving needs and preferences.
We conduct extensive research and analysis of the global jewellery market, study emerging trends and fashion forecasts, customer preferences in India, review feedback on collections, etc. Our team of experienced designers and jewellery experts attend international trade shows, fashion events, and exhibitions, to gain insight into the latest designs, materials, and techniques. Additionally, we collaborate with leading fashion designers and influencers to stay ahead of the curve and incorporate the latest trends into our collections.
Apart from sourcing jewellery, we create exclusive high-design collections that are a testament to our commitment to innovation and creativity. These one-off collections are inspired by a variety of themes, ranging from nature to culture and are created with the finest materials and craftsmanship with the highest quality standards. The heritage collection series that we have been launching since the last few seasons are inspired by the art and culture of our diverse country, and we do extensive research and product development before it reaches our customers in-store.
Our latest is the 7.0 edition of the Thanjavur collection that was previewed at the Lakme Fashion Week with showstopper Taapsee Pannu and the main launch was held in Bengaluru with showstopper Jahnvi Kapoor.
In addition, we also launch many capsule collections for festive and occasion wear, as well as lightweight and daily wear lines every month.
We have a sizable design staff that includes designers, artisans, researchers, craftsmen, manufacturers, and factory workers, who make all this possible.
What is the target audience of Reliance Jewels?
While we have a defined target group, our audience is diverse and includes anyone who appreciates design aesthetics, quality, and craftsmanship in fine jewellery. Our collections cater to a broad range of customers, from those looking for traditional and timeless designs to those seeking contemporary styles.
We understand that jewellery is a personal and emotional purchase, and we aim to offer a wide range of options that suit the customer’s preferences and budget.
We are committed to providing exceptional sales service and believe that by offering unique, high-quality designs, we can cater to exceed our customers’ expectations.
How has Reliance Jewels performed both online and offline?
The digital age has transformed the way customers shop and interact with brands. To adapt to these changes, we have developed a robust omni-channel strategy that leverages both online and offline channels to create a seamless and personalised shopping experience for our customers.
Our online presence includes a comprehensive e-commerce platform that allows customers to browse and purchase our collections from the comfort of their own homes. We have invested in creating a user-friendly and secure platform that provides detailed product information, images, and customer reviews, helping them to make informed purchase decisions.
We also have a strong offline presence with over 400+ retail stores across the country. Our retail stores are designed to create a warm and welcoming environment that reflects our brand values. We provide customers with a comfortable ambience to explore our collections and interact with our knowledgeable staff, who offer recommendations and styling advice.
How has Reliance Jewels built relationships with customers to ensure that they return to your stores?
Reliance Jewels values its consumers, and we frequently check with them to determine whether their needs are being met. We assist customers with their budget, the design that will work for them, and any other assistance they may want. Our array of complementary services and benefits assists our customers to fulfill planned purchases as well we cater to any post sale requirements that they might have.
Reliance Jewels’ approach to building relationships with our customers is centered around providing exceptional designer collections, warm customer service, a wide selection of high-quality products, and personalised experiences that make customers feel valued and appreciated. By doing so, we aim to build our loyal Reliance Jewels family of customers and ensure that they feel the best at our stores across the country time and time again.
What sets Reliance Jewels apart from other jewellery brands, and how do you maintain a competitive edge?
What sets Reliance Jewels apart from other jewellery brands is our focus on delivering exceptional quality, service, value and above all, presenting unique collections every month to our customers.
To maintain our competitive edge, we continuously evaluate and enhance our product range, pricing, and customer experience, leveraging technology to stay ahead of the competition.
We also invest heavily in our staff training and development, empowering them to provide expert advice and recommendations to our customers.
Do you have expansion plans?
At Reliance Jewels, we are constantly evaluating opportunities to expand our reach and product lines to better serve our customers. We are committed to providing an extensive range of high-quality jewellery designs at affordable prices, and we aim to make our products accessible to customers across the country.
We plan to expand our retail presence by opening new stores across the country, including metros, and tier II and III cities.
What are the current trends in terms of consumer buying patterns?
We envisage a rise in demand for personalised jewellery with a focus on individuality and uniqueness. Consumers are opting for alternative metal colours studded with pearls and coloured gemstones.
Consumers are now choosing jewellery brands that use responsibly sourced materials and have environmentally friendly practices.
While the market for heavy jewellery continues, we have seen a demand for affordable luxury as customers are looking for high-quality jewellery designs that are pocket friendly.
There’s a growing preference for gold jewellery among customers, especially for daily wear. Gold is a versatile metal that is available in a range of colours and designs, making it an ideal choice for customers looking for designer options. However, diamonds, too, continue to be a popular choice for special occasions, gifting, self-treats, and high-end jewellery pieces. Lightweight diamond jewellery has been a winner for work wear.
How do you personally manage to unwind?
I am an avid traveller, having extensively travelled across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and North America, both personally and professionally. I am also a health freak and believe in leading a balanced and disciplined lifestyle. I am married to Trupti and am blessed with two sons, Dipen and Miten.
My journey in the field of jewellery has been an exciting one, and I am proud to lead Reliance Jewels, a brand that is focused on design, quality, and efficiency. I am committed to taking Reliance Jewels to greater heights and offering our customers an unforgettable shopping experience. We will continue to strive to earn our patrons’ faith and deliver the finest jewellery designs from the best of India and its culture.