VBJ Blends Tradition & Innovation To Shape the Future of Modern Jewellery

jewellery magazine India by Solitaire International Magazine – India’s leading B2B gem and jewellery magazine

AMARENDRAN VUMMIDI, Managing Partner, Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers (VBJ), Chennai, reveals the enduring rich legacy of this reputed jewellery house, and the ways in which VBJ has adeptly straddled the two worlds – traditional and ultra-modern, maintaining a fine balance between timeless values and the dynamic evolution of jewellery retail. Artisans hold a revered position within the company, and regular upskilling in their in-house manufacturing units across different categories has resulted in many of them winning numerous prestigious awards in India and abroad, which are a source of pride for VBJ

We’d like to know some details about the story of Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers’ founding and its journey through the years. How has the vision and mission of the company evolved since its inception? 

Our family’s roots can be traced back to the quaint Indian village of Gudiyatham, nestled between Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in the district of Vellore. Gudiyatham, known for its vibrant culture, is equally renowned for its skilled artisans, weavers, and silversmiths.  

The step in the direction of business was taken by my great grandfather Sri Vummidi Bangaru Chetty, who showcased his meticulously crafted jewellery during celebrations at nearby temples like the Pallikonda Perumal temple and Gangai Amman Temple in Gudiyatham.   

Amarendran Vummidi, Managing Partner, Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers

Seeking growth opportunities, the family relocated to what was then Madras, and established their journey in 1900 at Govindappa Naicken Street. After Vummidi Bangaru Chetty, the business was bequeathed to his heirs, the second generation Vummidis. For decades, the name – ‘Vummidi’ has been a benchmark for purity and trust; it represents our promise of quality and distinction. Our dedication to jewellery has remained steadfast and we have been blessed with enduring patronage. 

For any business to thrive, it requires not just the capability of one individual, but a positive ideology and a set of ethics that ensure its continuity and longevity. The Vummidis, now in its fifth generation, demonstrate the strength of roots with branches spreading far and wide.  

My brother, Jithendra Vummidi, and I have not only inherited the legacy but also taken upon ourselves the responsibility to uphold it with pride and dignity. \

Floral necklace embellished with rose cuts, diamonds and emeralds. By VBJ

VBJ is known for its intricate craftsmanship. How does VBJ balance traditional design elements with contemporary trends? Can you describe some of the innovative techniques or materials you’ve incorporated into your recent collections? 

VBJ incorporates classic Indian motifs and techniques, such as kundan, meenakari, and temple jewellery, into contemporary designs. This fusion appeals to a broad audience by maintaining a connection to cultural roots while offering pieces that fit modern aesthetics.  

We create versatile pieces that can be worn in multiple ways. For example, a detachable necklace might be designed to function both as a bracelet and a pendant, catering to modern customers’ need for multifunctional and adaptable jewellery.  

We stand out as one of the rare brands in India with dedicated manufacturing units for gold, silver, diamond, and platinum jewellery. We are among the select few jewellers in India who handle the entire jewellery making process in-house, from conceptualising and designing to sourcing materials, manufacturing, certification, and retailing. Every aspect is thoroughly overseen internally to uphold the highest standards of quality.  

Our state-of-the-art factories are equipped with modern machinery, cutting-edge technology, and all necessary tools and equipment – from CAD designers to 3D printers, laser soldering and gold testing machines. Every process is modernised, and every artisan is upgraded to help him/her to develop certain skill sets for creating innovative and wearable jewellery. 

How do you approach the challenge of meeting the tastes of a younger, more modern clientele while maintaining your classic appeal? 

The credit for meeting the tastes of the younger generation while maintaining classic appeal goes to my R & D and design team. They are constantly monitor evolving trends and consider how these  can be incorporated into our designs, while retaining the distinctive VBJ magic. We continue to innovate and introduce new collections that align with correct trends, which exemplifies our longstanding presence in the industry.

The pendant set is suffused with fine emeralds, rubies and diamonds. By VBJ

Many of your in-house designers have won the prestigious Artisan Awards held annually by GJEPC. What do you believe contributes to their consistent success in these competitions? How does VBJ support and nurture the talent of its in-house designers to achieve such high levels of excellence? 

The artisans are not just craftsmen, they are an integral part of the VBJ family, infusing their passion and expertise into every detail. Each artisan possesses a wealth of knowledge, honed through rigorous and ongoing training, ensuring their skills are finely tuned to perfection.  

We are proud to play a major role in the training and learning process of the artisans at VBJ.   

For instance, Subhasis Paul, a reputed product developer and training instructor at VBJ, participated in the Regional Skill Competition that was conducted in Vizag in 2021, where he bagged the 2nd prize for his work. He also competed in the National Skill Competition in New Delhi in 2022, winning the 1st prize and receiving a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakhs from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Mr. M.K Stalin. Subhasis represented India at the World Skills Competition in Switzerland in 2022, where he was awarded the Excellence of Medallion for his craftsmanship.   

This is just one story of our artisans. There are many like him, and these awards make our journey fulfilling. 

A rose gold and diamond peacock crown. By VBJ

How does VBJ ensure a personalised and memorable shopping experience for its customers? What role does customer feedback play in shaping your collections and services? 

We provide personalised jewellery design services, allowing customers to create customised pieces tailored to their preferences and styles. We also offer a range of heritage jewellery collections that are inspired by traditional Indian designs, appealing to customers seeking culturally significant pieces. Our stores are designed to offer a luxurious shopping experience with attentive customer service, comfortable settings, and personalised consultations.  

At VBJ, we value our customers’ feedback, as it helps us elevate our brand to the next level.

A traditional bridal necklace wrought in 22-karat gold. By VBJ

Are there any unique services or experiences that you offer to enhance customer satisfaction? 

We have built a warm and welcoming legacy based on strong relationships that we have nurtured over the years and across generations. We are valued not only for our exquisite jewellery but also for the exceptional service we provide to our patrons. Our customers often say that every buying experience at VBJ is unique and heartwarming. 

What strategies do you employ to stay competitive in the luxury jewellery market? 

The impeccable quality and distinctiveness that come with each of our products brings a smile to the customer’s face. That is our strategy. As long as customers continue to embrace our products, we will remain strong and relevant in the market.    

How do you see the future of the jewellery industry evolving?  

Ours is a culture where jewellery is a part of every auspicious event celebrated within our homes – it is an integral part of all our celebrations. With increasing purchasing power, there is a growing trend towards acquiring more jewels. I see a shift from gold-buying to exploring other gems and metals. The market for niche and exclusive jewels is evolving well. There’s a noticeable trend where more men are buying  smart pieces of jewellery for personal adornment. 

Scalloped gold hoops featuring pearls and round diamonds, accentuated with marquise-cut diamonds and sky blue enamel. By VBJ

VBJ played a significant role in crafting the Sengol, which holds historical and cultural importance. Can you share the story behind the creation of the Sengol and its significance? How does this achievement reflect the craftsmanship and ethos of Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers? 

The Sengol, a historical sceptre crafted by our ancestors, now graces India’s new Parliament building. It was presented to former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during India’s Independence. 

Recently, we made the magnificent 24-karat gold-plated Sri Ramcharitmanas.  This golden epic weighs up to 147 kgs, with 522 golden pages.  Each page narrates the timeless chronicles of Lord Rama, woven with poetic eloquence and spiritual depth. Beyond being a mere book, it is a symbol of reverence, encapsulating the essence of devotion. 

We made Ramacharitamanas in gold at the request of a devotee, using nearly 700 grams of gold for 522 pages. It took us eight months to complete this divine work, which involved two months just on research. We were told to retain every detail, including the font. It took exceptional artisanship and devotion to make this golden book. We are elated that this artwork was placed next to Ram Lalla in Ayodhya on Ramnavami day.  Devotees visiting Ayodhya Ram temple can view this book, displayed on a special stand, from a distance.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Discover the latest collections, news, and exclusive launches from us.