Baroda-based Narayan Jewellers by Ketan and Jatin Chokshi is among a handful of high-end jewellery houses that have often represented India at global red carpet events such as the Oscars and New York Fashion Week. Hailing from a corner of western India that is more commonly associated with traditional gold jewellery, Narayan Jewellers has carved a niche for itself in the high-end diamond jewellery space. Adventurous in his designing approach, Ketan Chokshi, co-owner of the couture retail brand, ensures that his jewellery inventory is a class apart – be it the glamorous diamond lines or eye-catching jadau and gold renditions. He stresses on the importance of re-inventing business models to stay ahead of the times.
Narayan Jewellers by Ketan and Jatin Chokshi has a strong legacy that dates back nearly a century. In 1932, young Ambalal Chokshi had two options – either join his father’s jewellery business or start one of his own; he chose the latter. With just Rs.51 in his pocket, the ambitious entrepreneur started an eponymous wholesale jewellery business. Six years later, he transitioned to a retail model and started selling directly to customers. In 1958, his eldest son,Narendra Ambalal Chokshi, joined him to expand the business. Business flourished and in 1984, Narendra restructured the company and re-launched it as “Narayan Jewellers” and introduced jadau and diamond jewellery along with gold.
When did you join your father Narendra Chokshi’s business?
I joined the business in 1997, and two years later, my brother Jatin joined us.
Being from a jeweller family, the gems and jewellery industry always interested me. I graduated from GIA, Carlsbad, USA, while Jatin took up graduation in diamonds. Fuelled by passion, we launched a lavish store in 2012, in the heart of Baroda. In 2017, Narayan Jewellers expanded its flagship store adding a floor. Today, we have won more than 25 awards and many celebrities at the Oscars have graced the red carpet wearing our couture pieces.
What defines your company?
We are a sustainable luxury jewellery brand known for creating masterpieces that highlight innovation, rarity of raw materials, intricately engineered designs with high aesthetic value.
What changes have you made since the pandemic began?
We have strengthened our digital presence and are also launching our e-commerce website soon. We are also currently selling jewellery through ‘at-home’ service and trials.
Has the pandemic changed buying habits?
Covid-19 has put the entire world on a pause mode. With the onset of the second wave, footfalls are limited as people aren’t stepping out of their homes. Jewellery is a luxury product and customers prefer either visiting the showroom or ‘at-home’ viewings. However, the digital route has gained importance during this pandemic. While we have our social media channels for online enquiry, we are soon launching our e-commerce platform.
Does Narayan Jewellers have their own set of in-house designers, especially since customisation is a big trend these days?
Yes, we have an in-house team of designers led by both of us brothers. We are the ones who understand the client’s requirement, conceptualise the initial mood board, which is further developed into actual designs and collection along with our team.
We are renowned for our bridal jewellery. At Narayan’s bridal studio, we don’t showcase jewellery from an existing collection, but as designers, we custom design and style each bride differently. We first understand the requirement of the bride, the detail of each function, existing jewellery inherited by her family, any customisation needed in it. After understanding all the details, we create looks for each function and present them to the bride. Once the looks are approved, we design the piece, the colour, and the precious stones which would work best. Then the final design is executed. At Narayan Bridal studio, the idea is not to sell jewellery but offer a 360-degree solution to help the bride make her style statement.
You have had a decade-long association with Forevermark; Gemfields’ Project Blossoming. Tell us more.
Narayan Jewellers in association with Forevermark became the first-ever Indian diamond jeweller to showcase an entire collection at the New York Fashion Week, and the collaboration has been ongoing for five seasons.
It was a moment of pride for us when our jewellery was appreciated at the New York-based fashion designer Bibhu Mohapatra’s show on the biggest global platform. We have been a part of Forevermark’s Oscar red carpet zone for the last eight years, and have been one of the few Indian jewellery brands to have six celebrity placements at the Oscars in the last eight years! We are also one of the only retailers in Gujarat to showcase the Forevermark collection in a special zone at our store.
We were also a part of the charity auction “Project Blossoming”, organised by Gemfields in association with Christie’s to support Project Nanhi Kali towards the cause of Girl Child Education in 2014. Our designs helped raise 40% of the total funds garnered at the Christie’s.
Tell us more about the latest lines that you have come up with.
We launched our Bridal collection, Azmat, meaning grandeur. Capturing the eclectic articulation of royalty – from the magnificence of royal structures and motifs – has been beautifully articulated in the collection. Azmat consists of multi-layered jadau rani haar encrusted with multi-colour precious stones, chokers, chand balis, jhumkas, kadas and cocktail rings.