Retaining the shine

Print edition : February 15, 2008

T. Shantakumar, managing director of Kirtilal Kalidas, with the companys director, Kaushik K. Mehta. - K. ANANTHAN

T. Shantakumar, managing

WHEN T. Shantakumar, managing director of Kirtilal Kalidas and Co., makers of gold and diamond jewellery, says that he is not bothered about the proliferation of small-time gold and diamond jewellery makers or big-time competitors, he is not being boastful. We have got a heritage, which we have earned in the past 70 years. Our name stands for quality, he asserts softly. We dont outsource our jewellery. They are all manufactured in-house. So our products have an edge over other jewellery in the market.

Kirtilals has a chain of seven jewellery stores, located in Coimbatore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Bangalore, Vijayawada and Ludhiana. Its flagship showroom is in Coimbatore, where it has a state-of-the-art manufacturing unit. Each store has exclusive sections for different ornaments.

Shantakumar said, We are specialising in rapid customisation of jewellery wherein the customer interacts with our designer and they create the design together. We have created a design lounge concept in our retail stores. The designers at each of the showrooms conceptualise and develop the designs in AutoCAD with three-dimensional animation.

According to Shantakumar, technology transfer from abroad and machinery upgradation were taking place in the company. Even in the setting process, its workforce is trained to meet quality requirements. The designs are created in our design studio. Quality assurance is our motto. We concentrate not only on the carat but on the quality of the product, he said.

Kirtilals has a business plan ready for expansion across India. Shantakumar explained, This [Coimbatore] unit has got the capacity to create the designs and jewellery that the market requires. The Indian market has region-wise requirements in jewellery design. This unit is equipped for that too.

The Coimbatore units turnover in gold jewellery alone is Rs.1,600 crore a year. Earlier, people bought diamond jewellery only for weddings. The affordability of diamond jewellery has become quite comfortable now, Shantakumar said. Kirtilals organises exhibitions in the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Tokyo besides taking part in international gold and diamond jewellery exhibitions. The company has designed exclusive jewellery for temples.

T.S. Subramanian

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