Rakesh Sharma and his wife, Sunita, founded RK Jewellers in Delhi in 1995 to serve customers with the best gold and diamond jewellery designs in the market. They started the company with a capital of Rs 3.55 crore and put in long hours to build it into a successful business.
In 2011, when the second generation, comprising their children Rohan and Prakshi, stepped in and wanted to build on top of their parents’ achievements. They wanted to transform RK Jewellers into a brand that offers aesthetic design collections, catering to an audience beyond India.
Earlier, people used to buy jewellery as assets, but now people consider it fashionable to wear designer diamond and gold jewellery. Hence, my sister and I stepped into the business to cater to that niche audience and make products with international aesthetics,” Rohan Sharma tells SMBStory.
Rohan (33), holds a degree from the Gemological Institute of America GIA, New York, and Prakshi (30), is an award-winning designer from Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. They both play a major role in crafting the designs offered by RK Jewellers.
While the brand caters to women of all age groups, manufacturing diamond and polki jewellery, the brother-sister duo, in 2014, decided to corner the millennial segment with the launch of another label, Prakshi Fine Jewellery. It offers diamonds and gemstones jewellery designed to appeal to millennials.
On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, SMBStory speaks to Rohan Sharma, Managing Director, RK Jewellers, who reveals the siblings’ plan to capture a niche audience in $2 billion jewellery industry and tackling competition from brands like Tanishq, Kalyan, Malabar, and others.
Edited excerpts of the interview:
SMBStory: How is the company diversifying into so many categories?
Rohan Sharma: It was the love for making the product that made us diversify into so many categories and launching an altogether new label targeting millennials. When you make high-quality products, the customers appreciate it. We always work towards fulfilling customer’s demand and requirement and it eventually helped us to experiment with something new to expand the business.
SMBS: Where do you manufacture jewellery and from where do you source materials?
RS: Our manufacturing unit is in Mumbai and we source materials like diamonds from Surat and Mumbai in India. From overseas, we also buy various stones from Israel and New York.
We employ around 50-60 artisans from Bengal and Rajasthan at our manufacturing unit.
SMBS: Who forms your customer base and which countries do you sell your jewellery in?
RS: The average footfall of the customers at our flagship store in Delhi is approximately 25-30 daily. Therefore, we cater to around 8,000 customers in a year.
We also have our offices in Dubai and New York and we serve customers in these areas on the basis of the orders we receive. We do not have any outlet in these places.
We have also associated with various celebrities like Kangana Ranaut and Kiara Advani for our jewellery brands in various events.
SMBStory: How are you surviving the competition?
RS: We’re one of the most vertically integrated companies in the industry that makes our product not just price competitive but also of high quality. We also invest a lot on trend forecasting, which makes sure our products are always in sync with the trends. This makes us stay ahead of the competition.
RS: How it is to work with your sister? How are you complementing each other?
SMBS: Working with my sister is great. We’ve grown up together and the sibling bond is so unique in its own way. I know how to get things done from her and she knows the same. We’ve had all the fights possible and come out stronger each time. Our skills also complement each other. She’s more creative and I’m more analytical so it’s a right balance. I could not have asked for a better partner.
SMBS: What are your future prospects?
RS: Our future aim is to expand our business in the international market and convert more numbers into clients in the Asian market. Further, we are reaching out to other markets through constant participation in international events and exhibitions to understand their tastes and requirements and bridge the gap.
In the future, we want to become more digitally advanced and are planning to incorporate technologies with respect to customer data analysis through artificial intelligence.