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Giving Wings to Bejewelled Dreams
“If you can dream it, you can do it”
From marking an auspicious start to becoming a fashion statement, the role of jewellery has evolved with time. In India, jewellery has a diverse cultural significance, with each culture having a unique style and preference.
New startups and luxury boutiques have provided consumers with a plethora of choices, offering a variety of forms and designs that cater to their preferences.
Despite the majority of the consumers being women, the presence of women entrepreneurs in the jewellery industry is scant. This is mainly due to the huge financial liquidity required. Also, long term sustenance in this field is especially difficult for a sole woman proprietor.
Passion to Enterprise
Some brave women entrepreneurs have defied all odds and set a new benchmark for themselves in this industry. Neha Kochar, the founder of Kalp, is one such lady. She embarked on this journey four years ago, looking to showcase her passion to the world.
Neha began designing jewellery in her early teens. Along with her mother, she would enthusiastically visit jewellery shops, looking for new designs and styles. She joined a Diploma course at the Aasera Academy of Jewellery Design, Chennai,interned at N. Gopal das & Co. for a month and then worked as a full-time designer at Challani Jewellery Mart, Chennai for a year. Here she gained valuable real world experience in creating unique designs in multiple jewellery categories. She also learnt useful lessons in her practical dealings with customers and in trying to understand their choices and lifestyles, based on which she designed jewellery for them. Hailing from a business class
family, she always knew that eventually she would start something of her own. This is how the idea of Kalp was born. She started the company on 1 November, 2015 and says it has been an amazing journey ever since.
Kalp’s forte lies in creating unique designs for each of its customers, based on their personality, taste and vision. The company name Kalp is derived from the Hindi word “Kalpana,” which means imagination. Its designing capabilities are strongly based on customer needs. It has designing and execution teamsin place to provide superior quality finish to each piece, for complete customer satisfaction.
Technological advances have led to people coming up with unique and never before seen designs and ideas. One such example is a “Gear Ring,” which the company made. It works like a gear system and can be used in cars and watches.
Reading the market pulse
As the market and customer needs are constantly changing, it becomes vital for companies to stay abreast with the latest trends. Kalp does this by keeping track of fashion magazines, cultural events and market behaviour in different parts of the country. The company also has a dedicated research team, which scouts the Internet regularly to identify emerging trends across the globe.
The emerging boom in Artificial Intelligence has opened many doors for process improvement and customer relations. Kalp has a dedicated team of analysts to evaluate the purchase data and understand customer behaviour, purchase patterns and sentiments, in order to design marketing campaigns successfully to further the brand.
When asked about a person who has motivated her throughout her journey, Neha says, “My inspiration is my mother, who works tirelessly to ensure my family is well looked after. She was the person who pushed me in the direction of jewellery designing.”
To all upcoming jewellery designers, her advice is to constantly learn, keep working hard and not get dejected during tough times. “Being a woman and an entrepreneur, I would love that more and more women work towards achieving their goals in life. Currently our representation is low. However, thanks to globalisation, more women believe that they can be what they want to be, and no one can stop them from achieving that,” asserts Ms Kochar.
Slowly and steadily, the company has started to shine. It has had two good years in terms of market growth. Currently, it serves clients from India and the UK and is looking to expand in both these markets. It has witnessed more than 100% growth in client base in the last year—indication that a sparkling future lies ahead.