Focus is on strengthening omnichannel retail strategy: Ahammed MP, Malabar Gold & Diamonds

Malabar Gold and Diamonds launched 22 showrooms in January, and MP Ahammed, chairman of Malabar Gold and Diamonds, says the main retail plans are to reach 750 showrooms by 2023. He adds that after the pandemic, customers are open to experimentation and he is optimistic about the way forward.

How was the response to the Brides Of India 2021 campaign?

Our The Brides Of India 2021 campaign, which kicked off with a special wedding themed song titled #MakeWayForTheBride depicting the brides grand entrance, managed to generate massive excitement among new age brides. The response was encouraging.

The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of businesses at all levels. What have been the lessons for Malabar and how has digital adoption been for the business? How has customer preference evolved after Covid-19?

Our online store has been operational since the pre-pandemic period. Our online sales network was already in place when the pandemic hit the country. During the pandemic, we started to feature more designs as design discovery happened more frequently online. There has been no drastic change in overall consumer preferences. That said, a new consumer segment is emerging that is open to experimentation.

Malabar Gold & Diamonds opened 22 new showrooms in India and overseas in January. It’s clear that Malabar is betting big on field retail. How do you see the evolution of land trading?

The jewelry retail business has become more organized. With growing consumer awareness of mandatory hallmarking, jewelry retailing has become transparent and quality-driven. The previous reduction in import duties on gold significantly reduced unauthorized gold transactions. If the next budget proposes a further reduction in import duties on gold, it will accelerate the movement of jewelry retailing towards an organized framework.

How has your omnichannel strategy evolved?

We continue to focus on strengthening our omnichannel retail strategy as design discovery and initial decision making happens online.

How has your communication evolved over the years? How do you ensure message consistency across all platforms?

Our communications are always in line with our mission and vision. For example, communications around our One India One Gold Rate highlighted the value of a standardized pricing mechanism brought to retail for clients. As our goal is to increase the total number of showrooms to 750 by 2023 and become the world’s leading gold jewelry retailer, our communications revolve around the positive impact of the expansion on the retail of jewelry, job creation, etc.

What is your media mix?

Finalizing the marketing budget is a strategic decision that depends on various parameters and prevailing market dynamics. Our media mix is ​​based on a 360 degree approach that includes all traditional media, social media and new-age digital media.

What is the outlook for wedding season?

The overall outlook is positive. Despite the covid restrictions, we expect decent growth in the wedding season.

With the current restrictions on weddings, will this have an impact on sales?

There could be a short term impact. However, the long-term outlook remains positive.

Your stated ambition is to open 750 stores. By when do we see that goal post being reached?

We plan to reach the goal of opening 750 showrooms by 2023.

How do you see the end of the year?

We expect to end the year on a high note with a larger retail network, enhanced customer service capabilities and robust design diversity.

In the future, what can we expect from Malabar Gold?

A quality-driven and transparent retail practice with a world-class shopping experience for customers. In addition, we will continue to focus on our various CSR initiatives related to education, health, women’s empowerment, housing for the poor and environmental protection.

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Sarah C. Figueiredo