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Cashing On A Jewellers Legacy

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Aditya Pethe,
Director, Waman Hari Pethe (WHP) Jewellers

Following the footsteps of his ancestors, Aditya Pethe, Director, Waman Hari Pethe (WHP) Jewellers, took over the leadership of the 107 year old legacy with an aspiration of taking it to greater heights with his professional knowledge and inherited business skills. Under his vision the brand transformed from an old school business to a professionally run corporate entity with global ambitions. He has successfully entered and explored fresh business horizons for WHP Jewellers. WHP Jewellers are an essential part of the jewellery hub of India and have been awarded with the National Jewellery Award (NJA by GJF) in 2013 for “Best Diamond Jewellery of the year-Contemporary” and in 2015, for “Best Paramparik Jewellery”

In conversation with Dominic Rebello, he describes how each WHP Jewel undergoes hours of labor work and several quality checks to ensure that their customers receive nothing less than the best with the aid of Aditya Pethe’s artistic acumen. They now have 21 stores across Mumbai, Maharashtra, Goa & Indore stretching across with a total strength of more than 900 people working on different levels of the business. The company has also recently forayed the ecommerce space with to cater to their customers spread across the globe.

What drives you?
I am driven by Creativity and Innovation. When it comes to jewellery, as a brand we focus on creating various designs and innovations and that has been the driving force behind the success of the brand WHP. Along with designs we also put a lot of thought in creating a wow experience for our customers while buying jewellery. We try to do things differently. For instance, with our recently launched website we have launched the concept of Jewellery Boutique where a customer gets to participate in each and every aspect of the creation of her jewellery along with the liberty to control and monitor the elements used in it. It will also provide 100% unique designs.

How big is the potential for a business like yours?
Well, the Jewellery Industry contributes 6-5% to the GDP of India. India is the largest consumer of gold. For them it is also an emotional gratification and store of value. Every Indian, rich or poor owns a piece of fine jewellery or yellow metal in form of jewellery or bullion. It is more than just adornment when it comes to relationship of Gold with Indians. For them it is also an emotional gratification. So when it comes to the market size or the potential, if you have the right product and have built credibility, sky is the limit. We are present across 21 locations and have recently forayed in online space. We cater to a common man who spends something as little as Rs. 3000 on a gold coin to a complete bridal trousseau for a destination Indian wedding.  Our clientele is a blend of all social strata who has been coming to us since generations and for us each customer is equally important.  WHP makes jewellery for every woman however, with foray in e-commerce space currently we are actively focusing on young women between 18-35 year of age.

How do you plan to scale up; raise funds through seed or venture capital or simply grow the old fashioned way through rising turnovers?
As a brand we have always grown organically and have achieved the status of an iconic jewellery name in the industry over our journey of 107 years. Venture capital of course can broad-base our reach and you never know what the future holds. However, as of now we are content with the way we are gradually growing.

Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
Our aim is to become one of the most preferred online jewellery stores of the country five years down the line. In a way, what we are for the traditional consumers already is what we aspire to be for the online consumers too. Our brand is known for evolving with changing consumers needs.
Ecommerce, fashion, ready to wear jewellery will be a key growth driver so we will be focusing on that segment. Creating sub brands and developing them is going to be another key highlight of our strategy.

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