One for all and all for one
Businesses thrive on teamwork, more so during difficult times. If teams function like one unit, they are bound to do well, irrespective the challenges. Recalling the tough times, Himanshu says, “From March to August last year, we faced a lot of problems as business was nil. We were not alone in this. Many jewellery retailers across India have had to pay business overheads from their personal savings. It would have been very easy to fire people and cut down salary overheads to the bare minimum. But we did not fire anyone. In fact we were concerned about their wellbeing. If someone else’s suffering does not touch your heart, I doubt if you are human at all.”
It would have been very easy to fire people and cut down salary overheads to the bare minimum. But we did not fire anyone. In fact we were concerned about their wellbeing. If someone else’s suffering does not touch your heart, I doubt if you are human at all
This humane gesture makes staff members more loyal and dedicated towards the business. It strengthens the bond in the team. Many businesses went in for retrenchment and cuts – across different industries people lost their jobs and had to face severe financial difficulties during the lockdown. “This is inhuman. No industry should do this. Crises of sorts come and go, what keep a business going despite toughest of situations is the dedication of people who are the real pillars of any enterprise,” explains Himanshu.
Manohar Lal Jewellers is a family run business house with six stores in Delhi. The inception of the company goes back to 1930 in Meerut. Himanshu joined the family business in 1987after completing his education -- an MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai (1985) and diamond graduate course from Gemological Institute of America (2005). He has also studied branding, advertising and marketing from International School of Business, Hyderabad. Putting years of business education to good use, Himanshu was majorly instrumental in getting the first showroom for retail of jewellery in Delhi and gradually opening six stores.Currently, he along with his competent team managesthe responsibilities of overall management of the stores. His expertise in understanding the human psychology automatically makes him involved in HRD matters more intently.
Do what you say and say what you do
“We believe in the maxim, do what you say and say what you do. Buyers know us well, in fact as well as we know them – so we understand each other well. We have been in the business for so many years so we usually have long-standing clients,” informs Himanshu, who believes in forging strong business ties with clients and always goes an extra mile to ensure that clients are happy.
Business for corporate-run showrooms and erstwhile family-run stores like will be totally different. In franchise-businesses, owners and founders cannot be present in the store all the time. Jewellery businesses run on trust and the presence of owners or founders makes all the difference – it reassures clients that the owner is personally responsible for the products sold. “In case of a franchise, whom will a client hold responsible,” questions Himanshu.
Often people say that jewellery is a luxury product. This fact may be true across the world, but in India it is not so. “For occasions like weddings, birth of a child, buying gold is a tradition. Gold is a necessity in India and not luxury,” explains the astute businessman. One needs to understand this. In India, people save money to buy gold. Families look forward to give gold and diamond jewellery to daughters and the daughters-in-law. “In India gold is an integral part of our heritage and culture – we cannot label and categorise it as a luxury product alone, just because it is expensive,” informs the experienced jewellery retailer.
Gold jewellery in India, symbolizes good times, and brings in good cheer and grandeur. “In every religion, region, caste and creed in this diverse nation of ours jewellery is a part of the very fabric of Indianness. This is perhaps one tradition that you will find alike across all regions of India,” he adds.
A united front
In these times of economic slowdown, Indian G & J industry needs to unite and meet the challenges in unison. Today, clients are well-educated, well read and know everything about the latest trends in jewellery. Every retailer has to therefore keep himself updated about the trends, designs and quality of products and also has to update the buying policies time and again.
Sales training does not mean mere textbook knowledge –in real time when a sales person meets a client everything that he has learnt and practiced is put to test. Sales personnel should be able to gauge the customer’s preferences.
“Jewellery business is all about courage, competence and compassion. Missing out on any one factor will prove to be detrimental,” Himanshu explains.
Jewellery business is all about courage, competence and compassion. Missing out on any one factor will prove to be detrimental
While summing up he explains that because businesses outlive a human lifetime and every retailer has to develop foresight and build strong teams.
- * Learn to give without expectation
- * Hard work has no substitute
- * It is impossible to grow as an individual, entrepreneur or social person without a team of great people