How This Kanpur-Based Jeweller Introduced Award-Winning Anti Covid19 Protocol

The past year has provided ample of lessons to every business owner to last a lifetime. Shreyansh Kapoor from the House of Kashi Jewellers tells us how he devised an award-winning anti Covid19 protocol

Post By : IJ News Service On 22 February 2021 12:38 PM

Recalling the outbreak of pandemic in March last year in various parts of India and the challenges it brought in Shreyansh Kapoor of Kashi Jewellers says, “We all were sitting at home for over 45 days. Videos of people queuing up outside jewellery stores in Hong Kong and Thailand to sell gold jewellery were circulating widely on whatsapp. This was scary scenario for any jewellery retailer.” The situation is similar to that of a bank if in case of any emergency if all depositors come all together to withdraw their deposits, the bank will be in a serious crisis. “Like everyone else we too were affected by these videos – but we retained our composure and decided to remain cool about it and whatever happens we prepared our mind to face it as a business challenge. My wife is a doctor and her family runs one of the largest hospitals in the city and so we were able to develop a thorough protocol for allowing clients to enter the store, when the lockdown was lifted,” he explains. They had a direct connect with all doctors and they understood the virus – its infection possibility and therefore could develop ways to curtail its spread effectively. Informs the health conscious jewellery business owner, “Just before the lockdown was to be lifted on May 15, they opened the space adjoining our store -- we had a 700 square feet  area and we converted that space into a highly modern Covid19 screening room. We had employed doctors, and other medical staff to screen visitors and sanitise them and their belongings thoroughly.” 

They brought in Oxymeters and several other medical equipment. They had got all sales personnel trained. They photographed all visitors without masks and then re-allowed them to wear their masks and enter the store in order to avoid any mishaps. They used to run all jewellery through a 100 degree steamer (because they were not sure about the UV machines and their efficacy) and put a Covid-free sticker on it. After all of these precautions, they knew their jewellery was totally safe, clients were properly sanitized and so they could allow clients to try on jewellery as well – which thereafter they used to again sanitise before storing it. 

Most jewellery retailers did not allow clients to try on jewellery, because of the fear of infection. But Kashi Jewellers were able to allow it, since  they went that extra mile to develop and follow a thorough protocol. The valet parking which they provided – also included valet boys who wore gloves, used a complete plastic sheet on the driver’s seat and then entered the car after spraying it with a good quality sanitizer. Just before returning the car also they once again sanitized the car properly.  

One of their clients took a video of the entire effort and uploaded the video on YouTube. The video had got over one lakh views at that time. The most important part was many of their clients had commented and applauded these efforts. “One particular customer had commented that: ‘Thank you Kashi Jewellers for this thorough Covid19 screening and preventive procedure, had our international airports followed such a thorough procedure, there would not have been even a single Covid19 case in India.’ We were the first ones in the entire city to get a good footfall, reminisces Shreyansh. This procedure was part of his presentation at the Hong Kong-based JNA awards and they won the award for being the ‘Best retailer in the world’ there were at least 2,000 entries and the jury panel comprised topmost persons from the G & J industry world over. So this was a feather in the cap for Kashi Jewellers, as their efforts were awarded and recognized at such a globally renowned level. 

Transparency builds trust

From their base in Kanpur that is home to the flagship jewellery and watch store, Kashi Jewellers has a growing customer base stretching from Kanpur to Mumbai and Dallas to London. It is also one of the first Indian Jewellers to begin exporting way back in 1979. It currently has retail clients in the UK, the United States of America, South Africa and UAE.

His late grandfather Shri Keshavnath Kapoor started the business in 1955. Their initial year of entering this business is 1945, but it was only in 1955 that all their registrations happened so they write 1955. Kashi Jewellers started off as a small retailer – they were cloth merchants before entering the jewellery business. “My father joined in 1977, in 1979 we started exports. We are also the only company to have won two President of India Awards. – one when Late Shri Pranab Mukherjee (MSME Award) and earlier when Smt Pratibha Patil, former President of India,” informs Shreyansh.

Their business is 70 years old – transparency builds trust -- they have followed this motto right from the beginning – right from the time when Shreyansh’s grandfather started the business and his father returned from Canada to join this business. “We have always hallmarked gold, laser inscribed purity standards of our jewellery, offered the most genuine certification in diamond – we were the first ones to import the first GIA ID 100 (in August 2018) – the first CVD testing machine which was brought in from the US. We were able to show our customers that all our diamonds are conflict free, they are natural diamonds and absolutely pure,” recalls Shreyansh. For their factories they had installed a separate machine for testing small diamonds. Sharing their top sales mantra Shreyansh says:

Cost effectiveness
They are manufacturers and exporters and therefore we can afford to offer customers jewellery at near manufacturing cost. This gives them a higher edge in the market as compared to anyone else.

Stock deep

“We have never compromised on stock – we have always retained good stock from a small nosepin to a tiara or even a hundred carat necklace – we have stocked everything – so when a customer enters the store s/he can buy everything under one roof. We are a one-stop shop. The same goes for Silver, Platinum, Kundan, Polki and all artifacts as well apart from jewellery,” beams Shreyansh.

Education is vital

Shreyansh Kapoor went to Kelly School of Business, Indiana University and did his Bachelors of Science and Business with majors in Marketing. He has done some courses in Finance from Wharton Business School. Before entering the jewellery business he was working with Prudential Financial and Formula One. He came back to India because he was the only son and he decided to enter this business. He later went back to Carlsbad to do his GIA GT (Gemmology course). 

Shreyansh Kapoor is also the youngest GJC Board member – four states were under him: UP, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Bihar. He voluntarily gave up the post – because he wanted to diversify and ensure others also get an opportunity to lead. 

In a world which is strewn with multiple challenges – being well educated, and having a sensitive outlook always works for the best.

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