Buying jewellery is as much as a tradition in Indian families as is selling it and today, the experience has gone to a different level altogether, thanks to the intervention of technology and the New Normal set in by the pandemic. Raghava Rastogi a fifth generation jeweller in a family-run chain of jewellery stores in Lucknow – Lala Jugal Kishore Jewellers has studied law, management and gemmology and uses all of education to the best of his abilities while still in his late twenties. There are three stores under his supervision in Lucknow and in all their family runs eight stores across Lucknow. Since the past seven years that he has joined the family business. Raghava Rastogi has been instrumental in introducing several new business strategies and believes in following method and discipline in his working. “I have observed elders at home discuss jewellery trade, designs and everything related to this line of work since my early childhood, therefore I have internalized several ideas and time-tested notions of this business – this kind of informal learning has made me a better person and surely a better jeweller,” he shares.
Business ethics and integrity are crucial
In 1857 the first store -- Lala Jugal Kishore Jewellery store was established. And since then, year after year the business has grown and successors of this family joined the business and have taken it to the level to its current stature. “I have learnt that sometimes only growth does not matter – one has to sustain the growth done over the years. Business ethics and integrity are crucial in our business. We all have been nurtured in the family values of honesty and integrity,” explains Raghava.
Client Satisfaction Matters
Businesses thrive on client satisfaction which comes only through integrity and quality service. “We have to adhere to all the policies based on total transparency and give the client more than excellent service. Since inception – we have stuck to our legacy and policies which we do not waver from irrespective of what others in the business do to make profits. We do not cut corners when it comes to quality. My forefathers and my earlier generation also must have done something truly credible – to vouch for the fact that we are doing well despite all the situations,” he explains. One should not compare one brand to another. This whole concept of number one, two or three – is rubbish. People are simply stoking their ego by saying such things. Each one has overcome numerous challenges to reach where they are and therefore each business is special in its own way.
This industry is not just about technology, it more about personal relations and touch and feel of jewellery. Every new generation will introduce something new – which needs to be accepted as a new practice in the business.
When they opened a new store – a client walked into their store. She was belonged to the third generation in her family and for three generations her family has bought jewellery from Lala Jugal Kishore Jewellers. “I belong to the fifth generation of jewellery business. She had brought a family heirloom, which was sold by my great grand father to her grand mother and this lady was now 50 years old. It was a baajuband. It was very old ornament – nearly 80-85 years old and she asked me what would the loss in gold if it needs to be redone. She showed me the receipt which my great grandfather had handwritten and I was truly moved to see it. I told her this is gold ornament is invaluable to us, I told her that she would in fact get more gold in exchange – there would be no loss of gold.” The client was indeed happy. She, in fact, touched Raghava’s head to bless him and gave him some money like a shagun, because of his honesty and willingness to buy back that old piece and give her more gold in return. “This incident strengthened our bond with the client and gave us a great piece of legacy. Today, I have placed it in the family vault as part of history and like blessings from my forefathers. I could have easily given her lesser gold -- she was willing to bear the loss for it as well,” he recalls.
Today, she is coming in to buy jewellery with her grand child so it is three generations of her family who are buying from Lala Jugal Kishore Jewellers.