In 1910, Pannalal Durga Prasad Jewellers opened their first jewellery store in Kanpur. Today, the fifth generation of the family runs the store, which now goes by the name of P B Society Jewellers.“In 1975, we exported silver, and in 1979 we exported 6 kg of gold jewellery from India to Kuwait to Al Jinnha Jewellers. This was the first gold jewellery export of the country,” explains Mahesh Chandra Jain of P B Society Jewellers.
The store is managed by Vedika Jain, a 22-year old management graduate from Boston, along with her mother, Karuna Jain, with Mahesh Chandra Jain being her grandfather. “Vedika could have done anything she wanted. But she decided to join the jewellery business, and recently, successfully conducted a wonderful outof- store jewellery exhibition. It got an excellent response and the sales were astronomical,” beams Karuna.
“It was a new experience for me and I was given full freedom to do as I pleased in running the business. It has indeed been a beautiful journey. I learnt a lot of new things, brought in my own ideas into the business and under the able guidance of my grandfather, I was able to manage the business well,” says Vedika.
Success stories of such family-run businesses can be found in all parts of the country. Take the case of Chandigarhbased Talwar Jewellers. In 1954, Tarsen Lal Talwar came from Hoshiarpur to the nearest city, Chandigarh, to start his own jewellery business under the name of Talwar Jewellers. He charted out a road map which is being followed by the third generation of his family, namely, Rajat Talwar. “In those days, there was no significant hallmarking system.
In 1975, we exported silver, and in 1979 we exported 6 kg of gold jewellery from India to Kuwait to Al Jinnha Jewellers. This was the first gold jewellery export of the country Mahesh Chandra Jain, P B Society Jewellers
Despite that, all the gold that we sold was of 916 purity. So, today, we do not face any problems buying back our jewellery because we are assured of its purity. We never mixed gold, even though there were no regulations. We bought back jewellery bought by the earlier generations from our store, and we have noticed it had 92- 93 per cent gold,” says Talwar.
He recalls an incident when late at night, a man came to their store in desperation with a gold ornament sold to him by another jeweller. He wanted to buy a new ring for his wife in exchange for that old piece. “The man was nearly in tears, and I gave him the ring at a loss, in exchange or his old ornament. I ensured that the client was happy. We always place clients first – customer satisfaction is our prime philosophy in business,” explains Talwar.
Vedika could have done anything she wanted. But she decided to join the jewellery business, and recently, successfully conducted a wonderful out-of-store jewellery exhibition. It got an excellent response and the sales were astronomical Karuna Jain, PB Society Jewellers
Tackling competition from corporate-run chain stores
“When chain stores came up, they actually helped family-run businesses. People started coming to smaller stores, because the large chain stores made substantial profits at the clients’ expense. Corporate advertisements helped, because Indian clients like to compare jewellery prices, and when they did that, they realized that family-run businesses offered the same piece at a lower cost. Advertisements of corporate giants remind people about the fact that they need to invest in gold and people immediately rush to their family jewellers to buy jewellery. So, in fact, their advertising campaigns work in favour of smaller stores,” explains Rajat.
When chain stores came up, they actually helped family-run businesses. People started coming to smaller stores, because the large chain stores made substantial profits at the clients’ expense. Corporate advertisements helped, because Indian clients like to compare jewellery prices, and when they did that, they realized that family-run businesses offered the same piece at a lower cost Rajat Talwar, Talwar Jewellers
During the total lockdown for nearly six months in 2020, Satish Kumar Keshri of Hira Panna Jewellers, Patna, Bihar, told his son, Shekhar, that staff salaries should not be deducted. His actual words were: “Why should you deduct salary for a few months of no work when these people have given nearly 25-30 years of their lives to you,” recalls Shekhar Keshri, who now looks after the business.
Says Keshri, “Nearly 70 families are dependent on us, and therefore, we paid all our staff members in full for all months of the lockdown.”Currently, the company has two stores in Patna -- one store was started in 1981 and the other in 2003. Transparency in dealings, purity and pricing, excellent services all went into building a strong brand value for the store in the city.
He recalls an incident which took place last year. A bridegroom’s family had placed an order for an engagement ring of a larger size during the short span of time when the lockdown was lifted for a few days. “Later, the lockdown was re-announced, and on the day of the engagement, the store was closed.They gave me the ring and asked me to redo it in a smaller size. So, I had to contact the karigar and get the modification done and we hand-delivered the ring to the client’s engagement venue,” recalls Keshri. “Clients’ interest and requirement is paramount, and any jeweller who is able to meet such needs of his clients has no fear of any competition. Corporate-run stores may not be able to match this kind of service,” he adds.
“When we opened our second store in 2003, hallmarking had been introduced in India, though it was not mandatory. All the same, we have always been using 916 purity. All over the world, people have come to buy jewellery from us. Now we are catering to the third generation of our patrons. ‘Pride, Purity, Trust’ is our motto,” Keshri proclaims.