Having just opened its 28th store in the southern part of the country, PMJ Jewels is planning to further expand its retail presence in the south, Neerav Challa, Head of Merchandising of PMJ Jewels, tells Suneeta Kaul
“From the red carpet of Hollywood, to the covers of international fashion magazines, to being the preferred choice of customers when it comes to jewellery for every occasion and every generation – that’s PMJ Jewels.” This is how Neerav Challa, Head of Merchandising of the Andhra Pradesh-based fine jewellery brand, PMJ Jewels, describes the company.
With a legacy of 50 years, PMJ is in an aggressive expansion mode, having just opened its new flagship store in Rajahmundry in the East Godavari district of coastal Andhra. With this, the company, which has embarked on a plan to strengthen its retail presence in South India, now has 28 stores to its name.
Talking about the new PMJ store, Challa says, “Our new retail outlet offers a wide selection of diamond, gold, and polki jewellery. It not only houses a range of bridal and traditional jewellery, but also retails lightweight pieces designed for everyday wear, designer jewellery and handcrafted creations.
“Besides, the store offers a range of services to enhance the shopping experience of its customers. Spread over an area of 5,000 square feet, the new store is a two-floor building, in which we are showcasing the finest range of never-seen-before bridal diamond, gold and polki jewellery.”
Apart from cities in Andhra, PMJ has a presence in other cities of South India as well. “We have been in cities such as Bangalore and Coimbatore for many years. We have held exhibitions in these cities, and also have our offices there. We opened the Bangalore store in 2018, and it is doing very well. And then in March this year, we moved to a bigger store in the Jayanagar locality of Bangalore. We are expanding our retail presence fairly aggressively, but as of now, we are focusing only on southern cities,” reveals Challa.
He explains that while jewellery has an ever-growing pan-India market, there are some differences in consumption patterns and consumer preferences between the north and the south. “The south Indian market is the highest-consuming market for the gems and jewellery industry. There is a consistent demand for jewellery in the southern region, irrespective of ups and downs in the economy, nationally, or globally. People here prefer to invest in jewellery, and this has been happening for generations. Moreover, the demand for natural stones, such as rubies, emeralds and sapphires, is far higher than in the north.”
Keeping up with the times
PMJ has taken several steps to keep up with the times, and cater to the tastes and preferences of millennials. “While our core strength is bridal jewellery, be it in diamond, polki or gold, our merchandise includes a mix of all categories and various price points. We have created an exhaustive range in a smaller price point in order to cater to the daily wear requirements of today’s modern working women,” says Challa.
The company is also working on its website, through which it wants to showcase its regular wear range. But PMJ has had a digital presence for quite a while, and that too, well before the pandemic. “We have a video store facility, where customers sitting in any city in the world can browse our designs and shop. It was an advantage for us during the pandemic, as we already had our setup for online sales,” Challa says.
So, what differentiates PMJ from its competitors?
“It’s our focus on openness, and our emphasis on fresh designs and concepts,” declares Challa. “We believe in delivering quality products to our customers with complete transparency. Also, we have an in-house design team, which consistently works on creating new concepts. This allows us to be first in the market when it comes to designs. Having our own manufacturing units give us complete control over the process of jewellery creation and design,” he adds.
Talking about the legacy of the company, Challa says PMJ has been crafting relationships for over 50 years. “We are strong on quality, transparency and craftsmanship. Thanks to our focus on these attributes, we have grown to become one of the most renowned jewellery brands in South India, trusted by over 1.5 lakh families. We have been the most preferred jeweller for three generations of the Telugu community. We continue to win hearts, and awards,” Challa finishes off in style.