Bringing about change in a traditional industry was never easy. So, although I had a vision of where I wanted to take the business, the road map was not so clear.
Mehul Choksi, CMD, Gitanjali Group
I will always treasure the advice that I got from my father in those early days: "Combine professionalism with instinct, and don't be afraid to experiment and try out new ideas."
These words have always guided me at times when crucial decisions have to be taken on the way forward. When my gut told me that branding was the future of the jewellery industry, nobody was really willing to listen, but I still went ahead some 18 years ago and launched Gili. We were scoffed at, but today we can see that we were right.
We then faced the question of how to reach consumers at a time when jewellery was sold through exclusive familyowned stores. We introduced our new concept through branded counters in the then-new modern retail chains such as Shoppers Stop.
Our decision to further penetrate the market led us to establish a marketing network that resembled the fast-moving consumer goods model, and today, branded jewellery is one of the fastest growing sectors in India.
Today, my entire set-up is based on a mix of professional inputs and business instinct, and it has propelled us to the position of the world's largest integrated branded jeweller.