Was Kalyan Jewellers’ grand opening in Dubai a flop?

Was Kalyan Jewellers’ grand opening in Dubai a flop?

I writhing this after a good 20 days after the launch of Kalyan Jewellers in the UAE. If you have forgotten what I’m talking about, some quick facts below to refresh your mind.

Kalyan Jewellers in Dubai – Quick facts

  • It is one of the largest retailers of gold and diamond jewellery in India, having its HQ in Kerala.
  • Has a huge customer base in India especially the South, and employs many people.
  • Has 20 years retail experience having opened its first store in 1993

Why Dubai?

Why not? Dubai is the melting pot of the world! Apart from that is the large number of Indians living here. Every year we have more Indians leaving India and other countries to try their fortunes in Dubai. Every third guy I come across is either an Indian or an Asian. Usually all 3 are Indian!

Indian business houses have a huge presence in the Emirates. They date far back from the 70s, maybe earlier. Thanks to the generosity of the Emirati people, every year there are hundreds of businesses opened by Indians. From super markets, cafes, restaurants, trading, scrap to selling vegetables, fish etc.. you name it.

It is estimated that we Indians from the south spend a lot on gold. We have gold for nearly all occasions! When nearly half the population from there are here in the Emirates, what better place to set shop than in the UAE!

Dubai is a place which is in almost all news headlines throughout the world. Mostly for BIG reasons! Dubai has always been Investor friendly. Trading was and is the main industry here. Anything happening BIG here is reported all over the world or at least gets some attention.

It’s like, ‘Hey, lets launch our stores around the globe!’, ‘Wow, great. How many?’, ‘6, and all in the UAE!’. Thats how everyone seems to think. Maybe its quite true!

Dubai is know for is pomp and show. The world has come to know of Dubai as one of the best tourist attractions in the world. Thanks to the Burj Al Arab, the 7 star hotel, the Palm Jumeirah, The Burj Khalifa (worlds largest building), the beaches, the desert drives, mountains, wadis, indoor skiing, largest aquarium, and more! For anything to be noticed here in Dubai, it needs to be with a BANG!

And that’s exactly what Kalyan Jewellers did!

Opening six stores across the UAE, with 6 different superstars of Indian cinema doing the opening, with huge banners, billboards, TV and radio commercials in all possible languages, it was a very impressive and mind boggling act! BTW, only cinema heroes are superstars in India.

Everywhere I went, the only ad I saw was of Kalyan Jewellers. There seemed to be no competition from any other brand or company, maybe except a few from Sky Jewellers and Joy Alukkas. It was like driving through an Indian city. A clean and neat one at that.

Did it make an impact? You bet it did! Everyone was talking about Kalyan Jewellers. Do you think they were eager to visit the store to buy jewellery? Ha ha ha NO!

It is a launch too late?

Gold prices have dropped considerably. Dubai is a place famous for buying gold. This country sells the purest gold. If you buy 22 carat gold jewellery, it IS 22 carat! Unlike in India where it could be 21 or 20 carat! Because of this and considering most of our south Indian men are in the UAE, most of the jewellery is bought from here for all celebrations.

Taking gold from the UAE back to India was very easy and unto a certain weight it was permissible. This has changed last year. Now the only duty free allowance that is allowed is on gold ornaments and is limited to Rupees 10,000 for men and Rupees 20,000 for women! Anything more than that is taxed in India at Rs. 750 per 10 gms.+ 3%Edu. Cess!

If we are not in a position to carry gold  jewellery back home, why would we buy gold in the UAE?

Opening a store in Dubai is not the problem, but you need customers!

Kalyan will remain in peoples mind will certainly stand out as a brand. But how many of us go around saying … ‘You know this is bought from Joy Alukkas, and this from Kalyan’ etc? Hardly any.

Therefore, this exercise has just been make its presence felt, and nothing else.

Coming back to the launch being a flop. Certainly not! …but launching in Dubai when gold imports are restricted? Yes!

p.s.: I have yet to visit a Kalyan Jewellers store in the UAE. Im not sure I will in the new future!


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