has a deep heritage of jewellery. Yet, it has not been able to generate a
true-blue global brand as yet. Why? What will it take?
M Mehta, Mumbai
A: Swapnil, the reason is a simple one. The
jeweller of India has always been one who has viewed his market with a very
narrow view. His market has essentially been one that has been defined by
geography. This geography has been one that has been restricted to the region
where he started his business. The Indian jeweller has been a conservative
jeweler. He has defined his brand, his personal core-competence and the ambit
of his jewellery business in a rather narrow format, rather than a broad-spectrum
format, which International brands use as a starting template.
India will produce excellent brands in the
space of jewellery, only when the horizons of the jeweller expand. Even today, the
best brands of Indian jewellery are home-names that feel rather shy to test
overseas waters. Even if they do, they prefer the B2B route rather than the aggressive
India produces some of the best jewels in the
world as of today. Current design competence is excellent, with in-house
home-bred names. Add to it the ancient Indian heritage in the space of
jewellery, where jewellery-lineage goes back into centuries. All this must add
up to an equation of at least a few International brands that compete in every
market there is to compete. This is not so today. There is a spirit of shy reluctance
in jewellery space today. We need to let go of this conservative mindset.
I do believe the first few International
brands will be created by corporate names rather than region and city based
jewellery businesses. This is unfair really to the fact that the jewellery
business of India is really one that has been created, sustained and grown by
city-based jewelers who work with passion in this space. The corporate names
will overtake them all just because of one reason: the spirit to brand and the
spirit to spend the right amount of money on branding, quite ahead of the curve
When I look at current corporate names,
Tanishq from Tatas show a lot of promise. I do believe we need more Corporate
brand sin this space. Is Reliance listening? Is the Aditya Birla group
listening as well?
Q: How important is personal branding in a corporate set up? How does
one go about creating it?
-Dhanu Mishra, Delhi.
A: Dhanu, I personally do not believe in personal branding. I do believe
branding is a natural process when it comes to human beings in a corporate
set-up. My advice to those looking for a personal branding tip: DON'T.
Be who you are and enjoy being just that. No point in thrusting upon yourselves
a persona or a set of traits that do not belong to you. Never borrow styles and
habits. Be original, and I think you are doing great on your personal branding
Be completely original and sincere
in show-casing who you are. Dedicate yourself to understanding who you really
are. Portray your original persona without any charades and make-up. You will
do well and thrive. In an era when everyone is behaving like everyone else, if
you are original and just YOU, you will thrive. You will be a refreshing change
in a clonal corporate environment.
Good branding, when it is genuine and represents the true persona behind the
branding, helps. Anything else does not!
Q: A lot of food is
being shown on television. Why?
A: Visalakshi, I am sure you are
not complaining. A lot of people are today hooked onto food shows on television.
The basic truth is that food is
totally intrinsic to our being and living. Something as intrinsic as food
therefore requires the requisite amount of television time and space. TRP’s of
such programs are showing up the fact that food can be exciting for all. En and
women included. Master Chef Australia possibly has an equal gender skew in
terms of viewership. And that’s today’s reality.
If I am to trace how all this happened,
it would go thus.
In the beginning food was food.
It was basic and it was all about what grew around us. And exotic food was
everything that did not grow too close to us. And seasonal food was everything
that came in and went out of season, quite like the Indian mango, which makes
the Indian summer bearable and awaited eagerly.
And then food became more than food. It became something that got processed,
packaged and aggressively branded. This came through super-market counters. And
then food morphed to become a service from a product it was. In came
restaurants of every kind. And now, food is not food and not a service. It has
gone beyond. Food is something that you view on a channel that is dedicated to
Many of us eat more with our eyes than with our mouths. It is this
socio-physical reality that is spurring food channels forward. A big chunk of
people who watch these channels are of an older age profile. The point is
simple. If you cannot eat it all anymore due to health reasons, salivate and
watch it being made and eaten. This might sound bizarre, but I strongly believe
a lot of people eat more with their eyes than their mouths. Touche!
Harish Bijoor is a business strategy
specialist and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.