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Diamond brand eyes Northeast

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1130729/images/29regbizshop_200022.jpgDiamond jewellery brand Aastha has chalked out an aggressive retail plan to tap the Northeast market, which it perceives has a growing demand for its sparkling fare.

“We have been operating in the Northeast in the past decade through two retail outlets at Nagaon (opened in 2003) and Dibrugarh (2011) and a franchisee in Guwahati (2005). Now we are looking to tap the Northeast market through more flagship stores as we feel consumers here have acquired considerable knowledge about designer diamonds,” the brand’s founder Rajendra Deorah told The Telegraph at the launch of a showroom in Guwahati, the third flagship store in Assam, recently.

Deorah, who is the managing partner of the Mumbai-based Meerah Jewels that owns the brand, is optimistic about Guwahati emerging as a major market for its diamonds.

“Guwahati being the gateway to the Northeast has a huge potential for fine diamonds. Women here are no longer confined to gold and silver jewellery. On the contrary, many are adding diamonds to their repertoire. More so, because diamonds are ligh-ter than gold jewellery and can be worn on any occasion,” he said.

The 750 square feet showroom on GS Road offers an exquisite jewellery line ranging from classic, Indian traditional, contemporary, ethnic and casual designs.

“We are planning more flagship stores in the Nor-theast. Shillong, Jorhat and Tinsukia are the destinations we have in mind right now,” Deorah said.

While design and workmanship are Aastha’s USP, the brand also believes in transparency. “Every product comes with a certificate of authenticity. We also offer lifetime exchange and have a buyback policy that is best in the industry,” he said.

The size of the country’s branded jewellery market is around Rs 30,000 crore, of which Aastha has a share of about eight per cent.

“When we started retailing back in 2002, we enjoyed a two per cent share of the branded jewellery market, the size of which was about Rs 1,500 crore then,” Deorah said.

The brand also caters to US and European markets. “We have been exporting our diamonds to the US, our biggest market, and Europe since 1993. But now we are making a slight shift by reducing the volume of exports. We are looking to primarily cater to the domestic market,” the entrepreneur said.