We Use Analytics To Understand The Demand & Cater To Consumer Needs: Bhavesh Navlakha, Founder, Sukkhi
We are focusing on launching a celebrity collection and are in discussion with a few celebs. We are also launching more SKUs for the festive season.
Tell us about Sukkhi? What is the story behind its inception?
I have been involved in the family business since I was young as I am a 4th generation jeweller. As I got more and more involved in the family business, I picked up skills like interacting with customers and working in the industry. After working there for a few years, I realised I want to grow and explore the industry more and learn about it in depth. I joined Rosy Blue as I already had the background of working in jewellery, I wanted to know more about Diamonds specifically. After working for 3 years in Rosy Blue, I realised that my ultimate calling is working in the jewellery business and then I worked at Zaveri Bazaar, Mumbai for another 4 years and I kept learning more about the industry through the years. But I realised that dealing with diamonds is a very high investment business, hence I started a business of gold jewellery wholesale and I worked with 150 retailers. This made me realise that this is very high risk and low-profit market.
After all of this, I slowly started researching the fashion jewellery market in India and started tracking brands in the industry. There were many regional brands catering to the market, but the national presence of a brand in fashion jewellery was missing. With the advent of e-commerce in India in 2012, I realised we can create a brand using online mediums and e-commerce platforms. With this thought, I launched Sukkhi in 2012 with 75 SKU and Rs. 25,000 to kickstart the business. Slowly the business started growing and Snapdeal was the first platform where we got an amazing response for our products. We worked on more designs and expanded our catalogue to be launched on Flipkart, Amazon and Paytm. Sukkhi had become a top brand in 2015 due to its extensive presence in e-commerce websites. This gave us the motivation to launch our own website - Sukki.com with a revenue of 35 crores now.
We also wanted our presence offline, so we started with 7 kiosks in different malls. As the brand was growing towards an omnichannel one, we decided that we will raise funds to take the brand to the next level. In October 2018, we raised a fund of Rs. 30 crores from Capitan capital. We deployed the raised fund for offline presence of the brand and were present in Reliance Stores at 120 locations SIS and launched 3-4 additional kiosks.
Our target audience is between 18 - 55, with a strong base of 18 - 35 customers. Sukkhi is a mass brand and we have our presence across Tier 1,2 and 3.
What is the current scenario of the fashion jewellery industry in India? What is the future outlook?
The fashion jewellery business In India has grown in the last few years. In 2007 -08, Cad & CAM in India and was used in fashion jewellery as well to maintain and regulate the quality of finish of the products. After 2010, the notion of wearing imitation jewellery has changed and people have become more accepting towards wearing imitation jewellery. This industry is huge and gives a chance to all the brands to grow simultaneously. However, to grow the brands the products have to be of top quality and for that exclusive manufacturers come in place, right kind of sourcing and then gaining the customer’s trust. The difference in pricing is because each brand has its own quality to adhere to and have specifics when it comes to manufacturing their products.
How does Sukkhi keep designs trendy?
If I talk about design, almost all fashion jewellery stores are selling the same products but with different qualities. We have in-house designers and have 20 designers at the manufacturing unit as well. We map and analyze the jewellery trends and develop designs. We launch our own unique designs and we cannot stop plagiarism of our designs in the market. We have copyrights for 70% of our products. Since we are largely focused on online sales, our regular customer feedback and interactions help us understand the demand better. We use analytics to understand the demand of the customers and cater to their needs accordingly. We launched Scintillare by Sukkhi this year as we wanted to cater to the needs of everyday wear jewellery which is dainty and intricate.
We have 11 exclusive manufacturers and all our designs are CAD and CAM approved. We use surgical stainless steel and lead-free and zinc in our accessories to make it allergy-free. We focus very keenly on our products to make sure the jewellery is of the best quality.
Sukkhi also has some offerings for Men's as well. What is the demand for Men’s jewellery in India?
Men’s jewellery in India is slowly taking place, it is not as significant as women’s jewellery but the demand is growing. As people in India are becoming more fashion-conscious, with the advent of social media as well, men are grooming themselves and are looking for products that can amp up their style quotient. It has become a way to express yourself. In the Rakhi category, we sold over 5 lakh rakhis this year online.
What are your future plans with Sukkhi? What new products are in the pipeline?
Due to the impact of offline business during Covid, we are rethinking our strategies. However, we are scouting for new locations where we can sell Sukkhi products offline. Our 80% focus will still remain online and 20% online. Given the fact that we are operating in high growth, high demand market, we are interacting with investors on a regular basis. We are evaluating opportunities to raise funds in Series B. Since we are majorly available online, we have been able to reach globally through e-commerce platforms. We're also revamping our website soon, which is termed Sukkhi 2.0
What strategies you are following for the upcoming festive season? Any partnership or collaboration With Celebrities?
This year, we are focusing on launching a celebrity collection and are in discussion with a few celebs. We are also launching more SKUs for the festive season.
How did covid impact your business? What was the overall impact on the fashion jewellery industry?
For the first couple of months, there was a complete lockdown and it affected the business. But subsequently, as the unlock began, we noticed that there were many customers buying Sukkhi jewellery online. With our brand presence over the past few years, we noticed a new customer base buying products online. We saw the growth happening in multi-folds from pre-covid to post -covid.
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