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Coming soon: Orra diamonds

September 25, 2004 16:39 IST

The Rs 6,000-crore (Rs 60 billion) diamond market in India has attracted yet another player -- Orra -- part of the Belgian Rosyblue Group, the world's largest diamond manufacturing company with a presence across 15 countries.

By end September, Orra is planning to open 20 showrooms in 15 cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Agra, Lucknow and Chandigarh. Says Vijay Jain, CEO, Orra, "There is huge potential in the smaller towns and cities as aspiration plays a big role."

Rosyblue is not new to the Indian market, it launched its brand InterGold in India in 1997. InterGold currently has 22 exclusive outlets, of which 16 will be converted into Orra showrooms.

"We are changing the strategy for InterGold. We will promote InterGold through the shop-in-shop format while Orra will be promoted through exclusive stores," says Jain.

The shop-in-shop InterGold outlets will have jewellery with an average price of Rs 45,000 while the six remaining outlets will sell jewellery priced at Rs 100,000 to Rs 150,000.

The Orra showrooms will reflect the brands "only diamonds" offering. Orra, which is being promoted as a premium brand, will nevertheless have a price range of between Rs 5,000 and Rs 7 lakh. Says Jain, "We are targeting the 25 to 40 years age group. And though we will concentrate on the high-end products, we have to be present in all price ranges to attract customers in that bracket." Orra will make a total investment of Rs 90 crore (Rs 900 million) in three years.

The company has shot a new ad campaign in Malta, which will soon be aired on television across the country.

Literary dreams

It was a store launch with a slight difference. This wasn't a parlour for fashionistas or a slick showroom filled with home furnishings. It was that rarest of rare birds -- a bookstore. Oxford Bookstore is part of a growing chain that already has five outlets around India.

Promoted by e.books World Pvt Ltd, a 100 per cent subsidiary of the Kolkata-based Apeejay Surrendra Group, the Delhi outlet is the company's fifth store after Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore and Calangute in Goa.

"We were looking for the right location before venturing to Delhi," says Rajiv Chowdhry, COO, e.books World. He goes on to add that book retailing is different from other forms of retailing as every city has different tastes in books. "We were studying the right mix of titles for Delhi. The process of selection took nearly six months." The company plans to open two new bookstores every year.

The store, spread over 4,500 sq ft, is in Connaught Place, the heart of the capital. It will stock close to 65,000 books under 42 sections. "Delhi has space for more such book retail chains. At the Delhi Book Fair business worth Rs 5 crore (Rs billion) is conducted in a week," says Anand Bhushan, president Federation of Indian Publishers. Though figures are difficult to come by, Bhushan says most book retail chains like Crossword are doing great business.

However, Aalok Wadhwa, CEO, The Corner Bookstore, says that the success of large-format bookstores is suspect. "These bookstores are more of a 'destination' and they compete with other 'destinations' such as malls and multiplexes," he says. He also questions the rationale of setting up shop in Connaught Place when most businesses are moving to the outskirts of the city.

Oxford Bookstore will also have a tea bar inside the store. The company has tied up with Planet M to stock a range of music CDs and cassettes. While most publishing industry watchers say that the tea bar and music retailing are mere add-ons, Chowdhry says that they will add substantially to the store's revenues. "We expect CD sales and the tea bar to generate nearly 30 per cent of our revenues," he says.

e.books World has invested Rs 2 crore (Rs billion) in its Delhi store. With an expected average daily footfall of 1,000 (and a conversion rate of 25 per cent) company officials say they will break even in a couple of years' time.

Wooing women

What do you do with long-standing products in a dwindling market? Phase them out or fine tune the positioning. The Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million) Fem Care Pharma Ltd has done the latter.

It has tweaked its Fem Bleach and Fem Hair Removal Cream. Today, with cosmetic companies talking big on ingredients and benefits, Fem Bleach is now also a cleanser. And the 40 gm Hair Removal cream jar now comes in a convenient 25 gm tube. According to Sunita Ramnathkar, joint managing director of Fem Care Pharma, the new offerings are based on consumer feedback and convenience.

"We developed the smaller pack size to offer the convenience of carrying and single application. We are targeting upwardly mobile working women," she says.

The Rs 30 crore (Rs 300 million) hair removal cream market, growing at 12 per cent is currently dominated by Anne French (formerly owned by Geoffrey Manners, which was acquired by Wyeth Labs). It has a 65 per cent market share with Fem at 35 per cent. Ramnathkar hopes the new pack size will push up sales.

As for the Bleach, research had shown that today's young woman's priority was more skin purification rather than being fair. "We want consumers to understand that it's much more than a bleach. There have to be more benefits on offer, " she says.

-- Additional reporting by Arti Sharma

Smita Tripathi and Yusuf Begg in New Delhi