Diamonds
KARP eyes diversification to sustain top industry position
2017/02/15
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Diamond bangles embellished with fancy colour diamonds from the Fenghuang Collection

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Fancy yellow diamond necklace from the Fenghuang Collection

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Smit Virani

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Diamond earrings in pink, yellow and white gold

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Classic solitaire diamond ring

KARP Jewellery Mfg HK Ltd is facing industry challenges head on with a fresh game plan. According to company director Smit Virani, new initiatives are underway to meet changing market preferences, which have been heavily influenced by macro-economic uncertainties.

KARP Jewellery Mfg HK Ltd is facing industry challenges head on with a fresh game plan. According to company director Smit Virani, new initiatives are underway to meet changing market preferences, which have been heavily influenced by macro-economic uncertainties.

In particular, KARP Jewellery is diversifying its product portfolio and strengthening its e-commerce business to remain competitive and on top of its game.

Virani said tweaking business strategies was the next plausible step for the company as a result of major economic setbacks, which impacted the jewellery industry.

“We had to change our approach in response to tougher global conditions,” noted Virani. “We launched new and more exciting jewellery designs across different product categories, and we have expanded to more markets. Our online store will also be launched this year.”

2016 highlights

KARP Jewellery considers its e-commerce initiative as a milestone. The jeweller has been actively developing its online business over the past year to provide a wider scope of services to consumers, Virani noted.

The move is part of the company’s unwavering commitment to further enhance customer experience and satisfaction, he added.

A member of the KARP Group, a De Beers Global Sightholder since 1993, KARP Jewellery is well-known for its exceptionally fine collections set with top-quality diamonds.

KARP Jewellery has a strong presence in Asia, Europe and the US, with offices in North America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Japan and India.

“Our two biggest markets have always been the US and China. The US contributed greatly to sales in 2016 while the Chinese market has been steady. As always, stable demand from China is a positive development. The Middle East and Hong Kong were also strong performers for us in 2016. We are excited about 2017 and its future prospects,” remarked Virani.

Solid business fundamentals helped the company weather the recession, he said, adding that KARP Jewellery is poised for further growth this year.

Design expertise

A trailblazer in the global diamond jewellery sector, KARP Jewellery traces its strength to its ability to continuously provide high-quality, bespoke jewellery pieces in exceptional designs.

“We have a compact team of around 15 designers that always strives to create pieces that are meaningful and memorable. As such, we constantly look for new sources of inspiration. This approach has kept our designs fresh and innovative,” the company executive said. “Take our FengHuang Collection for instance. It represents the immortality of beauty and the vibrancy of life. The collection is named after the legendary bird, Fenghuang.”

He also cited a strong synergy between technology and craftsmanship, which is instrumental in keeping KARP Jewellery’s designs relevant and cutting edge. The company provides staff with regular training to improve their technical skills, he noted.

Future growth

Another important step is expanding the company’s product offerings to meet the demand for more affordable yet trendy jewellery collections. Virani said he expects stronger consumer interest in jewellery items set with smaller-sized, commercial-quality stones.

“Consumers will likely look for more intimate and subtle designs as opposed to grand and ostentatious pieces, given the current economic situation,” he said. “They will want jewellery pieces that express their individuality. Moving forward, KARPJewellery will be developing a broader variety of designs to cater to a wider consumer base.”

The diamond jewellery specialist noted that mid- to low-range price-point items are likely to attract buyer attention across the company’s core markets in Europe, North America and Asia. “These product segments will be the strongest this year. In terms of style, we will be focusing more on fashionable, personalised, classic and chic jewellery pieces,” added Virani.

The most eye-catching products are those falling under the $5,000 retail price point, he noted, adding that price has become a decisive factor for consumers. Some buyers, however, remain willing to invest in one-of-a-kind designs. “Recognising this, we have increased our focus on this price segment, and we are likewise developing exciting designs tailor-made for this category.”

KARP Jewellery is unveiling new diamond jewellery collections within the year, on top of the company’s core collections. A few stand-alone pieces will also be offered to buyers, Virani revealed.

Product diversification

Over the years, KARP Jewellery has relied on its core competencies to meet industry challenges, according to Virani.

“We take immense pride in our manufacturing expertise since it allows us to execute our designs to perfection, no matter how intricate they are. Our ability to operate successfully in a variety of markets with diverse preferences has also worked to our advantage,” the company official noted.

Along the way, KARP Jewellery has amassed a handful of industry insights and lessons that remain critical in overcoming obstacles.

Perhaps the most important of these is being open-minded. “We learned not to limit ourselves. In the past, KARP Jewellery was heavily focused on high-end jewellery. The economic downturn made us realise that such a strategy could no longer be relied upon,” remarked Virani. “As such, we have expanded our price categories and launched more designs. We also want to make waves in the e-commerce front.”

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