ALROSA informs on the situation regarding the next coupon payment under Eurobond 2027

PJSC ALROSA (the Company) provides the following update on the coupon payment of $7,750,000 due 25 June 2022 on $500,000,000 Eurobonds issued by Alrosa Finance S.A. (Luxembourg) (the Issuer) and maturing in 2027.


Pandora casts out its net in Portugal

Pandora takes over 34 locations from its distributor Visão do Tempo to assume full ownership of its Portuguese business.


Zero VAT will turn diamonds into yet another investment vehicle within Russia

According to media reports from the Cheboksary Economic Forum, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev, who is attending the forum, said that the government of the Russian Federation approved the introduction of a zero VAT rate on rough and polished diamonds...


Russian gold arrives in Switzerland

In May, Switzerland imported a cargo of gold from Russia for the first time since Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, which is evident from the published Swiss customs data, according to a report by Reuters.


WDC President calls on the KP to move forward or risk a two-tier market with dire consequences

Highlighting the proven ability of natural diamond resources to serve as a driver for the development of sustainable economies and societies, World Diamond Council President Edward Asscher warned that this potential is threatened if the Kimberley Process...

23 june 2022

“We aim to bring in a different kind of a jewellery experience for the consumers,” says Vaishali Banerjee, Managing Director, PGI-India

30 may 2022

vaishali_banerjee_xx.pngVaishali Banerjee made a shift from the advertising and marketing industry to the jewellery industry to create category awareness for a metal that was lesser-known in the subcontinent. Initially, it was all about category creation in a vibrant, mature and well entrenched industry filled with opportunities and challenges. Since then, Vaishali Banerjee has been at the helm of a collaborative engagement with the industry.

Vaishali Banerjee has been instrumental in building India’s successful relationship with the highest valued and rare metal – Platinum. She led the charge for Platinum Guild International, to enter a traditional jewellery market and create a new aspirational category of platinum-based jewellery. A firm believer in the merits of arduous research and data-driven insights, Vaishali also has a keen eye for evolving consumer needs and new business opportunities, which has led to the establishment of a thriving high-end platinum jewellery market in India.

A marketing professional with extensive experience in category creation and market development across lifestyle and luxury brands, Vaishali, understands the importance of building a network of strong relationships. PGI’s long-standing relationships with retailers and consumers are a testament to her admirable interpersonal skills and leadership abilities.

Here, in an Interview with Rough&Polished, Vaishali Banerjee tells her story of the association between PGI’s programmes and the Indian jewellery sector …

Some excerpts:

Can you please explain PGI-India’s activities/programmes to promote platinum/platinum jewellery in India?

At PGI, we have always placed the consumer at front and centre. Our strategic efforts, aimed at creating awareness, education, and aspiration around platinum as a metal, remain a top priority.

Through various programmes, both direct-to-consumer and in collaboration with jewellery retailers and manufacturers, PGI creates consumer demand by first identifying opportunities for platinum in jewellery, and then developing them with partners.

PGI’s consumer marketing and educational programmes are focused on developing awareness and an appreciation for platinum’s unique qualities as a precious metal for fine jewellery. The marketing campaigns and initiatives enabled it to captivate consumers with a more compelling brand story and capture new growth opportunities such as the women’s self-purchase segment and men’s segment.

In 2009, we introduced our first branded segment - Platinum Days of Love and tapped into the couple gifting segment via Platinum Love Bands (couple bands/rings) as a product offering. Platinum Days of Love continues to be our largest segment. In 2015, we introduced our second branded segment - Platinum Evara, for the women's bridal sub-category and expanded it into self-purchase last year. At a branded level we ensure that we unlock newer segments, as we have done with men in 2019 with the launch of Men of Platinum, which is aimed at men, to allow them to celebrate and mark meaningful milestones in their life with platinum.

PGI’s continued efforts towards creating awareness and desire for platinum as a metal and further developing a sustainable market for platinum jewellery in the country have enabled greater awareness of possibilities for platinum jewellery to capture a more competitive market position.

We collaborate very closely with our strategic partners across the entire mix to deliver successful sell out for each collection under each brand. This includes design, merchandise mix, marketing, training and education, branding and visibility. Other key strategic initiatives have included platinum in the gold section – an initiative aimed at capitalizing on consumer desire for platinum creating opportunities for upselling. The bi-metal product that we have conceptualized is stocked in the gold section and helps lower any barriers to entry into the category.

PGI will continue to work with strategic partners to enhance platinum's position as the 'personally meaningful metal of choice' among younger consumers.


In terms of marketing, does the PGI -India branch work with specific India-centric advertisements solely for the Indian market?

Definitely yes. Over the years, through PGI’s strategic initiatives and marketing and communication programmes, platinum has established a differentiated niche for itself in the Indian jewellery industry and now enjoys patronage across multiple markets in the country including tier-II and tier-III cities. Today, platinum has emerged as a metal of choice amongst the younger generation, with millennials and Gen-Z showing an affinity for the stunning white metal as a marker of emotionally significant milestones in their lives. Our brand health study conducted in 2020 that maps the growing consideration of the metal is a testimony of this popularity. This was done across the top 11 markets including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata & Chennai across men & women:

- Despite the pandemic, platinum has been able to maintain a strong & consistent spontaneous awareness. Platinum has a strong consideration & it has also been able to maintain a stable last 1-year acquisition

- The core equities for platinum are aligned to PGI’s strategy to build desire among the young consumers by driving differentiation from gold. Platinum has strong ownership of the gift of love segment, with a strong association with it being a ‘clear symbol of love’

- Furthermore, platinum has built relevance among the millennials and established itself as a choice of today’s generation

With the advent of the wedding season coming up in May & June, we do foresee a demand for bridal related jewellery purchases, and we will continue to leverage the opportunity through Platinum Evara and Platinum Days of Love.

What do you think was the reason for the spurt in the growth of platinum jewellery in Q4, 2021?

Platinum Guild International (PGI) India witnessed a strong fourth quarter – October – December 2021, for platinum jewellery purchases post the second wave of the pandemic, according to our Platinum Jewellery Business Review Q4 2021. Our key strategic retail partners saw a robust 35-40% year-on-year growth in platinum sales in Q4 2021, on the back of effective marketing efforts after the prolonged lockdown, taking advantage of pent-up demand during the festival season.

The last quarter of 2021 marked the onset of the festive and wedding seasons and PGI kick-started this season with the launch of the second edition of our signature retail activation programme ‘Platinum Season of Hope’ in October that panned out to 1350+ retail stores across the country to drive conversions. The activation is intended to bolster growth in sales across all stores and deliver remarkable results for the quarter.

PGI's strategic retail partners also geared up with new collection launches, robust marketing plans, and promotions to drive higher sell-through in the last quarter of the year.

Additionally, we also launched the new product collection for Men of Platinum in partnership with ace cricketer & trendsetter KL Rahul coinciding with the cricket season as a vehicle for the marketing campaign. A new collection was launched for Platinum Days of Love supported by an integrated marketing campaign in November. This was followed by Evara’s new collection under self-purchase supported by an integrated marketing campaign.

Amplification of PGI’s marketing initiatives and campaigns by retail partners further aided the increase in consumer walk-ins at stores, building strong consumer demand in Q4, 2021.


What are the PGI’s marketing initiatives and campaigns that are utilized extensively by retail partners in India generally?

All our consumer campaigns are supported by robust marketing & communication programmes across digital, print, tv and integrated platforms to ensure high reach and frequency across key markets for platinum in the country. Our marketing efforts are focused on driving store walk-ins and optimizing demand for our retail partners. These consumer & trade marketing programs are intended to be catalysts of growth for our robust network of retail partners to energize & infuse demand in the sector.

In India, we plan different initiatives across our three branded categories – Platinum Days of Love, Platinum Evara & Men of Platinum to cater to the needs of our consumers during festive & wedding seasons and other buying occasions. PGI also runs its flagship branded retail activation programme, The Season of Love. With the successful editions over the years, this has come to become a coveted calendar event for all our partners.

In October 2020, PGI launched the ‘Platinum Season of Hope’, a consumer and retail activation programme to reboot demand for platinum jewellery after the onslaught of the first wave of Covid. The results were excellent as we witnessed an overwhelming response from our 1280+ retailers for the Platinum Season of Hope.

At a branded level we ensure that we unlock newer segments, as we have done more recently with men in 2019 with the launch of Men of Platinum. 

In terms of quality, our Quality Assurance program ensures that all platinum jewellery under the PGI program is rigorously monitored and audited for quality and purity and consumers are assured of 95% platinum even for gem-set jewellery.

Today, our key retailers have taken platinum much beyond the metro markets. Tier 2 and 3 cities are growing in both distribution and retail sales. Our TV communication covers + 84 cities, 44% of our print budgets are for regional & language dailies. Our signature activation programmes like Season of Love and now Season of Hope has expanded to 300 cities!

What’s your opinion about PGI’s new platform ‘PlatinumABC’ launched on YouTube? How do you plan to use it in the Indian jewellery sector?

PlatinumABC is an interactive platform that connects contemporary elements from technology, manufacturing and design, with incredible potential to accelerate the growth of the platinum jewellery industry by digitally incubating noteworthy ideas and best practices in the field.

Through this platform, we aim to drive awareness and innovation around the future of platinum jewellery, streamline production processes and create a positive influence on the jewellery ecosystem.

The platform aims to inspire creativity, and avenues to explore R&D capacities that lead the way for platinum jewellery development in the country. It will also help in providing easy access to trend reports capturing emerging trends in the industry, and information on the manufacturing process, thereby reshaping the traditional jewellery industry in a truly spectacular way.

PlatinumABC is built to get together a community of experts, innovators and creative minds to incubate novel ideas and innovative technologies for the development and growth of platinum jewellery. It's an excellent platform for manufacturers in India and globally as it addresses a huge need gap when it comes to building familiarity with the metal.

And what are the new marketing initiatives being put together by PGI for the GEN Z in India? In a gold-loving market like India, how do you think platinum will fare going forward?

Over the last decade, PGI has invested significantly in building values to strengthen a strong foothold in the precious jewellery category and create a differentiated space for platinum. PGI has developed a branding strategy, including building platinum’s equity as a symbol of love, meaning and authenticity to highlight platinum’s qualities for consumers’ consideration and purchases, as well as developing branded collections to target specific consumers segmentations. We focus on the younger consumer segment who have different needs when it comes to purchasing jewellery. They desire something meaningful and modern, which matches their sense of individuality and look for pieces that have a unique design narrative reflecting their values and beliefs. This customer segment is buying into platinum’s emotional promise as well as its quality, rarity and preciousness.

With our three categories - Platinum Days of Love, Evara and Men of Platinum, PGI has instantly built a strong emotional connect with these consumers, who don’t want to simply fit in but seek to express their individuality through their choice of jewellery. Platinum Days of Love offers Platinum love bands, engagement rings and anniversary bands for couples. Platinum Love Bands sell across all price points right from the solitaires to the engagement bands and promise bands have increasingly gained popularity amongst youngsters. Our consumer research indicated the strong affinity among young women for Evara and the potential that lay beyond bridal gifting. In response to that in Q4 2020, we launched the self-purchase collection under Evara which received excellent traction from consumers across the country. To cater to the growing demand for jewellery amongst men and to accelerate growth for platinum in the country while capturing the incremental opportunity that men represent, our Men of Platinum collection which includes chains, kadas and bracelets, is well poised to cater to this segment and remains one of the most successfully growing categories for PGI India.

Today, platinum has established a unique position in the Indian jewellery market. Platinum’s innate characteristics – pure, strong durability, rarity provides an overall higher quality offering for discerning customers, keeping in line with evolving consumers’ preferences where they are looking for lightweight frequent wear and trendy jewellery. We aim to bring in a different kind of a jewellery experience for the consumers and create an incremental opportunity in the jewellery industry. We have adopted the digital-first strategy to engage with young consumers, and continue to build appeal, relevance, desire, and preference for platinum in their lives. Beyond platinum’s physical characteristics, we have been successful in establishing platinum as a metal that strongly connects with quality, love and meaning through various marketing initiatives.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough&Polished