The new normals in a world where Covid-19 unfortunately is becoming a part of our life will bring about many changes in the way businesses will be conducted, and more importantly the way we live our life.
The nation-wide lockdown is slowly being lifted and life is slowly crawling back to a new-normalcy. Businesses and brands are now are making their way back into the business; planning their communication plans for a new world post the covid-19 lockdown.
In this story of Medianews4u’s new series, Back to Business, we spoke to Nishit Nanda, CEO, Consumer Business, Khimji Jewels.
How are you coping with the impact of Covid-19 on Khimji Jewels? How effectively have you used the lockdown period?
While the sudden onset of the pandemic presented us with unique challenges, we realised that this is not a time to worry about the present but rather to consolidate for the future. We looked at it as a one-of-a-kind disruption that seldom happens regularly but has the capacity to bring tectonic shifts when it does. This is a disruption that has forced us to take a step back and look at the big picture, emboldened us to push our thinking and innovate for the future. It has geared our approach towards a new paradigm, to develop fresh ways of ensuring a seamless consumption experience, to create integrated online and offline platforms. Where perhaps we once would have been gradual in our approach to change, the pandemic and lockdown has hastened us into the new era of building relationships and conducting businesses.
The quest for a solution to a particular crisis helps invent new business opportunities and sometimes leads to a revision of existing business models. What sort of innovation has or will the Covid-19 pandemic bring to your brand/industry / category?
We saw the opportunity and relevance of meeting the consumer where they are and transformed ourselves digitally. Today, we are firmly and irreversibly on our way to become a cloud-led brand with all aspects of our business geared to serve the consumer wherever she is. Our core mantra is inspired by the three Ts – Transformation, Transparency and Trust, and we are focusing on these lock, stock and barrel.
We created a new virtual shopping experience for our customers by connecting with them directly over WhatsApp. This started out as a deep engagement for our customers first but now it has become a discovery platform that people can’t get enough of. We built an alternate fulfilment channel that complements our traditional ones, architected the starting stages of a robust data strategy and are building insight mining processes for knowing our audiences deeply and authentically. In addition, we have utilised digital and social platforms for all our storytelling and are creating a strong and continuously engaging content pipeline that is both of interest as well as inspiring to our people. All of this is to make the life of our customers simpler, more seamless and also safer when they go through all the stages of the product
Yet another innovation was our Gold Investment Plan, which allowed customers to purchase gold from the safety of their home. At a time when security is the primary concern for every family, we offered the most precious solution of all. Pure gold at fair rates, safely purchased and securely fulfilled.
Additionally, we also launched a display and purchase-enabled mobile interface and website to showcase our various collections in depth, with doorstep delivery of all products.
In the current Unlock plan being implemented by the government, how have you resumed the business?
Like with all other businesses, we too have incorporated all the necessary safety measures to ensure the best for our staff and customers. Our showrooms now have Augmented Reality enabled deep experience programmes installed, that lets people try on jewellery virtually, with no unnecessary contact. Moreover, our cloud strategy is in place for us to cater to all and any demand from any part of the country – red or other zones.
What will be your communication strategy post the lockdown? What will be the objective of the communication/marketing strategy?
Families, women, for over 84 years have let Khimji Jewels adorn them on their special occasions and become part of their traditions. Our legacy, promise and quality are central to any communication strategy we pursue. But that also means keeping up with the times and continuing to build on the relationship we have with consumers. During this period, we have aired our very first brand TVC. We want consumers across India to know who we are, what we stand for and how it echoes their own sentiments.
All product and tactical communications access deep life insights and narrate stories authentically and with impact.
How did you keep the morale of the employees during this lockdown period? On a personal note, what kept you positive?
The pandemic and lengthy lockdown period is something everyone was experiencing for the first time. One that presented us with tough times but also great opportunities, new learnings and new inspirations. We could ensure our employees felt supported at this time, we held workshops and sessions with them on how to manage many aspects of their lives. We kept reminding each other that tough times don’t last but tough people do. For me personally, I made the most of this unprecedented time to really think, ideate and innovate on the business. I really believe in the philosophy that the obstacle becomes the way.
What are some of the post-lockdown business strategies that you will use to bring the business back on track or at least get it in the right direction and also create demand for yourself?
We have already begun designing newer, trendier and more contemporary collections as well as intricate and ornate traditional pieces, expanding our reach to different markets and audiences across India. We have activated our cloud strategies and taken our customer experience to a more intuitive and deeper level. Our most recent launch was a collection called Me which is all about jewellery for the free spirit. Our strategy is always to offer the ideal blend of high-quality products, delightful designs and value pricing, packaged with traditional yet modern appeal. Backed, of course, by a seamless consumer experience and ethical, transparent service.
How are you taking the brand to the next level?
The brand that we have inherited from our elders is a powerhouse. It is a compass, companion and lighthouse for the people of Odisha. They have made us a part of their families, their lives and their hopes, dreams and ambitions for over 80 years. Taking a brand like that to the next level is a challenge that my team and I are looking forward to with eagerness and the current adversities have only tested the playing field for us. We have massive plans for Khimji Jewels and the future will judge us on our dedication, efforts and action.