The customers of the State are highly passionate about jewellery and Andhra Pradesh is the number one state in South India in overall jewellery consumption.
It was out of sheer passion of Sumesh Wadhera and late Ashok Kumar Wadhera towards jewellery industry that AOJ Media was born. The company was established by in 2002 to start-off India’s first industry publication on Jewellery, ‘The Art of Jewellery’ to cover the entire spectrum of industry from events to policy issues.
Over time, the magazine grew along with the jewellery industry and has evolved as one of the finest trade magazines in India with 8,000 subscribers. The company is also successfully conducting B2B and B2C jewellery shows every year.
Talking about the business idea, Sumesh says, “The industry has evolved and become more organised in last 10 years. We did not want to limit ourselves with just magazine but wanted to do more for the industry. Earlier, the trade shows were limited to Mumbai. There were 3 lakh retailors in the country and the exhibition had 2,000 stalls, which could not cater to everybody needs. The idea was to organise regional trade shows and create an ecosystem, where the local retailors participate and could get wide variety of design from different manufactures across the country,”
“Retailors outsource almost 70-80 per cent of jewellery manufacturing. In today’s competitive business world, the businesses have to go to their customers in variety of ways.
“We do not want to organise common event for both consumers and businesses like some other organisers. We have separate trade shows for customers and retailors with out diluting to the purpose of each event. We don’t want to be just organiser but also want to be solution provider in connecting different steps of the supply chain and enhance the business opportunities and create a win-win situation for all,” he says.
Talking about the importance of events, he says, “It is difficult for manufacturer to go to each shop and showcase his products. The manufacturers exhibit their wide variety of designs to the retailors in these events. These shows will also help in networking of people from different states and also to have business tie-ups over time. Where in B2C event, the retailor showcases the products he bought from the manufacturer to the end customer completing the whole supply chain,”
After doing successful shows in Bangalore and Kerala, the company has conducted its first gold shopping festival with World Gold Council in City in 2007. “Hitex International Gems & Jewellery Exposition was started way back in 2004. Now, in 2012, HIGJE has reached its eight edition and has its own value in the industry. We purchased the show from Hitex rather than organising a different event and competing with them. We can also enjoy their brand value, good will of the event and try to add value with our expertise in the industry. We were able to successfully organise this B2C event with 180 stalls,” he says.
“The customers of the state are highly passionate about jewellery and AP is the number one state in South India in over all jewellery consumption. This kind of events will be a grand branding opportunity for retailors. Growing customer base is very important for retailors and these events will create a possibility for customer acquisition and communication. It also benefits the customer by having access to huge variety of products from different shops under one roof,” he says.
Exhibition industry is nascent and growing in the country. But, it is $20-25 billion business worldwide. It is a unique platform to cater to target customers and businesses and provides a great opportunity for networking and sales, he says.
The company is launching Hindi version of The Art of Jewellery magazine soon to cater to Hindi speaking retailors, manufactures and customers. Almost 80 per cent of the content will be from the English version and the rest 20 per cent will be new content.
AOJ media has entered to 11 th year of operations and is having a growth rate of 20-25 per cent year on year. Almost 60 per cent of its revenues are generated from exhibitions and the other 40 per cent is from the magazine. It wants to consolidate and promote business in various sectors.
It also started Indian Jewellers of excellence (IJE) with a vision to inculcate best-in-class business practices and networking among the top retailors.
It is successfully conducting four annual shows in jewellery in Banglore, Hyderabad and Thrissur (Kerala).