Fashion Value Chain talked with Mr. Aditya Modak, Co-founder, ‘Gargi’ by P N Gadgil & Sons, in an exclusive interview on the occasion of the opening of the first retail store of ‘Gargi’
Recognizing the demand for high-quality fashion jewelry, Gargi aims to bridge the gap between low-quality, disposable products and expensive gold or diamond jewelry. The brand’s focus on durability, craftsmanship, and the use of sterling silver and brass sets it apart from other fashion jewelry brands. Gargi has recently opened its first offline store in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, providing customers with a unique shopping experience and plans to expand its retail footprint through shop-in-shop outlets and franchise stores.
What inspired you to launch Gargi as an offshoot brand of P N Gadgil & Sons?
I joined P N Gadgil & Sons right after completing my CA and CS, and since then have spent the next 12 years learning the intricacies of the business, starting with accounting and later working in marketing, operations, and sales departments. As I learned more about the jewelry business, I wanted to create a path-breaking entity that could transform its vertical.
That’s when I identified a massive unaddressed demand for top-quality fashion jewelry in India. The typical products available in the market did not make the women and end consumers happy, and the designs lacked quality or durability. I found the gap in the segment and decided to launch Gargi by PNGS and embarked on the journey with full support from the parent company. In a short period, we have built a contemporary label guided by over a century of jewelry expertise. Now, we aim to redefine how fashion jewelry is approached in India.
Can you tell us more about the unique shopping experience customers can expect at Gargi’s new offline store in Vashi Sector 17, Navi Mumbai?
So far, our products have been available online or at our own PNGS stores. Gargi didn’t have a store of its own. Our Vashi store is our first franchise unit and our first retail store. Study shows Indians love to touch and feel their purchase, which is a step towards meeting our consumers in person.
As expected, our store launch is giving the user interface experience to the consumers, and this is something that you will see us do more.
How does Gargi differentiate itself from other fashion jewelry brands in the market?
Gargi by PNGS is a brand in its league compared to other fashion jewelry labels. Firstly, close to 200 years of a rich legacy that mentors our brand is unmatched. Secondly, fashion jewelry in India is synonymous with cheap, low-quality products worn a few times and either damaged or discarded without any emotional attachment or pride in possessing such pieces. The only other option for women is to wear expensive gold or diamond jewelry, which obviously can’t be worn daily and on every occasion. Gargi by PNGS is bridging the gap by creating high-quality designer fashion jewelry that can be worn for years and remains fashionable and durable. Using 92.5% sterling silver and brass in our products adds uniqueness; each piece has its own story to tell and relate to.
What has been the response to Gargi’s shop-in-shop stores in Shoppers Stop, and how has that informed your expansion strategy?
We officially launched our first shop-in-shop outlet with Shoppers Stop in April ’23. We are currently in two outlets of Shoppers Stop in Mumbai, and in the next few months, we will be adding 4 to 5 new stores, Shoppers Stop. Apart from that, we are present in 3 shops of PNGS in Prabhadevi, Badlapur, and Dombivali.
What are your plans for expanding Gargi’s physical retail footprint in the future?
We are aiming to become a major omnichannel brand. We are exploring various retail options, including shop-in-shop formats and company-owned and franchise model outlets to accompany our retail and e-commerce efforts. We are already present in two shop-in-shop outlets in Mumbai, and four to five such outlets will be opened this year as a part of our recent collaboration with Shoppers Stop. Further, we will launch the first exclusive Gargi store in Pune by the end of May ’23. We will continually focus on expanding our footprint through different outlets across all three categories, including franchise outlets.
How do you see Gargi evolving and growing as a brand in the coming years?
Gargi was established to become a world-class fashion jewelry label offering the right price, quality, and style across various items such as necklaces, chains, bracelets, finger rings, earrings, etc. We already have a robust online presence and are working towards establishing a pan-India retail network for our products. We have been investing heavily in brand-building exercises. Last December, we had a great IPO, and Gargi by PNG is now listed as a public company on BSE, with our stock growing steadily in recent months. We aim to achieve a turnover of INR 100 crore plus by the end of the financial year 2024-25.
What steps has Gargi taken to ensure sustainability and ethical practices in its manufacturing and supply chain?
Our products are handcrafted and designed by karigars, which is our way of ensuring that the craftsmanship continues to thrive and survive. Our products are made from 92.5 sterling silver, a recyclable metal. We ensure that our Karigars are paid well, and we are on a quest to revive old designs.
How important are social media and digital marketing for Gargi’s brand awareness and customer engagement?
As a digital-first fashion jewelry startup, social media and digital marketing are our key enablers for us. We have established a pan-India outreach and brand recall through strong creative campaigns and interactions on social media. We have also steadily leveraged search engine marketing and optimization, and content marketing to build brand awareness and traction. We have further upped our investments in these channels, and even as we go omnichannel with physical retail streams in the years ahead, we will continue to rely on digital marketing platforms heavily.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their own fashion or jewelry brands?
It is a highly competitive segment, so I advise all aspirants to deeply understand their customers, follow their gut feelings, and keep an eye on the trends alongside remaining true to their core values and work ethics.
Can you share any upcoming collections or collaborations that customers can look forward to?
We plan to launch new collections every quarter. Our Kaleida collection is out; these are prism-cut colorful stone collections. This was perfect for the summers. By the end of May, we plan to launch our new monsoon collection.