Sneha Shah, a 38-year old homemaker in Mumbai, has
found a way to please her 8-year-old daughter Kesha while creating asset for
the girl who loves to play with Barbie dolls.
Shah recently bought a customised Barbie-shaped
gold and diamond studded neckpiece for her daughter. "I have also ordered
a Mickey and Minnie mouse-shaped bracelet for my daughter," she says.
"This is not only helping me to make
investments in gold but also helping me to make Kesha aware of the importance
of gold," adds Shah who gets customised jewellery from Om Jewelers, near
her house at Borivali.
She is one of a growing group of urban parents
buying toy-shaped jewellery for their children rather than spending on toys,
thus opening a new avenue for jewelers to generate new business and catch
future customers at a young age.
"This is a new trend among the young urban
parents who want to gift their little ones gold jewellery with a surprise
element," says Mehul Choksi, chairman and managing director of Gitanjali
Group, a diamond and jewellery house that owns brands such as Gili, Sangini and
"Globally, characters with which kids can
identify themselves are offered by jewelers. But in India it is a new trend,
which is catching up among modern upwardly mobile parents," he says.
Choksi estimates the size of customized jewellery
market at between Rs 1,000-1,500 crore, with a potential to grow 50% a year.
"High price of gold is not likely to affect the growth momentum of this
category of products," he says.
And this market is not
limited to girl children. Richa Sharma, a 37-year-old homemaker in Mumbai, has
got a gold pendant in the shape of a cricket bat, ball and the world cup trophy
made for her 10-year-old son Aditya. "My son loves to play cricket and...He
loves to wear the pendant," she says. "I am trying to find out new
designs for my son," adds Sharma who gets her customized jewellery
designed at the family's traditional jeweler, Joshi Jewelers, at Girgaon in
Sudarshana Roychowdhury, a Delhi-based IT
professional, wants the traditional 'evil-eye' pendant, which is worn to
protect one from evil looks, to be designed in a modern way so that she can buy
one for her son. "I am not perturbed if it costs a little more. I want to
gift my son something which will look good on him," she says.
Mumbai-based S Zaveri & Sons, which offers
pendants in the shape of baseball, chilly, elephants, teddy, fish and camel,
says there is steady growth in this category. "Even grandparents buy these
products for their grandchildren," its MD Amit Zaveri says.
Jewellery designers say they have to take extra
care while creating new designs for kids. "I design bracelets, earrings
and pendants in the shape of dolls, teddy bears, cricket bat and balls. But I
do keep in mind that these should have no sharp edges, should not be toxic and
be comfortable for kids," Rhea Nasta, a jewellery designer for more than
20 years, says.
"We are also giving special care to packaging
so that the products become attractive," she says. Rajiv Popley, director
of 85-year-old jewellery and luxury retailer Popley & Sons, says
traditional items like Om, Ganesha and Swastik pendants will continue to grow.
Originally published in the economic times on April
4th, 2012, written by Sutanuka Ghosal, associated with the economic
times bureau, Kolkata.
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