The Indian jewellery industry is one of the fastest growing segments in the Indian economy. The annual growth rate currently stands at about 16%. The value of the domestic market is around USD 16.1 billion and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) estimates this to grow to USD 30 billion over the next 4 years. The unorganized sector comprises the major chunk of this industry and the market for branded jewellery is even smaller.
BlueStone.com is hoping to capture the branded jewellery market in India. The site provides access to a large variety of international designs by jewellery experts with third-party laboratory certification of all its products.
Vidya Nataraj, Co-founder, BlueStone.com comes from a retail/lifestyle background and was involved with her family business, Landmark Ltd, before it was sold out to Tata Trent. Post this she did her MBA at INSEAD with a focus on entrepreneurship. After her marriage to a fifth generation jeweller, Ganesh Narayan, Joint MD of C. Krishniah Chetty & Sons, she got interested in the jewellery category and realized that there was a huge gap in the market for lightweight precious jewellery. “Access to international designs and top quality products at affordable prices was not available to the evolved and working men and women in India. I decided that it was time to explore the online/e commerce space and partnered with Meena Ganesh and Gaurav Kushwaha to start BlueStone.com,” said Vidya.
Speaking about how the name was coined, Vidya said, “The color ‘blue’ denoted something regal and ‘stone’, an indirect connotation to jewellery. Also the name BlueStone had top of mind recall!”
Very early on in their journey, BlueStone.com attracted investment worth USD 5 million from VC firm Accel Partners and serial entrepreneur Meena Ganesh, CEO & MD of Pearson Education Services. We covered the news on YourStory.in.
BlueStone’s current offerings include a large variety of classic and contemporary designs in diamonds and colored stones with prices starting from Rs. 3000. They have plans of offering the solitaire range, customized products and silver jewellery. “We have a large in-house design team creating the beautiful designs you see on Bluestone. We work closely with partner vendors for manufacturing of our designs according to Bluestone’s strict quality standards,” said Vidya. The BlueStone team is 30 strong currently and growing.
There used to be a time (in fact it is still a common practice) when people used to look at purchasing jewellery as an investment. That mindset is slowly changing and it has become more of a fashion statement now. Though the organized sector of the Indian jewellery industry is quite small (about 6% of the overall jewellery market), it is expected to grow at 41% CAGR over the next 4 years. According to a McKinsey report, the market for branded jewellery was worth USD 2.2 billion in 2010 and it is expected to grow further over the next few years.
“We will aggressively build our operational capability to support the kind of scale we intend to achieve and building technology and user experience to create as close a real life experience, short of touch and feel,” said Vidya about BlueStone’s plans for the near future.
We at YourStory.in think that BlueStone.com is one startup to watch out for this year. We will be following their progress keenly.
To know more about BlueStone, visit http://www.bluestone.com/
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