Check out Addimon.com, the latest name in the online jewellery market. Started by Sumit Sukhija and his wife Priyanka Hans, Addimon specializes in diamond jewellery and solitaires. While Sumit & Priyanka have their reason to start a jewellery portal, the opportunity is pretty evident in the diamond and precious stone jewellery market of India – an estimated Rs 40,000 crore space. And the online jewellery industry is still smaller -- a mere 0.75% of the total domestic diamond jewellery market, standing at Rs 300 crore, – hardly anything when compared to the opportunity. While offline retailers continue to dominate the space, the opportunity that offers online cannot be denied either.
We have written about companies like Juvalia.com and Caratlane in the past. While Addimon mirrors Caratlane in the way it conducts business, it follows Juvalia’s model of social selling as a channel to get customers(more on this later). Like many cases where entrepreneurs started up because they faced a personal issue, Sumit faced a huge challenge while shopping for his wedding in 2008. “The mere idea of walking into a big shop at that time was like dent in the pocket. Opting for local jeweler also didn’t offer me satisfaction in terms of quality and designs. Add to it an awkward feeling because of the “must buy” environment made me realize how jewellery shopping is far from customer’s perspective,” he explains.
The idea gained ground as Sumit’s father in law is a jeweller and his wife designed jewellery as a hobby. An online jewellery store meant they could offer a wide range of quality products at lower cost without investing in keeping huge inventory. Displaying products online with prices would tell the customer what to expect from Addimon, reasons Sumit.
Addimon sources its diamonds from all across the country and has a network of more than 1,000 vendors. Customers have a choice of over 25,000 solitaires on the site and Addimon also offer a lowest price guarantee. “We keep minimum inventory of solitaires and procure them only once orders have been confirmed. This helps us save on inventory holding costs which we pass on to our customers. For precious stones we have collaborated with some key exporters of gemstones. For jewellery products, we have around 20% of our products in inventory, so we can ship the same immediately to customers,” explains Sumit.
Started earlier this year in September by bootstrapping, Addimon plans to raise funds soon to scale further. Sumit claims to have already fulfilled 300 orders and grown 30% MOM in last two months. Being self funded, Sumit says they have their limitations, but also look out for strategic partnerships to take the brand to next level of growth.
Addimon relies on online marketing including emailers, Google, Facebook ads, organic SEO etc. They plan to start below-the-line activities soon like exhibitions and are currently in the process of creating viral marketing videos to help generate better brand recall value. They have also tied up with various other online stores like Snapdeal, Lootbargain, Amorash, eBay etc to promote their brand. Partnerships with some coupon sites have also been done to gain customers.
Addimon is also using the social selling channel(similar to Juvalia) to reach out to customers through its program called Gang of Pink which offers flexible entrepreneurial options to women. Called stylists, these women are trained on the product range and in turn talk to people they know about it. Rewards for setting up memberships include free diamond jewellery and foreign trips – much like rewards given by MLM businesses to its members. But Sumit is quick to refute the similarity to MLMs, as the rewards to people associating with Addimon is purely on the basis of sales they make and not the people they introduce the channel to.
Gang of Pink is the brainchild of Priyanka, who is also a dentist besides being a jewellery designer. Sumit is an IT graduate and had worked with ICICI Bank for a while before turning entrepreneur.
Apart from large catalogue, Addimon also designs custom jewellery for its customers and works with well-known craftsmen who are specialized in their area of art, says Sumit. He says they are also able to differentiate themselves from other players in the market because of their low price guarantee on loose diamonds – upto 15% lower than other online stores and 40% lower than offline ones. Pendant sets as a category is also a new offering they have to give. Addimon has also adopted cost saving measures within the company by outsourcing IT & marketing, which enables them to pass the benefit to customers.
While the going has been good sofar, Sumit says he understand the challenges ahead and is preparing to be differentiated in the space. “We want our brand to be seen as leading jewellery gifting destination and are making several changes in our website for that affect. We have started "Home Try on" facility in Delhi & NCR region for feel and touch factor and plan to expand through high-end small concept stores – both franchisee and company owned. Our target is to open 20 stores by 2016. We also plan to launch our website internationally starting one country at a time,” says Sumit of his wishlist.
They have already collaborated with a store in West Delhi to sell Addimon products. And in the coming years hope to take the brand across the length and breadth of the country. And the journey has been with its own share of ups and downs, which has kept them nimble and on their toes.