Meet the Jaipur brand making semi-precious jewellery that looks completely real
With the festive season round the corner, it is time to bring out the traditional finery. Jaipur-basedhelps you do that on a budget.
Founded by couple-preneurs Megha and Yogesh Rawat in 2018, Mirana by Megha’s handcrafted semi-precious jewellery is made keeping the traditional concept of Indian shringar, with its 16 steps, in mind. Their popularity is evident from the celebrity endorsement they have received from the likes of television star Divyanka Tripathi Dahiya, Marathi actress Abhidnya Bhave, and many others.
“We craft jewellery that is distinctive and elegant, using metals that are safe for all skin types. Our designs are contemporary, yet stand apart from others on the market.
"Our main aim is to recreate the look of Indian women from the past, using age-old Indian traditional aesthetics. We use a combination of real American diamonds and kundan to create each of our pieces,” explain the founders as they join YS Weekender for a chat about their brand and its growth.
Edited excerpts from an interview:
YS Weekender (YSW): Why did you begin your brand and what do you believe is its USP?
Megha Rawat (MR): I’m a chartered accountant by profession but was always drawn to creative endeavours. Soon after giving birth to our child, I decided to switch career paths and follow my passion instead of facing the drudgery of a financial job in a bank. My husband Yogesh, a graduate of IIT Kanpur, hails from a family of jewellery manufacturers. He was keen to broaden the family venture into digital offerings, and so we created this new vertical together: Mirana by Megha. I am the Creative Head of the company and Yogesh handles Operations. We feel the timing was right because soon our page began getting lots of attention on Instagram.
Yogesh Rawat (YR): As for our USP, we feel that we cater essentially to millennials. While some individuals still view jewellery as an investment, most young people wear it to keep up with the always changing fashion trends. Given the ever-rising prices of gold and diamonds, continuously exchanging or buying precious jewellery to match the current trend is not an economically feasible option. That’s where our brand fills the gap.
We use real American diamonds and an assortment of kundan and other semi-precious stones. These are so similar to precious jewels in appearance that only professional eyes can detect the difference.
Mirana by Megha jewellery has been spotted on many celebrities, including Marathi actress Abhidnya Bhave.
YSW: Who is the Mirana by Megha muse - your ideal customer?
MR: We believe that Mirana by Megha’s extensive collection is appropriate for every woman and for every occasion. It is appropriate for birthday celebrations, friend’s weddings, or for bridal needs – without burning a hole in one’s pocket. We also customise pieces to meet specific requirements.
Our artisans are seasoned professionals with vast knowledge in the field of jewellery making. We pride ourselves on the uniqueness, finish, and creativity of our designs. Our pieces recreate the traditional look of Indian women from the past who would stand out in a crowd.
YR: We cater to customers of all ages, and create pieces that are comfortable, easy to style, and hypoallergenic, made with skin-safe metals. Our most popular collection is actually our bridal one, which is created to give the appearance of the ‘Royal Bridal look’. The pieces are specifically designed keeping the various rituals a bride-to-be must attend from beginning to end.
YSW: What has the brand’s growth story been like since inception?
MR: Our brand is completely self-funded. We put in an initial investment of about Rs 50,000 from our own savings. The investment was mostly to onboard craftsmen to make my new designs, as the requirement was not being fulfilled from the family’s manufacturing unit.
Mirana by Megha uses American diamonds and an assortment of kundan and other semi-precious stones to create statement pieces at affordable costs.
YR: Our growth over the years can be attributed to several correlated factors. The topmost growth driver in the list will be customer satisfaction. Many of our pieces are designed on the basis of customer feedback. The other is the quality we promise. Of course, our competitive prices have also been instrumental in driving our growth. Because of our in-house manufacturing units, we offer far more reasonable prices than other brands.
YSW: How did you deal with the challenges of the pandemic?
MR: Since we had a digital presence, we were not so badly affected. In the first lockdown, our offices and day-to-day business operations were shut, so our team took the time to connect with our customers online. We believe this move helped us build trust among customers and led to more online orders. It also helped us to understand people’s changing jewellery requirements, so we could plan for the future.
YR: Buying behaviour changed significantly during this time, as weddings reduced in pomp and grandeur, and people were looking to buy lighter, more cost-effective jewellery instead of bigger and heavier sets.
So, we changed the way we function and we believe it was this meticulous planning that led to a 60 percent growth in revenues and almost 80 percent more customer conversions.
Founder Megha Rawat believes Mirana by Megha’s collection is appropriate for every woman and for every occasion.
YSW: In what other ways have jewellery buying trends changed?
MR: A significant chunk of the population that earlier preferred to shop offline are now much more in favour of shopping online. We have seen a good chunk of orders flowing from Tier II and Tier III cities, which earlier were never in our top 10 cities.
YR: There was a flipside to this practice too. Many individuals were duped when purchasing from certain vendors online, and therefore it became doubly important for us to build customer trust and satisfaction. Many bogus pages and brands appeared, promising items for a fraction of the cost and taking money from customers in exchange for promises of something that either never arrived or were low-quality products.
We spoke with a number of clients who had been duped in this manner and had lost faith in all internet companies. It was difficult to persuade them to put their faith in us again for internet orders.
Another issue we faced was reassuring them of the prices, as they were given similar-looking items at lower costs by the counterfeit pages and brands. Fortunately, having our offline store in the heart of Jaipur helped us gain trust.
YSW: What do you believe is the future of jewellery retail?
YR: The future looks promising for both online and offline retail of fashion jewellery. There are plenty of opportunities as fashion trends are changing at a rapid pace. Many offline stores and brands have started investing in online channels so they can tap into this online market. More brands are coming up and increasing competition. Consumers also get a good range to choose from. So, it is a win-win for both sides.