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Saturday, Oct 28, 2006

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Oyzterbay ties up with Rajesh Exports

Sudha Menon

To set up retail chain that will sell branded gold jewellery

Pune , Oct. 27

Buying the traditional 22 carat gold jewellery from the friendly neighbourhood jeweller might soon be a thing of the past with branded jewellery manufacturer Oyzterbay now forming a joint venture company with Rajesh Exports, the world's largest manufacturer of gold jewellery, to set up a retail chain that will sell branded gold jewellery.

Laabh Jewellers, the retail chain, will be the first retail undertaking for Rajesh Exports which holds a majority stake in the venture that will set up franchisee outlets across major towns in the city and compete for a slice of the gold jewellery market estimated currently at Rs 60.7 lakh crore.

The domestic market for gold jewellery has witnessed significant changes in the last few years with companies such as Oyzterbay and Tanishq launching branded gold jewellery chains aimed largely at the urban, upmarket buyer, while the bulk of the purchases are made through the traditional jewellery shops.

"Laabh outlets will specialise in traditional 22 carat gold jewellery as opposed to the more contemporary designs aimed at the more urban, younger and upmarket buyers who come to Oyzterbay," Mr Vipin Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, Laabh Jeweller, told Business Line, when contacted.

"The new venture will offer some 3,000 designs from jewellery traditions across the country and will be targeted at the traditional, more mature consumer who buys for occasions such as weddings," he added.

Mr Sharma said the design and manufacture of all jewellery for Laabh will be done at Rajesh Export's facilities in Bangalore, which has the capacity to process 250 tonnes of gold every year.

Laabh outlets

The company has started rolling out Laabh outlets across towns such as Ludhiana, Lucknow, Guwahati, Amritsar, Bangalore, Kolkata, Srinagar, Jammu and Pune and plans to have 28 stores in place by the end of the month. "We plan to launch at least a 100 outlets across various centres by the end of the third year of operation," Mr Sharma said.

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