17 December 2016 12:23:00 IST

Malathy Sriram writes poems and short stories for children and adults, as well as book reviews and articles of general interest. She is a post-graduate in English Literature from Ethiraj College for Women, Chennai. Her work has been published in Indian Express, Deccan Herald, Mirror and Femina. She has edited website content and is the editor of The Small Supplement, an online magazine for children with articles on history, science, arts and culture, sports, technology, companies and brands, mythology and short stories. Reading, teaching English, listening to music (all genres) and singing complete her oeuvre.

Retaining its lustre over the centuries

Innovative designing and always putting the customer first have ensured TBZ’s strong growth

The name conjures up images of an exquisitely designed and impeccably crafted line of jewellery that has been around for 150 years. Indeed, for an enterprise that began humbly in a tin shed in 1864 in the jewellery hub Zaveri Bazaar of Mumbai, the company has come a very long way indeed. It is now a major jewellery retail chain, with about 30 showrooms spread across 25 cities in 12 States of India.

This article is about Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri — TBZ, The Original, that traces its history since 1864. The founder’s son continued in the same line and expanded the business by opening many showrooms, but it was his grandson, Gopaldas, who really shook up the gold business with his revolutionary approach.

Full value for gold

Gold has always been seen in India as an investment; buying and selling the precious metal has been going on for centuries. But the customer who wished to sell gold did not always get the market rate and had to settle for much lower prices. All this changed when Gopaldas Bhimji Zaveri decided to offer the customer full value for gold.

TBZ became the first company to offer the full value gold buyback guarantee in 1938, a concept that was unheard of till then and showed the extent of the trust the company had, both in its own products and in the customers. The scheme is still in operation and has helped both to instill confidence in the customers and to bring loyal next-generation shoppers back to the TBZ showrooms.

TBZ, which retails 100 per cent pre-hallmarked jewellery, was also the first jeweller to promote lightweight jewellery and to offer certified solitaire diamonds. No wonder brand recall for, and loyalty to, the TBZ name is so high, associated as it is with credibility and transparency.

Professional management

Each showroom is administered independently by professionals: in fact, the company has struck just the right balance between family and professional management to get the best results. Its leadership team is innovative and enterprising, strongly backed by the execution cadre.

TBZ’s showrooms, which comply with green norms, are some of the biggest in India, with just the right ambience to showcase its collection of traditional, contemporary and modern designs, all available under one roof. It offers gold, diamond-studded, platinum and jadau (engraved) jewellery for any and every occasion for individuals (both men and women — it entered the men’s jewellery segment, offering gold and diamonds under their ‘Gentlemen’s Collection’, in 2011). Gold jewellery accounts for about 75 per cent of the sales revenue while diamond-studded jewellery accounts for about 25 per cent.

TBZ has its own team for designing its jewellery (it has more than 20,000 in-house designs). The range on offer is varied as regional and cultural preferences across the country are incorporated in the designs. Apart from customising designs to suit individual needs, TBZ offers jewellery at different price ranges to satisfy all income groups and widen the customer base. While the gold manufacturing segment is largely outsourced, the company has its own diamond-studded jewellery manufacturing unit at Kandivli (Mumbai). Over and above all this, TBZ offers customers a range of jewellery from different parts of the world.

Festive and gifting options

Gifting options are also available both for individuals and corporates. Festival gifting – a specialised genre – includes delicately-crafted rakhis for Raksha Bandhan, kadas for Baisakhi, and so on. The wedding range covers jewellery for both the bride and groom. Even Valentine’s Day gifting options are available. More importantly, all products come with a lifetime guarantee. And to add to customer satisfaction, the TBZ website goes the extra mile: it offers tips on storage, cleaning and maintenance of different types of jewels and gemstones, thus ensuring their long life.

Through innovative designing and the policy of always “unapologetically putting the customer first”, TBZ has grown steadily over the years. It had a turnover of ₹1,655 crore in 2016. 

Franchising, online sales

TBZ’s retail reach is bound to grow stronger as it enters the franchise line under the present Chairman and Managing Director of the group, Shrikant Zaveri. It has been selling its products through its own Exclusive Brand Outlets (EBOs) till now, but it recently decided to invite franchisees to sell its products in Rajasthan, Punjab, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Guwahati, Patna and Bhubaneswar, hoping to increase its presence in eastern and north-western India. At present its showrooms cover about 90,000 sq ft of retail space; the franchisees are expected to increase this to 150,000 sq. ft. in two to three years.

TBZ also has plans to enter the online shopping scene. Recently, it tied up with Snapdeal for e-tailing its gold coins and diamond jewellery collection.

TBZ has won a slew of awards over the years, including the 2007 Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brand Asia for Jewellery Shop, the 2007 Jamnalal Bajaj Uchit Vyavahar Puraskar for customer fair business practice and the prestigious MACCIA Award 2013 for Excellence in Entrepreneurship in the Gems & Jewellery category. In 2015, the World Consulting& Research Corporation (WCRC) named it one of ‘Asia's Most Promising Brands’.