We have to play a major role in Building our Nation: Anantha Padmanabhan
As the new Chairman of GJC, Anantha Padmanabhan has big plans for the industry and he shares with IJ his immediate plan of action
From a humble beginning of a family-run-setup, Anantha Padmanabhan is now spearheading one of the biggest jewellery brands in the South. He transformed brand NAC from a small store to a fully corporate, chain store in a span of 20 years. With the same business acumen and vision, he hopes to bring in changes in the jewellery industry as well. Here are excerpts from the exclusive interview:
Q. What according to you are the immediate concerns in the industry and how are you going to address the same?
In the last two years, the GJC under the leadership of Nitin Khandelwal has done a wonderful job in representing the industry’s concerns to the Government and working on issues such as excise, GST and PMLA. All those issues have been more or less addressed. However, there is no business across the country. Imports have fallen by 15 per cent and this is a big concern. I want to work on improving our businesses at the B2C level, which is very important at the moment. For this we need to take in the support of all the stakeholders like WGC, Forevermark, Platinum Guild and DPA. We need to sit together and brainstorm about how to get consumers back into the showroom. The younger generation is not interested in jewellery and we need to think of ways to attract them. For this, we need to fight with the Government and make EMI for gold purchase a possibility.
Q. How do you propose to lead the industry in becoming more organized?
We are putting in all efforts to make the industry more organized. We have the ‘Laabam’ program, where we educate the customer about compliance, hallmarking, GST, etc. We are trying to place the industry on the official side. We want everybody to bill their sales and follow the process.
Q. You have been associated with GJC as the Chairman in the past in various capacities – how do you think that will be helpful for you in your journey as the Chairman?
I am with GJC right from its inception and I am one of the founding members. I have worked under some very sharp minds and I have learnt and gained my experience through them. I hope I can deliver with what I have learnt in the coming years
Q. It is also a brand new year – what is the one advice you have for the industry?
My advice is very simple: stick to quality, give the best possible service to your customer whether you are a wholesaler or a retailer and compliance is most important today. Technology has come in and if we try to act too smart, we will be in trouble. We also have to play a major role in building our nation.