CKC revamps website; targets tech-savvy customers

CKC revamps website; targets tech-savvy customers

C Vinod Hayagriv, MD, C Krishniah Chetty and Sons. DH photo by S K Dinesh

Bengaluru's iconic C Krishniah Chetty Group of Jewellers (CKC), which is celebrating its 150 years, is targeting the online space with its revamped website ''.

"One of our major point of focus will be the online sector. Our website offers very unique features which other ecommerce portals will not be able to offer," said C Vinod Hayagriv, Managing Director and Director of C Krishniah Chetty Group.

CKC has spent over a year now on revamping the new website. "It (the previous site) had a few glitches and hence the revamp. We have been for over 150 years now and the only difference is that we used to visit the Maharajas in their palaces and now we sell our jewellery by going to people’s houses," said Hayagriv, sitting at CKC's flagship luxury store The Touchstone, next to Safina Plaza.

CKC's online presence is a full offering. "Popular misconception is that online clients buy only small jewellery pieces. While we have a large section of jewellery from Rs 5,000 to Rs 1 lakh, we also have a higher range of fine jewellery. Ours is an innovative ecommerce portal with several features," said Chaitanya V Cotha, executive director of CKC, adding their clients can set up an appointment and have a Live shopping experience before they visit showrooms or buy any jewellery piece.

"This works well for customers who want to purchase higher values as it gives them a feeling of being instore. We are also available on ecommerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart," Cotha added.

CKC is part of Cantonment of Bengaluru’s (formerly Bangalore) history. CKC's founder Cotha Krishniah Chetty began his business by selling coloured beads riding a bicycle in the cantonment of Bangalore. "He migrated from the corner of Karnataka to the Bangalore Cantonment which was the part offered by the Maharaja of Mysuru to the British," said Hayagriv, adding they are trending with the changing times.

In the early 1900s leading brands such as Mappin & Webb, Rolex of Switzerland, Goldsmiths & Silversmiths were its suppliers. In 2018, they are still leaders in London. "We made simple to complex things. Pendants and cufflinks were simple. Swords, breastplates, were complex things," said Hayagriv.

CKC has six stores and it has been growing at 15% per annum. 

Now, CKC has taken many initiatives and there are many projects in the pipeline. "With regard to our stores, we constantly upgrade them where we have always come up with unique pieces and unique promotions. During festive periods, we offer limited edition pieces which we make ranging from 999 pieces to 99 pieces and we also offer iconic gems which are rare," said the managing director, adding 30% of its products are still handmade.

"If all directors agree on expansion plans then we will take it forward. Our focus has been Bengaluru and will be Bengaluru for a while before we decide on branching out to other places. Our focus is on quality and we want each of our stores to do well. We ensure our products and designs are different at every branch unless it is an essential item like a ring or chain," he added.


CKC makes optimum use of technology to make things easier for its consumers. Online shopping makes way for the process of buying jewellery right from browsing different designs to selecting. "It is the age of social media and it is necessary to keep in touch with all the recent updates in order to make our process easier and more efficient. We, as an organisation, have invested heavily in technology since 1986 as we see the value of technology in helping streamline our process and promote the sustainability of the business. The blockchain is a technology which helps eliminate the gaps between two processes and we have been using the same technology for many years now, but only under a different name to track our gold which shows that even if the terminology had changed the principle remained the same," Hayagriv said.

Talking about the challenges, the managing director added, "One of the main challenges we are facing right now is separating the good from the best as people in the present scenario are a lot more knowledgeable and are more open to new experiences. You need to determine factors like where your largest base of consumers reside and what the people expect out of you and the service you are providing them with."

"There is an implicit understanding between us and the consumers the moment they walk into the door as we keep ourselves up to date with the latest trends. We also allow experimentation and encourage our employees to take risks to reach the desired target. The focus and challenge we face are to keep evolving while holding our roots firm as we did in the past," he concluded.



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