Deepa H. Ramakrishnan
Customers find it easier on the pocket to buy gold jewellery through savings schemes
For young Sathish Khanna, a graphic designer in a private company at Guindy, the habit of saving up to buy gold is not new – he is following his mother’s example of saving money in small chit schemes.
“When I was in college cash earned through part-time projects would go into buying gold. After I started working I joined a savings scheme in Kerala Jewellers and I have purchased jewellery for my younger sister.”
Mr. Khanna says paying Rs.500 a month does not burn a hole in his pocket but instead helps when he buys jewellery.
Saving up a bit helps says home-maker Neeru Singla, who invariably picks up jewellery along with her husband for their wedding anniversary every year. She says that she buys branded jewellery as the quality is guaranteed.
“The returns from this scheme are quite good. The shop pays the last instalment. And for us when we pick up the pieces in October, in time, for our anniversary we don’t feel the pinch of a paying lump sum amount at one go.” she said.
Jewellers say that most men see jewellery as an investment option. Srinarayanan, who has been buying gold on a regular basis, says he buys gold as he doesn’t want to have bank savings alone.
Tanishq’s Regional Business Executive I. Harindranath says it is an easy job to log in a new customer in savings schemes but what is difficult is to retain existing customers. “Gold price hike and inflation are only additional factors that keep away customers. When it comes to retaining any customer, be it the 10 percent under savings scheme or the others, it is service which counts.”
Antony of New Kerala Queen’s Jewellery said though the number of people buying gold has come down due to the steep price hike more people are opting for savings schemes.
“Some five years ago, we used to have savings for smaller denominations like Rs.100 and Rs.200 and people used to default in payments. But now since they save bigger amounts the number of defaulters has come down,” he said. “When customers come to the shop to pay the monthly instalment they look around and sometimes even pick up small pieces of jewellery. We offer both savings and non-savings customers the same kind of service whether they buy something or not,” he added.