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This Indian Brand is Acing the Astrologically Relevant Market of Gemstones Entrepreneur India traces the exemplary journey of Gem Selections with the organization's founder and MD, Pankaj Khanna

By Aastha Singal

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Gemstones are treated more than just accessories to wear in India. From sapphire to moonstone, iolite, aquamarine, garnet and even ruby, these crown jewels are spiritually relevant and are associated with good luck. Since a young age, Pankaj Khanna was fascinated by these colourful stones and would save pocket money to buy silver coins and small trinkets.

His childhood adoration soon transformed into a passionate pursuit that took him through geographies to explore Gemology. His knack for Gem & Jewellery played an instrumental role in the establishment of Gem Selections in 1987. He initially started the business as a supplier to Jewellers and Astrologers across North India before establishing itself as retail, wholesale & exports major in Gemstones, Diamonds, Jewellery, Handicrafts, Rudraksha, Yantras and other related products.

Entrepreneur India traces the exemplary journey of Gem Selections with the organization's founder and MD, Pankaj Khanna.

A Family That Works Together, Stays Together

As they say, every successful man has a woman behind him and Khanna's case is no different. His wife Anu Khanna has been influential in the incorporation of Khanna Gems Private Limited and serves as the company's director. Their son Aaradhya Khanna, who joined the business in 2016, revamped the firm's online business.

Khanna believes that in the fast-changing world, evolution is the only constant. "The world is changing at a fast pace, so are the tastes and preferences of the consumer. An entrepreneur must evolve his/her organisation according to the customer. A strategy which might work today, may not work even in the next 6 months," he understands.

Selling the Gems Online

In the time and age when having an online presence has become a necessity to be recognized in the market, Gem Selections started their e-commerce operations in 2012 but it is only after Khanna Junior joined the business that online became a major focus for Gem Selections. In 2018, the brand launched various apps to further cater to the needs of their customers.

"Gem Selections is an omnichannel brand. We are constantly increasing our online presence and expect our monthly website traffic to cross 1 Million Monthly visitors mark by the end of 2019 and expand our retail network to 10 stores by 2023." With a market value of over INR 100 crores, the brand has been growing by 19.63 per cent annually.

At present, about 65 per cent of their revenue comes from Exports of Gemstones & Diamonds whereas about 35 per cent of profits are garnered from the brand's retail & e-retail ventures. In late 2019, they are planning to roll out a retail expansion plan for Gem Selections to further its visibility and accessibility. They also have plans to open 10 franchise stores by 2023.

Evolving With the Tech

Khanna takes pride in the fact that his organization has always kept a close gauge on the Industry trends and flexed their culture accordingly. Technology has been one aspect they have invested in vigorously over the years. "We have created a LIVE platform on which in front of the customer's eyes via Live streaming we pack & dispatch the products to ensure complete transparency," he stated.

Majority of the people in India buy gemstones after an astrological recommendation. "To address that question, we created Gem Selections Astrodose which is using Artificial intelligence and machine learning to give Gem Recommendation to people. We have also created a community platform where people can discuss all their questions."

The Fight Against FAKE Gems

The brand's USP lies in transparency. Short term profits have never tempted the makers to tamper with their quality. Their wide base of customers is a testimony to the trust they have established in the system over the last three decades. The gemstones market is not among the most trustworthy ones out there. A lot of FAKE Gemstones with Fake Certificates are often found being sold in the market.

In May 2017, the company launched an extensive Campaign to educate the people about fake gemstones and how to determine their pureness. "This campaign actually saved a lot of people from being cheated," Khanna boasted, adding, "We are proud of this achievement more than any monetary achievement as we were to some extent able to save the faith people have in the Gem & Jewellery industry."

Aastha Singal

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Features Writer

A business journalist looking to find happiness in the world of startups, investments, MSMEs and more. Officially started her career as a news reporter for News World India, Aastha had short stints with NDTV and NewsX. A true optimist seeking to make a difference, she is a comic junkie who'd rather watch a typical Bollywood masala than a Hollywood blockbuster. 

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