Jewellers Of The Soil

Amrapali Jewels have brought international accolades to Indian jewellery craftsmanship.

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From humble beginnings in Jaipur to a business boasting of a Rs 200 crore annual turnover, Amrapali has redefined the concept of Indian jewellery and popularized it in international markets. The brand, founded by Rajiv Arora and Rajesh Ajmera in 1978, has been growing in leaps and bounds since inception. During the initial years, both Arora and Ajmera would travel to various parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and other Indian states to buy jewellery from local craftsmen. "I am happy that we could make interesting jewellery at that time (when the duo started) inspired by our art, culture and heritage,"
shares Arora.

Amrapali Team

L-R: Mr Rajesh Ajmera and Rajiv Arora, Founders Amrapali Jewels

Amrapali employs the local genius while keeping the contemporary in mind. The client range of the brand includes Hollywood bigshots like Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Scarlett Johnson to Bollywood divas like Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor and Alia Bhatt.

Tribe Hype

Amrapali Jewels launched its e-commerce cosmetic jewellery brand Tribe in 2013. Arora, talking about Amrapali products, avers, "You don't just buy jewellery but a piece of art." He further shares that Tribe is meant to cater to places where the brand cannot open its retail store. It is also meant to make Amrapali available to the middle class. "Tribe offers a range of products from Rs 500 to Rs 10,000 and upwards. We want to make our work accessible to people," he claims.

L-R: Mr Rajesh Ajmera and Rajiv Arora, Founders Amrapali Jewels

The name Tribe alludes to the tribal art and jewellery that heavily influences Amrapali designs as well as refers to the loyal customer base that the brand boasts of. "We started exporting in the early 80s - way before others did," shares Arora. Amrapali designs are now available in high-end stores like Harrods, Le Bon Marche and Galeries
Lafayette. Sensitive to varied demands of different markets, he believes a thorough understanding of culture, tradition and habits of the market being catered to helps immensely in business.

Wheel of Art

"Museum and Gorukul is our attempt to give back to society." Arora.

In 2018, Amrapali launched a first jewellery museum in Jaipur. The museum homes various jewellery of tribals, local artisans, etc. collected by Arora and Ajmera over the years. "The museum can be a great source of inspiration for budding designers, research scholars, upcoming museums, anthropologist and historians," claims Arora. The Amrapali museum is one of a kind as it elevates the lives and art and culture of quotidian and tribal people and plants them in a museum. Mr Arora and Mr Ajmera have also opened Gorukul School of Design in Jaipur. "Museum and Gorukul is our attempt to give back to society," shares Arora.

Make In India

"We provide employment to lakhs of people, 25 to 30 per cent export from India is jewellery, but it is not mentioned in Make In India scheme." -Arora

Arora is disappointed to learn that the government scheme on Make In India has no project for the jewellery industry. "We provide employment to lakhs of people, 25 to 30 per cent export from India is jewellery," claims Arora. He feels that the government should encourage artist and craftsman as it is a unique and rich heritage that needs to be cherished.

"I believe India can become the world manufacturing jewellery hub because we cut the most diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires in the world, and if we can make jewellery here the whole value edition will come to our country," declares Arora.

Shining Like A Diamond

  • Collections from Amrapali museum has been exhibited in six museums in the UK.
  • Amrapali has recently collaborated with Masaba Gupta to launch a jewellery line for Tribe.
  • The USA is the biggest international market for Amrapali.
  • Earrings are the bestselling.

(This article was first published in the August 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)