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Gilded ambition

Sayantani Kar  |  Mumbai 

The (Gitanjali) has reworked its corporate imagery to reflect its growth strategy. Starting its journey in 1966 as a processor of rough diamonds for the jewellery trade at Surat, Gujarat, it currently manufactures and retails gold and diamond jewellery, apart from owning a chain of lifestyle stores. The journey has made Managing Director believe that Gitanjali can become the largest luxury brand from India. “We believe that the next giant in luxury, on the lines of Louis Vuitton, will be from either India or China because of their manufacturing prowess. It can very well be jewellery-led and Gitanjali will be a strong contender,” he says. While an extensive rejig in business operations is being done by KPMG, a cosmetic change to reflect Gitanjali’s ambitions was unveiled recently.

Shardah Uniyal, general manager, marketing, points out while a previous effort at a facelift saw the addition of a golden swoosh to the name, not much has changed in the look and feel of the brand since inception. “Gitanjali has a number of brands under it and has also entered many categories, such as accessories and apparel retailing. Hence, creating different identities for our different businesses was imperative. All of these would be under one corporate identity,” adds Uniyal.

To put things in perspective, premium imported jewellery is retailed from Gianti stores (under the Gitanjali brand), while Indian brands Nakshatra, Gili, D’damas are sold through Gitanjali Jewels, franchisees and shop-in-shops. Gitanjali Lifestyle encompasses Maya and non-jewellery retailing such as silverware and watches. In all, Gitanjali products retail out of 3,585 stores across the country.

The change in imagery includes a change in the font, colour scheme and also the use of the name Gitanjali for all its 30 brands, including the international brands it has acquired over time. Kalpita Bose, vice-president & head of design, JWT, who headed the redesign effort at Gitanjali, explains, “The new font had to look well-crafted to represent the craftsmanship that Gitanjali stands for. It also had to be non-frivolous and subtle to reflect its premium stature and so sans serif (typeface).”

The corporate identity of the parent is a mix of a rich maroon and gold because “maroon shows heritage and experience, in line with Gitanjali’s antecedents” says Bose. The retail formats—Gitanjali Jewels and Gitanjali Lifestyle —will have their own set of colours. The first will have vibrant red to represent lavishness while the latter gets bright blue for a more contemporary look.

“The earlier logo represented jewellery very well through its golden swoosh and font. Now Gitanjali has to be about lifestyle as well. Hence, the use of colours. A shortened logo, in the form of a G, will help us do that,” points out Bose. While the Gianti stores retail premium brands such as the Italian Stefan Hafner and Nouvelle Bague, its lifestyle retail chain plays in the ‘masstige’ segment. “We couldn’t let the identities of the two get mixed up in our consumers’ mind. All the different retail formats and brands can’t behave and look the same way,” says Uniyal. A stylised G will be eventually used for those brands that have their distinct recall and don’t need an endorsement from the parent, once KPMG is through with its analysis.

First Published: Mon, August 01 2011. 00:01 IST