The markets of the Middle East have always held a curiosity for me, season after season when I see Buyers at the Fashion Week in Delhi. So when I was approached to explore a business opportunity and collaborate on a Brand assignment, I just decided to go for it. This particular assignment involved assessing business potential, scale up and go-to market strategies for the jewellery brand and in a luxury niche.
I had hosted Gems and Jewels Palace, the jewellery House from Jodhpur many years back at Rudraksh. Even own a few stunning jewels from them and I have been seeing the dedication of Pannu Bhansali to her business single handedly over many years. Now that her son Romil has joined the business, I would say the man is bright and promising for his young age, with expansion on his mind. I could not deny the mentoring instincts that many seek from me making me feel old already, or so I thought.
The jewellery fair in Kuwait happens once annually like in other Gulf countries. The way it was organised did remind me of the Indian fashion weeks not just for the scale and aesthetics of it (no it did not look like an exhibition at all) but also for the average dressing sense of the Kuwaiti women shopping through the aisles. Nattily dressed, savantes and most of them with an air of elegance that old money announces discreetly. A look through the pictures that I took in only one such hour at the Fair will tell you what I mean really. For me it was exciting to note that the sense of style felt very me in many ways and it inspired me to engage in more conversation with the ladies who shopped for jewellery at leisure, much to a mutual delight in the topic of interest. Many liked what I was wearing and made it a point to take my number so I could help them shop when they come to India. The interest in all things Indian was also quite evident. My instagram had become my visiting card for the first time ever (!!)
There are opportunities for sure. It’s how they get tapped for mutual win-wins. So much to learn and apply from the locals as critical to market research for business opportunities in an overseas market that it just broadens the horizons which one already operates on!
I have come back with good memories of great sales in the market, warm hospitality in Kuwaiti homes, some interesting conversations and connects and a wish to hopefully go back one day and do more, in sha allah!