World Gold Council

World Gold Council, World Council India, Gold Council India, Gold Council Jaipur


  World Gold Council India

Ajay Mitra, the Managing Director, World Gold Council doesn't believe in following a set path he wants to make differences to the gold and gold jewellery industry through altogether different promotion and marketing strategies. He wants to take a story of gold beyond gold. He wants more and more people to talk about gold and buy gold.

STRENGTH
. Head of WGC India, the biggest gold consumer market.
. Mitra's strength lies in his thoughts. He is ready to experiment with different innovative avenues for gold promotion.
. He believes enabling consumer to buy gold and for that he is going to adopt less travelled routes like microfinance, EMI, pension funds, insurance and consumer finance.

This year World Gold Council (WGC), an organisation funded by leading gold mining companies to maximize gold demand, has lined up revolutionary projects which will change the face of the Indian gold industry. The council has already started working on two revolutionary pilot projects, one that will collect authentic data and figures on what jewellery retailers are selling and the other will gather information on what consumers are buying. The study is on in Pune and will soon be extended to four other cities viz. Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The council has roped in the world's leading marketing and media information company Neilson for the arduous task.

The man behind these grand projects is the council's managing director Ajay Mitra. Mitra was previously a commercial director at Melcosmetics for Russian market and spends approximately 11 years at Coca Cola, serving different roles in India and Bangladesh. At Mecosmetics he was supervising brand Revlon. The common thread that connects him with his former assignment at Melcosmetics and WGC is the woman! In spite of being with the council for three years he still feels that he hasn't understood the trade fully yet. Economics graduate and a post graduate in marketing management from Mumbai University, Mitra feels the industry is dominated by families that run the business according to their own philosophy and understanding. As such he feels the urge to learn more' and more about the tactics applied in family business.

Protection of small and medium jewelers Mitra says that the plan to protect small and medium sized jewellers is high on the council's agenda. In his view these jewellers are hungry to expand their business operations for the fear of losing out to large scaled ones. "The council has special plans for these small and medium sized jewellers. Gold is retailed through banks, financial institutions and through traditional jewellery retailers. The council is going to connect corporate entities and family run businesses," he informs.

Admitting the fact that since big names in the industry can't be ignored therefore the council will promote high end jewellery as a luxury segment, which will be restricted to New Delhi and Mumbai. "Rural India will see nothing new from the council's initiatives but the council will extend Tata Gold Plus retail network." He said that major plans for rural market will remain festival oriented. The council is set to involve local jewellers in. penetrating rural markets.

INDIA CHINA GOLD COMPETITION

India is the largest consumer of gold in the world and council's promotional programs indicate that gold will shine brighter in the future. He is not worried by the fact that Chinese consumers are buying abundant gold. In fact he finds the comparisons worthless to which he replies, -It is not a race. The important thing to understand is to know why consumers are buying gold in China."

Justifying the Chinese sudden bout for gold spree he states, "During Marx rule Chinese were not allowed to accumulate wealth whereas Indians accumulated wealth under the British rule, princely states, and in the Nehru era. We have 16,000 tonnes of gold whereas China has only 2000 tonnes. China's GDP is three times that of India which means they have more money to spend so they are splurging on cars, platinum and palladium."

BUY GOLD, TALK GOLD

Mitra doesn't believe in following a set path but in making a difference to the gold jewellery industry through promotions and marketing strategies. He thinks that today gold has become a subject matter of banks and jewellers only. He endeavours to involve more people to talk about it. "The whole ball game will change when health or fertilizer guys will talk about gold," he exclaims.


Stating that GJF and GJEPC are the only two organizations talking about the industry that has a turnover of Rs. 1,20,000 crores, the share of voices do not match the share of turnover industry brings to the floor. "Today FICCI is talking about gems and jewellery industry and the noise created by FICCI will bring our profile out. The sector will move closer to the industry status," he declares.
Council's future plans for promotion of gold mirror his thoughts of making gold purchase a lot more convenient. New plans are expected to hit the floor in May or June this year. "The council will make gold available through various channels in different formats and will focus primarily on 400 million consumers at the bottom of the pyramid. The main aim is to enable them to buy gold and access gold through microfinance, EMI, pension funds, insurance, education funds, consumer finance etc."

Talking about the council's plan he articulates that an innovative promotion plan is in pipeline for this year including the bumper prize of 40kgs of gold worth Rs 6 crore at the 3rd Grand Kerala Shopping Festival. "Hence, this 40kg gold is already sold and more gold will sell through other stores. This year 706 jewellers are participating compared to 584 last year," an excited Mitra states.

The council's office bears a striking resemblance with Mitra's personality encompassing his love for art and books. The working area reminds you of an art gallery as contemporary paintings grace the walls' decoration. "We want everyone at the council to think differently and enjoy work."

A avid reader, Mitra enjoys reading a variety of subjects ranging from business to theology, religion, politics, short stories and biography. "I can constantly challenge my perceptions through reading. Writers can inspire you with their thoughts. They show you different perspectives of things. They tell you lovely things even though they never meet you."

Citing an example he said that once he happened to read Devdutt Patnaik's book on contemporary religion and found his views and thoughts enticing and fascinating. He then contacted Patnaik and arranged his visit to the council's office. As a result of their interaction Patnaik now happens to be a consultant to the council. The council aspires to rope in more such writers and socialists on its consultants' list.