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Foreign stones with a local glint

The country's first all-diamond store has opened in Commercial Street



Global designs tailored to suit Indian tastes

EVEN THOSE of us who are not majorly into jewellery now know that Akshaya Thrithiya is an auspicious day to buy gold, thanks to the advertising blitzkrieg by every jeweller in town. And that includes international designer jewellery brands, which one would assume are way beyond the ambit of Padyas, Bidiges, and Thadiges.

Orra, part of Rosyblue Group, which has its presence in 15 countries across the world, opened its all-diamond store on Commercial Street on Akshaya Thrithiya day. Vijay Jain, the CEO of Orra, says that it is this marriage between the local ethos and international standards that defines the very nature of the brand. Orra's diamonds may have adorned Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge, but when it designs for Indian customers, it make sure that it draws from local patterns even as it maintains international standards. A classic example of its fusion effort is the Rudraksha series, which did fabulously well in the market. There is a great demand for it in the U.K. market now, says Mr. Jain.

"It's also value for money, a great parameter for any traditional buyer. You can, in fact, resell our jewellery back to us at any point of time and claim 80 per cent of the price," says Mr. Jain, who has considerable experience in investment banking and has a special flair for retail trade. The new store, he says, offers cut and certified diamonds from Belgium.

Why would an international brand choose India, and Bangalore in particular, for the first-of-its-kind, all-diamond store? Because India is the third largest consumer of diamonds (after the U.S. and Japan) and Bangaloreans have a "global outlook" and a willingness to try out new things, observes Mr. Jain. And talking of things global, it's interesting that the group traces its parentage to one Jaskaranbhai Mehta, who went from Indian shores to Paris to sell his jewellery in 1888.

B.S.

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