Chosky: I will launch italian jewelry brands in the world
The Indian tycoon Mehul Choksi had to «settle» for five smaller Italian brands and he is now relaunching them with investments for 25 million euros. But new brands are on the horizon.
The biggest catch of all got away from Mehul Choksi when Bernard Arnault of Lvmh «snatched» Bulgari from under his nose. But the Indian tycoon who started out as a stone merchant and now heads an empire worth a billion and a half dollars, quoted on the Mumbai Stock Exchange, didn't lose heart. Because Choksi, owner of the Gitanjali Group, has very clear ideas about Italian jewelry. «Everyone loves it, it's universal. The craftsmanship is extraordinary, the esthetics unique».
He never stops looking for jewelry brands, a natural target for the man who heads one of the world's largest conglomerates of diamonds and precious stones, and a pioneer in the distribution of designer jewelry on the Indian market. And the more he looked, the more he found: soon Choksi had lined himself up five excellent brands that were for sale, not because of lack of value, but because of unlucky business ventures: Stefan Hafner, Valente (once part of the Burani empire, it collapsed under the weight of that bankruptcy), Nouvelle Bague, Io sì and Porrati. Five very different companies: one sophisticated (Hafner), one identified with a unique esthetics consisting of enamel, gold and stones (Nouvelle Bague), two strong in design (Valente and the sculpture-jewels of Io sì), the last decidedly feminine and sinuous (Porrati). He bought all five, putting 25 million euros on the line to invest in three years in marketing, human resources and advertising. «I've been working with Italy for 25 years and I know this sector very well» says the Indian entrepreneur, who never stops dealing and exploring the market for a single day, in search of new treasures to buy up. «The problem with the brands is that they don't have the strength to operate on international markets, and remain circumscribed at the local level».
For this reason, considering that his group certainly doesn't lack the resources and a distribution network capable of internationalizing any brand, Choksi has found a new mission for himself: finding interesting Italian brands and launching their growth in the world. In practice, we can say that he applies Indian capital to goods made in Italy, as he has done for his five latest acquisitions. «The management will be mostly Italian» confirms Choksi «the design and production too. It is our intention to work with Italian creatives to offer innovative collections with a strong design imprint on the international markets». And since it appears that Italian jewelry is immensely popular also in India, one of Choksi's goals is to expand the brands in his country, through a retail chain, part owned and part directly managed. For those who will have the pleasure of selling their brands to Mr. Choksi, the prospects that open up are attractive: the group is already active in the U.S., Middle East, Southeast Asia, China and Japan, as well as in the main European countries.