The Malabar Gold & Diamonds group, one of India’s biggest jewellery retail chains, announced it is planning to invest around ₹1,000 crore ($150 million) in an expansion drive focussed mainly on overseas markets. Malabar says its objective is to become the world’s largest jewellery retailer in a few years’ time.
The ₹26,000 crore ($3.9 billion) Malabar group is already among the world’s top five jewellery retailers in terms of turnover. It reported ₹11,500 crore ($1.7 billion) in overseas sales and ₹10,700 crore ($1.6 billion) in domestic sales through 2016. It currently employs 9,000 personnel.
Malabar said that the majority of its capital expenditure in the expansion drive would be towards setting up retail outlets in Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Middle East and Sri Lanka. Company Managing Director O. Asher told the PTI news agency, "The first phase of the expansion, which is already underway, will have us investing ₹620 crore on 24 more stores. Out of these, 14 have already been opened since January, 13 of them in the Gulf, which is our largest market in terms of revenue and one in Bengaluru.
The second phase of the expansion, slated to kick off in the second half of the year, will see the company investing another ₹350 crore, most of which will go into entering Indonesia, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, where the company is now conducting market research.
Group Chairman M.P. Ahamed observed, “This is our largest vertical expansion, at a crucial time that reflects our renewed confidence and strong commitment to the Gulf, India and Far Eastern markets.”
Malabar had 161stores at the end of December 2016. The number has now gone up to 172 and is projected at touching 185 by March end. Fully 86 of these stores are in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in the Middle East, Ahamed said. Seven new stores are planned in the domestic Indian market.