Following the footsteps of his father and establishing a brand different from the seven-decade-old jewellery business of Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri, Samrat Zaveri has touched new heights of success with Shazé, a sterling silverware brand, having patiently waited for the right time to set his foot to make a name for himself and his family.
Born and brought up in Mumbai, Samrat joined the family business after finishing his education. After successfully achieving numerous targets and milestones in jewellery and luxury retailing, Samrat’s quest for innovation and creativity led him to launch Shazé in 2001.
All that glitters is ‘not’ just gold
It is very rare nowadays to see a large family or women of a household flocking jewellery shops to buy gold, silver, diamond, and platinum for an upcoming wedding. The biggest jewellery market of India, Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai, has also seen a disheartening downfall in sales. Traditional jewelers on the Zaveri street recall the old times when heavy wearable was the talk of the town in kitty parties, when marriages were essentially social gatherings meant to show off one’s heavy adornments, and when people couldn’t wait to see what all jewellery the bride was decked up with. But the golden age eventually passed and the era of elegance took over the podium.
Elegance was defined by the precious stones and jewels worn by the elite woman. And there was no brand that would sell its products based on elegance. Samrat Zaveri noticed the same. He realised that there was no real brand value being created out of the jewellery business. He wanted to start a company with products for the young urban populace, who wanted to stand out and express themselves via brand products instead of merely showing off precious gems to the society. “I thought it was important to build a brand. I strongly believe that the future belongs to the businesses that have a strong statement attached to them. That was when Shazé came into the picture,” said Zaveri, talking about the uniqueness of his company.
But, initially, the establishment of the brand was solely into silver wearables. Gradually, Zaveri began to realise that the mindset towards high-end silverware was changing and evolving among Indian consumers. Prices jumped high, particularly during that period when he started the brand, and the customers were not ready to buy expensive sterling silver jewellery. That’s when Zaveri decided to pursue different categories of products which have wider appeal and base for consumption. “We got into all the categories that we are known for today – home décor, silverware, perfumes, fashion jewellery, religious idols, scarf, watches, and many other accessories,” said the 41-year-old businessman.
The quintessential trendsetter
“New-age Indian consumer is aspirational and expressive. I noticed that with changing times, millennials were becoming bold and expressing their ideologies and thoughts through their clothes and accessories. That was when I saw a huge opportunity for a lifestyle brand like Shazé,” remembers junior Zaveri.
This helped Shazé, which was initially just a souvenir collection of sterling silver, to turn around and become a one-of-its-kind luxury and lifestyle brand. There was another issue with bringing something new to the market. Sharing an anecdote with us, Zaveri reminisces the time when somebody just walked into Shazé’s store and really liked the product offerings. But to his amazement, the person found it a bit expensive. The customer came to Zaveri and said – “I am going to buy one piece and get the other one made from someone else.” That comment left Zaveri perplexed. Even though he was elated that people wanted copies of their designs, he was upset that people could stoop down to such levels. This gave him the idea to patent Shazé ’s designs, that are curated and designed by artisans exclusively for Shazé from across the world.
“Our brand has also catered to customers who don’t want to buy real gems. Recently, a person bought our jewellery which was made from a non-precious material. He gifted it to his wife and she loved it. He expressed his gratitude since he was able to buy a beautiful product that wasn’t a real gem but was quite unique and worth treasuring. This is precisely our target at Shazé – to cater to such demands. The motive has never been to replace the elegance and beauty of traditional accessories. But not everyone can afford the cost of such precious gems, and there should be some beautifully crafted alternatives for those who wish to carry elegance with pride,” said Zaveri.
Going forward, Samrat aspires to turn his company which currently has a turnover of INR 200 million into a global lifestyle brand. He wishes to see Shazé become part of the lifestyle of millions all over the world. Today, the brand has its existence in all metropolitan cities and within a year, Zaveri aims to open 6 more stores in India.
Since its launch, Shazé has been all about retail growth, demystifying retail trajectories, launching new categories, and driving the brand to cater to evolving consumer needs. With his vision and knowledge of the growth opportunities, Samrat correctly predicted the need of the hour for Indian consumers and gave them an opportunity to express themselves like never before.