Pav works very hard. “11 am to 8 pm, seven days a week,” 35-year-old retailer and co-owner of Ganesh Jewellers, says from behind the shelf counters in Slough, a 45-minute drive away from Central London.
”In fact”, he explains as he is checking the style and design of a product bought in from a wholesaler, ”it’s really time-consuming to make choices over the counter for products while serving customers. And this is not the only wholesaler I expect to deal with today. No doubt it takes me away from focusing on my customer.”
But Pav needs to go through this manual product selection on a daily basis to meet the expectations of his customers and stay ahead of the competition.
He also says “there are times that I have to stay back late to meet wholesalers out of hours,” smiling tolerantly as there are other customers on the shop floor being served by his uncle (who is the younger brother of Pav’s father).
Pav grew up in Slough, spending a lot of time in the business premises with his parents. “ I spend most of my time after school helping my parents in the shop.”
His family have been running the family-owned jewellers, Ganesh Jewelers, for over 25 years.
“When I first started my business, with my one of my brother-in-law and my wife, the business was very good,” says Mr Jaswant, Pav’s father.
”When we started out, there were very few shops around within a 10-kilometer radius, and customers only cared about owning gold jewellery, with less focus on the design or style,” Mr Jaswant says.
”But in recent years, it is becoming very hard to penetrate the 22-carat jewellery market. It’s because so many competitor shops are growing around us like mushrooms.”
“Within Slough alone, there are at least seven more shops operating within 1000 meters of my shop,” he says.
Customers walk in and walk out looking for better prices, better designs and better styles and are constantly comparing prices from one shop to another shop.
“Today, customers are getting better at making choices and know what they are looking for before they step into the shop. They browse online and know exactly what they want, and this makes it hard for us to compete with most of the jewellery retailers, myself included, don’t have an online presence. I admit, we have been slow to embrace technology,” says Mr Jaswant.
We are noticing that business is slowing down a lot today and we feel the pressure the pressure to keep up. Buts it is not easy. We know we have to change and bring innovation to our business and shop fronts but how do we do that?. We have to engage a market-driven mindset. We need a tool to accelerate this process.”
It’s not easy, and it’s costly. It requires expertise and capital.
Back in mid-2014, sometime around the month of April, Ram walked into my shop and introducing himself to me, said that he specialised in Singapore Jewellery. He said he could provide whatever I want.
”I thought “wow” that would be great. When he pulled out a notepad to take an order of what my shop required, I said to him this order system is not going to work, but I’m willing to give it a try. Ram can be quite persuasive!” says Mr Jaswant with a laugh.
Pav and Ram continually meet up to discuss simplifying this complex industry. How do we bring technology to this old and traditional industry?
“Ram is always on a quest to find a solution. He understands the complexity of an age-old industry problem. He always listens and writes his notes on a piece of paper, capturing the key insights of our conversation.
Most retailers don’t have the option of placing advance orders. Our only way to order is to wait for a wholesaler to drop by. But Ram has revolutionised this system by:
- taking orders in advance
- completely customising orders
- using technology to make the process more efficient for my stock management
Later, Ram used to capture my orders in a spreadsheet as jewellery comes in many shapes, sizes, weight and geographical status”. Pav added.
This new way or ordering helped us to get precisely what we needed most with no time wasted sifting through the products wholesalers try to sell us. We knew what to expect and when the goods were arriving.
I was extremely excited when Ram came up with the idea of creating a platform which can aggregate orders.
I thought it was a fantastic idea if he can execute it. This industry is very complex and this platform, MarketOrders.net, can bring greater simplicity and convenience for retailers.
Today, Marketorders.net helps my business in ways I could not have imagined.
There are over 500 products available online for me to buy right now and I know that Ram and his team are still adding more products which they curate by design, style and geographic location.
MarketOrders enables me to order directly from manufacturers, which I couldn’t have dreamed of before.
With Ram’s help, we plug into the point of sale user interface that we share with customers during the process of choosing the product and design. It makes our life easy.”
“This was the testbed where I could experiment my idea for a global order-aggregation platform that could help retailers- and Ganesh Jewellers has totally embraced our product,” says Ram, founder and CEO of MarketOrders
Our platform connects retailer to manufacturers of 22 carat gold jewellery products giving retailers full control on the order process system.
In today’s hyper-connected world retailers can’t afford to not be part of this connection economy, especially the gold jewellery industry. They need to adapt their retail business and meet customer expectations.
“Virtual SKU’s or stock keeping units give us access to many designs and styles on this platform. This helps us manage Stock inventory more efficiently and helps save on time and cost. And physical stores need this accessibility,” says Pav.
The MarketOrders platform will help all the small retailers globally. We will bring the entire industry together with cross-border availability for discovering products that are most relevant to their customers, personalised to that particular retail shop and allow retail shop owners to anticipate and have full control in the ordering process. A concentrated marketplace will help us digitalise the business process.
”Our mission at MarketOrders is to “Empower businesses to do better business”. Despite the advances in technology, physical retail stores are here to stay as customers want connections, physical interactions and emotions. And that is what Pav and his business continue to do. But they also know that retail shops will have to evolve to stay competitive in this new shifting landscape”, says Ram.