From Nirav to Natwarlal, the brand loses shine and customers

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With brand Nirav Modi taking an unfortunate turn, customers across the world are bothered about their diamonds losing the X factor that comes with a bespoke brand like NiMo.

The premium jewellery brand NIRAV MODI, whose product range varies from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 50 crore, had its share of brag value, but not anymore.

Aditi Shristiva, who has an emerald and diamond set worth Rs 45 lakh from NIRAV MODI, feels cheated. “We trusted the brand and hence we bought the set from them at a huge premium. Now that the brag factor that comes with the brand is no longer something to feel happy about we have doubts about the resale value of the same. We will only get the cost of the diamonds whereas we paid for both the diamonds and the brand,” said the professional from Bangalore, who flaunted the exclusive set at her engagement ceremony.

“The premium factor of the jewellery brand was the man himself. If we take Nirav Modi out of brand NIRAV MODI, what remains are the diamonds which the other traders in the segment also sell and at a lower price,” said Vipul Shah, former chairman at the Gems and Jewelry Export Promotion Council.

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According to Shah, the designs sold at Modi’s boutiques were priced at least 40%-50% higher than the market price for the sheer brand value that the brand offered.

Is there more to the diamond than what meets the eye? Well, certainly so. “A diamond, simply put, is not an investment. You’re probably not making a wise decision if you’re looking to purchase diamonds for making an investment. You buy it for its appeal and ethics,” said an expert from the industry.

“A diamond unlike gold is not fungible. Have varying cuts, colors, grades, and sizes diamonds can never be exchanged for similar values as easily a piece of gold jewellery can be sold,” said Shah. So if a customer like Shristiva has paid for both the rocks and the brand when purchasing jewelry at NiMo she has little or no hope to get the same price at the time of resale. Especially if the brand in question is Nirav Modi.

It is not just Modi’s clients however who feel cheated. Those who invested in precious jewelry at Geetanjali share the fate. “I bought a dangler earring worth Rs1 lakh from Geetanjali on my 21st birthday out of my own savings. The product had an aspirational value for me. With the brand owner turning out to be a part of an alleged scam I don’t know if I should still be proud of my buy,” said Akshita Jindal, a consultant professional from Noida.

Modi who had boutiques in New York, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Singapore, Beijing, London, Macau and Hong Kong alongside those in India wanted to have 100 stores across the globe by 2020.

In an interview with Forbes last year, Modi said he doesn’t believe in Plan Bs, when asked what he would do if his big bet on building a global luxury jewellery brand backfires. Looks like his customers took a direct hit for that.

The same jeweller who was the only Indian in his clan to auction his jewellery at Sotheby’s and Christie’s has clearly lost his sheen in the market. Those who have a NIRAV MODI in their safes are unhappy about having one and those who aspired to have one someday are perhaps making a new bucket list.moneycontrol