Multi-faceted talents lead the jewellery industry
Young and sophisticated, Sonia John Paul, Director - Joyalukkas Group, is the face of gen-next in the gold and jewellery industry in Dubai. She shares her thoughts in an interview with Khaleej Times.
Sonia John Paul is one of the directors of the Joyalukkas Group. Married to John Paul, son of Joy Alukkas, the couple have a daughter, a lively two-year-old. Motherhood has not stopped Sonia from being actively involved in the family business. Her outlook is truly global - growing up in the UAE, studying at Our Own English High School, Dubai, graduating in India and completing her MBA from Coventry University in the UK. Sonia handles the marketing and branding strategies of the company.
"I don't intend to be the 'Jack of all trades and master of none'. However, we need to keep ourselves aware of what's going on. Aside from marketing and branding, I look into the gold and diamond division and B2B and finance divisions as well," she says in a one-on-one interview with Khaleej Times.
"We mainly deal in 22-carat jewellery. We have quite a selection of traditional wedding gold jewellery, diamond jewellery, polki, ethnic wear and kids' collection. The trend today is for thinner, smaller, elegant and sophisticated items of jewellery. We need to make sure we meet the expectations of clients and maintain a harmonious balance. We have the teen collection specifically for youth, an exciting range in diamonds, yellow gold, white gold and pearl. For kids we have a little 'joy' collection taking into account safety features, allergies and the fact that kids run around," explains Sonia.
Being a woman is in fact a strength to Sonia. "We are not like an office. We are more of a family with staff serving for several years. Everyone's main goal is to make the company better. They call our chairman (Joyalukkas) as Joy chetta, or brother. That's the kind of relationship everyone here has with him. I have married into this family and being a part of it is a big honour," she adds.
Sonia trusts and depends on her husband for positive advice. "One shouldn't jump to conclusions. You need to do a lot of research and maybe when you do something, you need to analyse and weigh the pros and cons. At times I have shared something I thought was perfect but he would tell me to consider the angle of consumers and the employees. It's good advice when you stand in the other person's shoes and analyse. That would give you the best results," Sonia points out.
Challenges according to Sonia are good for progress. She says, "We are expanding quite a lot. When we open a store, we have to look after it and enhance it to provide the best to our customers. We always have to be on top of the game. We have to look out for new designs, trends, etc. We have to keep ourselves up-to-date with whatever is the latest and make sure it is not too difficult for the customers to procure. We have to have a good balance for what we get and how we give it to our customers."
Sharing the group's plans for Diwali, she says: "We have a grand promotion where you can sparkle with Joyalukkas. Customers can win up to 30 kgs of gold. We have nine custom-made products lined up exclusively for Diwali. We have a zero per cent instalment plan with majority of our partner banks. So you can purchase your jewellery now and then pay it off in 12 months. We have no making charges on the 8 gms gold coin."
On November 9, an auspicious day to buy gold, every jewellery purchased at Joyalukkas for over Dh4,000, the buyer will receive a 0.5 gm gold coin.
"We have 50 per cent off on diamond and polki jewellery as well. The price is good. For example a Dh4,000 diamond necklace set could be all yours this Diwali. If you buy jewellery worth Dh500, you get one raffle coupon, and for diamond jewellery worth Dh500, you get two coupons. If you are part of the loyalty programme, you get double the coupons," she said.
Love for solitaire
I prefer to have solitaire diamonds. When I attend social functions, I wear matching jewellery. Though we don't celebrate Diwali, we attend Diwali gatherings. I prefer Indian ethnic wear like a nice ghagra choli on such occasions.
The Joyalukkas jewellery group has more than than 10 million loyal customers.
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