Mobile Jewellery Shop – Lalithaa

Disclaimer: Most of what I talk about below – are my observations from Southern parts of India, and might not be applicable to Northern parts, which I am not very familiar with.

Lalithaa Jewellery seems to have introduced a mobile jewellery shop in the form of a modified long chassis bus. I think this is a darned good innovation. There used to be a time when the predominant way of doing jewellery was to go to a jewellers shop, where you discuss patterns, weight, wastage etc, and then the jeweller would custom make it for you.

Some of these jewellers in Tier 1 towns (such as NAC etc), who had access to capital and fast business movement, had ‘some’ ‘readymade’ stuff – things such as small silver tumblers, chains, rings etc – which are mostly impulse buys. In recent times, large box format stores (mostly chains which have large capital) have started making their presence (Malabar, Jos Alukas etc). These stores started off in Tier 1 cities, and now started slowly moving towards Tier 2 towns as well. Accessibility to ‘readymade jewels’ is significantly improved because of this. A ‘trip to the city’ is usually saved.

While accessibility is improved, it is not economical for these large format stores to go to every Tier2 and Tier3 towns. I think this is the market that Lalithaa is targeting. For some context, Lalithaa is one of those hybrid stores, which does some custom jewellery, but has predominantly large inventory of pre-made jewels. This bus looks to be a modified shell with a proper jewellery shop facade, counters, staff etc inside. The bus is now stationed in Theni (a Tier 2 town in the border of TN and Kerala), in a fair ground.

These large box stores do a ton of advertising on main stream cable/satellite TV – whose penetration in India has just exponentially risen in the last decade (next only to telecom). With the brand visibility already present, with the store coming to you, I think it is a novel technique to increase the reach.

Couple of feature-y things that come to mind –

a) Some rough schedule of the bus (perhaps a loop), so that folks in towns know when the next bus would be here next. Maybe even a call center or recorded info about the bus whereabouts.

b) Some form of demand capture – phone perhaps, (and in the long run through learning from data).

If this is successful (or not), I see this as a model that should be tried across other verticals too. Very interesting. #SolveForBharath

Space Shuttle Endeavour last leg

The space shuttle Endeavour was retired last week, and is being transported to a museum in Los Angeles (LA). For the last 12 miles, it was actually transported through LA roads.

Just imagine the awesome publicity that Toyota got. The da** trucked pulled the entire shuttle. For those folks, who do not live in the U.S, the Tundra is a pick-up truck that some normal people use as a ‘car’, for commuting to office etc.

And oh yeah, the Donut shop got a ton of publicity as well.

The above picture is from the The Atlantic. View the full set of pictures here.

Tips for RIM to make the BlackBerry shine !

Vijay Chattha writes a very interesting piece on techcrunch, giving some unsolicited advice to Research-In-Motion (RIM), the makers of the blackberry.
RIM makes profitable quarters, but still falters in share pricing. The Street is just not impressed. Vijay suggests 5 ideas to make RIM realize that it can still be a great company,
and it is just not realizing it.

A direct quote:

RIM reminds me of a line from the movie Swingers: “You’re money and you don’t even know it.” RIM is well positioned from a cash and market share perspective to make BlackBerry a global, mobile, must-have addiction, but the company needs to make bold moves now or risk becoming Nokia.

Read the full article here.