India’s Gitanjali Group, one of the world’s largest jewelery retailers, is considering expanding its network of jewelery vending machines into Dubai as part of its investment in the region, the founder and chairman of the company told Arabian Business.
The firm launched jewelery vending machines in India last year, displaying a range of 36 gold, silver and diamond jewels, and the company is now planning to expand the network over the next three years.
Mehul Choksi, chairman and founder of the company, said the machines will soon be making an appearance in Dubai as part of their plans to invest up to US$75m in the Middle East.
“At the moment we are targeting of opening nearly 75 outlets in India and we are seeing great demand from other countries,” Choksi told Arabian Business in an interview.
Founded in India in 1966, Gitanjali Group has an annual turnover of over US$2.1bn and has around 4,000 points of sale in India, with additional outlets in China, the US, Japan and the UK.
A favourite with Bollywood film stars, it is in the process of expanding into the Middle East, having opened its first store opened in Lamcy Plaza in Dubai.
“We are opening a series of stores in the UAE… We have 50 shop-in-shop contracts all over the UAE. We want to be in 110 shops in the UAE within one and a half years time,” Choksi said.
“It is a total investment of up to US$50m to US$75m over the next two years,” he added.
The company is also planning to expand the brand in Saudi Arabia and is also looking at opportunities in Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.
Net sales for the full year to the end of March 12 rose 33 percent to Rs12,498.3 crore (US$2.257bn), with jewelery sales up 40 percent to Rs7,007.5 crore (US$1.265bn) in the same period.
Listed on Indian stock exchanges since 2007, Gitanjali;s gems are a favourite with Bollywood superstars, with Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Sonakshi Sinha, Bipasha Basu, Kareena Kapoor already signed up as brand ambassadors.
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