ndian engineers have definitely come a long way from following the old trend of getting a degree from a reputed college to bag a lucrative job in a foreign-based company. In present days, techies are turning out to be the real game-changers with their innovative business ideas. Brahmananda Meher is among them. He was just 26-year-old when he opted to pursue his heart by becoming an entrepreneur. It was 1999 when he decided to introduce the state’s own jewellery brand ‘Arundhati’. Since its inception, the home-grown brand has been patronised by many. Here, in a tete-a-tete, Brahmananda Meher, owner of Arundhati Jewellers, shares his incredible journey with Orissa POST.
Despite being an engineering student, why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I studied engineering at the Odisha Engineering College. But I was always driven by creative thoughts that add service and value to products. I also wanted to become an entrepreneur and serve Odisha. I was 26-year-old when I came into this business. I still remember when we used to research about 22 or 24 karat for proper understanding. In 2000, we set up Arundhati Jewellers and now it is a large business. It is our first generation business. Now, we are present in all major cities of the state.
The main focus of Arundhati Jewellers
It has been 20-21 years since we started the business. Many customers have been added to our family. We always focused on providing assured happiness service. We care for our customers and respect their investment in gold. Considering this, we offer lifetime free service on every jewellery item, a one of its kind service in Odisha. We also provide insurance coverage on every jewellery item. Our design and craftsmanship are unique. Also, we give loyalty points to our customers. We ensure appropriate value for old jewellery during exchange.
The impact of pandemic
Sadly, the pandemic was a disaster for us. The government declared lockdown to contain the virus from the beginning of the financial year 2020-21. But we realised that every crisis has an opportunity. We prepared a plan to reconnect with our customers. We created different groups and reached almost 3 lakh people to create awareness about the pandemic. Every team member was actively engaged in reaching out to customers. Even during the pandemic we recruited 100 employees.
What was the buying trend during festive seasons?
There was no sale during the lockdown. But post lockdown, the buying increased. Also, the Union Budget opened the doors for good sale as it reduced import duty. We hope that last year’s target will be achieved this year.
Your initiative to promote online buying
Well, it’s good news for online buyers as we have developed a mobile app for this purpose. It is likely to be launched next month. As I said earlier, we worked on technology improvement during the lockdown. I believe that this app will create sensation all over India. We hope that online buying will increase eventually.
What are your future plans?
Through the mobile app we aim to reach every household in the state. In addition, we will also inaugurate a store in Berhampur this year. It might be the biggest showroom in the state, built on around 1,500 square feet area. Also, we plan to open stores in Cuttack and Rourkela.