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THE GLOCALISATION OF TRADITIONAL BUSINESSES

Noor Anand Chawla

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The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word “glocalisation” as the “fact of adapting products or services that are available all over the world to make them suitable for local needs”. Though the pandemic closed physical international borders for many businesses, it widened digital borders, enabling people to connect and gain knowledge from every part of the world at the touch of a button.

Numerous traditional industries and businesses have reinvented their business processes by adopting an international outlook, in order to thrive in these unprecedented times. A stellar example of this is jewellery designer Ritika Ravi of IVAR Fine Jewelry. She has made the most of her Indian roots and Maldivian upbringing to carve out an international following with her debut collection, which marries Indian antiquity with a laidback contemporary vibe. Her goal was to establish an international jewellery brand which combines tradition, luxurycraft and wearable design. Just two years after its launch, IVAR Fine Jewelry has shown remarkable growth and garnered international recognition with high profile pop-ups in London, Porto Cervo, Italy and been featured in multiple international publications of note.

Traditional businesses aiming to succeed in this changing environment can learn from Ritika Ravi’s experience and keep a few things in mind:

1. WATCH OUT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRENDS

Gaining access to international trends has never been easier than it is now. Browsing through various social media platforms can offer insight into an international mindset. It is important to research and spend time charting out the subtle nuances and tastes of an international clientele, in order to carve a space in an overly-competitive and highly-saturated market. This does not mean one should simply copy trends and ideas, but take inspiration from them to create innovative business plans to expand and succeed.

2. KEEP YOUR AUDIENCE IN MIND

Ritika Ravi of IVAR puts it best when she says, “At London College of Fashion, we were taught that creativity should always come first in terms of design, but when it came to launching my brand, I realised that it could not be solely about my personal vision. I needed to consider the target customer, who they are, how and where they might wear the piece, how it feels once it is on. Establishing that vision was really the conception of the brand.” Ultimately, the success of any business rests on its ability to connect with its target audience. Ravi, for example, used her international jewellery aesthetic to instruct a small team of craftspeople in Jaipur to produce her signature “Contemporary Polki” designs. Her sensibilities are an amalgamation of her Indian heritage and an intrinsic millennial laid-back attitude, which has helped define the success of her brand. It may seem difficult to merge two wildly different approaches; however, through the use of creative methods and out-of-the-box thinking, the sweet spot is easily achievable.

3. BE CREATIVE WITH CONCEPTS

Creativity and innovation are essential to achieve recognition and sustained growth in any business. Creativity becomes even more important when it comes to adapting one’s business practices to glocal standards. Ravi decided to establish IVAR Fine Jewelry as the ultimate ‘Destination Jeweller’. In 2018, she launched her flagship store in the Maldives. Tapping into the stream of culturally diverse and stylish visitors, Ravi quickly learnt that her designs were ideal for those seeking lightweight and wearable jewellery in tropical and warm climates. This understanding led her to establish a unique retail strategy, designed to follow the seasonal habits of habitual travellers with a series of global pop-ups. She says, “The flagship gave us real-life insight into the tastes and needs of a niche clientele—travelling popups were an instinctive next step for us to take. We know that the client sails in the Mediterranean, skis in Europe and recoups in the Caribbean—so we got the map out and planned our trail. I wanted to put IVAR on the map as a luxury “destination jeweller”.

Many businesses are going glocal to cater to an Indian yet international-minded audience. IVAR Fine Jewelry, with its flagship store on Vommuli Island in the Maldives and global presence, is a success story that others can definitely emulate.

The writer is a lawyer who pens lifestyle articles on her successful blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be found on Instagram @nooranandchawla.

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