Vinita Penna | October 26, 2013
Red carpet rolled out along Syed Alwi Road. Hordes of screaming fans behind yellow barricades on both sides of the road. Poker faced security men keeping the crowds at bay. The flashes of multiple cameras. The scene was set and seemed almost like an awards night. It was however, the stage for the launch of Malabar Gold and Diamonds first retail store in Singapore and their 102nd store worldwide.
Malabar Gold and Diamonds is globally the third largest retailer in jewellery and diamonds. And the setting was perfect for their launch in Singapore, a stepping stone for their massive expansion into East Asia. It is part of the company’s three-year growth vision launched in March 2012 with the grand aim of elevating its position from third to number one by 2015. The inauguration of the store in Singapore demonstrates the brand’s determination to transform into a global conglomerate. The group estimates to have an annual turnover of $3.5 billion this year – demonstrating its leading position in the global gold and diamond jewellery trade.
The lofty setting called for a personality of equal stature. To up the glamour quotient, South Indian movie star, Suriya inaugurated the store opening. The heartthrob of South Indian cinema and brand ambassador for Malabar Gold and Diamonds was in Little India, Singapore to launch the store.
The Malabar Gold and Diamonds showroom is set within the ground floor of the Arya Samaj Building. Each section of the opulent showroom is devoted to the six branded collections of jewellery owned by Malabar Group.
At the media event, Suriya shared about his association with Malabar Gold and Diamonds. He talked about his love for the brand and how it reflects on his personal life. Suriya went on to congratulate Malabar Gold in securing a location right in the heart of Little India. The corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy of the Malabar Group is something that resonates deeply with Surya. He shared that giving away 10% of profits to charity is rare and even unheard of in the corporate world.
I had the special pleasure of interviewing Dr. P.A. Ibrahim Haji – Co Chairman of the Malabar Group. The group’s flagship company, Malabar Gold and Diamonds, started its operations 20 years ago in Kerala, India. Since then, it has seen tremendous growth and is always looking to move forward towards new horizons.
Dr. P.A. Ibrahim Haji tells us how Singapore is the launch pad for his brand’s expansion into Far East Asia. “Singapore is the most hi-tech city in the Far East and anyone who succeeds in Singapore can succeed into different areas in the Far East.”
He shared with us further another milestone, by emphasizing Malabar Gold’s latest CSR policies. “Malabar Gold and Diamonds allocates 10% of its profits for the benefit of the needy and to support poor people. We provide free medicine, education to the less fortunate and focus on environment conservation and women empowerment.” He proudly shares, “Our principle is simple. As we grow and make fortunes; we pass that onto the poor and benefit their lives, so that their prayers are with us”
It was really admirable and humbling to meet the man behind the vision of Malabar Gold and Diamonds. Malabar Gold and Diamonds is no ordinary jewellery retailer, it is a model for today’s corporations with its focus on inclusive economic development and giving back.
The launch of the store in Little India Singapore is just the beginning of its chapter in East Asia.
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