Mr Gautam Singhvi and Mr Prasanna Shetty

TDF Founders’ Journey: Childhood Dream Turned into a Business!

Entrepreneurship

Speaking about the Journey so far, Mr. Gautam Singhvi, Managing Director & Co-Founder, TDF-The Diamond Factory and Mr. Prasanna Shetty, Managing Director & Co-Founder, TDF-The Diamond Factory, said

 TDF Diamonds and Gold is one of the fastest-growing names in the ever-evolving segment of designer jewelry and over the years has become a name to reckon with. What started as a dream in the year 1999 by two childhood friends Gautam Singhvi and Prasanna Shetty, has now emerged into a full-fledged diamond and gold jewelry manufacturing company with branches in the cities of Mumbai and Mangalore. All our diamonds, precious stones and gold are certified by renowned testing laboratories, ensuring you purchase only the very best. Moreover, every piece has been handcrafted and designed using only the highest quality standards. When you invest in a piece of treasure from TDF, you become a part of our family, a bond that we treasure as much as the jewelry that we design.

Conceptualized and kick-started by 20-year-olds Gautam and Prasanna, are two very enterprising lads who dabbled in a lot of small-time businesses, including real estate, that’s where they made financial gains which then became the initial base capital for the brand TDF. Gautam is a third-generation jeweler with expertise in consumer behavior while Prasanna who is armed with an MBA and corporate experience started very small with orders for wholesale of gold jewelry for coins, bars, chains, mangalsutra pendants, and smaller jewelry items. They then moved into a small office and shifted on to diamond jewelry too. They attended to retail clients in this office on an appointment basis through friends & family and here they began the journey towards focusing on creating unique jewelry designs. In the year 2008, TDF’s first boutique retail store was launched in a modest garage in Bandra, Mumbai. 

Consumers showed reliance on the brand, and in the following years, the company began to expand locally, entering new retail stores in Andheri & Vashi. TDF owns a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Mumbai, which is dedicated to manufacturing fine jewelry of outstanding quality, based on traditional craftsmanship and modern technology. TDF operates and manages a vertically integrated business model from in-house design and manufacturing to marketing and direct distribution in our retail stores. In the year 2018, TDF launched a 2000 sq. ft. store in the heart of Mangalore. We intend to open more such stores across the country.

 Challenges

Our strength is learning from our mistakes and adapting and making rapid appropriate and timely changes at the earliest. The single largest challenge for the firm was moving from a single store format to a multi-store format at a very fast pace. Other than management issues, TDF raised funds through its own resources. This is when the company increased the team strength and recruited skilled team members. Slowly and gradually we made the shift towards technology and now we are moving towards embracing other technological marvels like ERP, CRM, and eCommerce.

 A brief about the venture, name, why this name and what made you start this?

Making their way from ground-zero to the top, the duo who have been school friends since the age of 10, says that they started with assorting diamonds to designing jewelry concepts, conducting events, to successfully running a multi-store brand with presence across Mumbai and Mangalore. Since the year 1999, the firm focused on building a steady clientele. Simultaneously, Gautam went on to gain more and more knowledge about the jewelry business by working in his family’s firm and became an expert at product design and understanding consumer behavior. Meanwhile, Prasanna, post his completing his MBA degree, went on to work for several MNCs and was promoted for his business acumen. TDF which stands for The Diamond Factory originally was started as a manufacturing unit, after which we got into wholesaling and retailing of diamonds and then started dealing in gold too. Though ‘The Diamond factory’, is clearly seen in the logo but we have given equal importance to not only Diamonds but Gold as well. The company also deals in uncut jadau, platinum, and solitaires too.

Work-Life Balance

Prasanna and Gautam have both divided the business functions amongst themselves while Prasanna looks into sales strategy, Business development, marketing, advertising, PR and Events, Gautam looks into inventory management, product development, store operations, sales strategy, and training.

Both of them are high on fitness and particular about their routines. Prasanna enjoys squash and fitness training while Gautam is a more outdoorsy person and likes to run. Along, with handling the business they have an active busy social life and both are ardent travelers who love to explore new destinations.

 Expansion

We have been getting a lot of queries but before we launch our Franchise model, we want to ensure robust technology systems like ERP, CRM and E-commerce are in place. We, in fact, have been testing the waters by organizing jewelry expos in various cities and the response has been positive. We have already set up a client base in major cities such as Goa, Raipur, Solapur, Nagpur, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, and Udupi. We are planning to further expand the expos we conduct

Success Story

Today’s consumer is willing to experiment and try out new jewelry companies with 3rd party certifications and hallmark in place. A lot of the business comes in from new clients, due to the transparency and awareness amongst jewelry customers, the only thing that gives any company an edge is their designs. TDF is known to put consistent efforts in new product development and endeavor to bring to our clients, In India, jewelry which symbolizes global trends. Surpassing the network of middlemen, TDF forayed into a segment to bring the prized possessions directly from the factory to the consumer. “Comfort and affordability are the key features of our ornaments and also one of the reasons why we have a high rate of revisits from our former clients. We have no-middlemen in the process that keeps the cost lower compared to our competitors”, says Gautam.

 TDF founders credit understanding trends early as the main reason for the firm’s success. “We realized early that people don’t like replication of their jewelry designs. Hence, we focused on making every piece unique, including A-listers from Bollywood who are also among our client base. We pay close attention to customer opinion, that in many ways has helped us to improve our research and development, revamp and add finesse to our range of products,” Gautam explains.

 TDF has also launched a wide range of eye-catching bridal jewelry and launched our new collection – ‘Bride’s Pride.’ “We have a team that solely works on assisting the bride in her styling for every event while keeping the budget in mind. Brides have complete access to the bridal jewelry collection from all stores and manufacturing unit at a place of convenience. With this, we aim to make the jewellery shopping experience simple, fun and a stress-free affair,” Prasanna adds.

 Besides traditional and party jewelry, TDF has a unique bouquet of its ‘Rozanna’ collection for those preferring diamond jewelry for everyday wear. “It just compliments a woman’s individuality, while being light and trendy. It is durable, without compromising on the elegance, look and the authenticity of the jewelry,” Prasanna sums up.

Feel free to connect with Team TDF at [email protected]

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