Despite being a Director at one of the biggest jewellery brands P N Gadgil & Sons Ltd. (PNG Sons) Dr. Renu Gadgil is down to earth. As she sits at her desk in the corporate office amidst beautiful art-pieces, this modest lady gives an insight into her journey to date. On the occasion of International women's day, Femina has covered the incites of PNG Sons.
“I come from a family with professional background not a business background. My maternal grandfather and even my father were doctors. I myself have studied is homeopathic medicine in Pune and then practiced with my father at Nashik for 10 years before marriage. After marriage though, it was totally different scenario. The Whole family was from a business background so I didn't continue my medical profession,’’ Dr. Renu Gadgil shares about her formative years. It was seeing the jewellery making (and selling!) so up, close and personal that got her more interested and on board the business side of P. N. Gadgil & Sons ltd.
“Being a lady, I was interested in how the jewellery is made,” she smiles, “Initially we had a shop at Laxmi road only where my husband and his cousins were all together. Our house was nearest to Laxmi Road so all the merchants, karagir (artisans) used to come to our residence. I used to interact with them because I was at home. It was then that I slowly got interested in that process." When Purshottam Narayan Gadgil & Company demerged in 2012, P. N. Gadgil & Sons Ltd was formed by Govind & Dr Renu Gadgil and the rest as they say is history.
Govind Gadgil, her husband, was always involved when it came to designing and making jewellery for temples. They got to make Dagdusheth Halwai's traditional crown. He looked into all the details from design to making after an ilndepth research about its history. When she also took interested and looked into it further, she realised that every occasion has a meaning behind it and so does the jewellery; "I understood the importance that every season has different jewellery."
Talking about carrying the legacy that started since 1832, she tells, "Carrying forward our legacy has always been about purity, integrity, transparency which is also our USP and it has been the focus which won't deteriorate. And what new we can add to it, and then it can get carried forward. We always believe that trust of the stakeholder including customer is almost important and we also go step ahead to cater them. Jewellery business is always been a 'high volume-low margin' business. If you need to succeed in this business then your core values need to be strong and well followed by all."
As one of the directors of the company, she became more involved in 2012. "The family responsibilities had decreased, and children had also grown up," she recalls, "I have been more involved since then. I started taking active part in some or the other business function in organization, and I closely look after HR functions." While the women in the family were not as actively involved in the organisation businesswise my mother in law was still involved in different ways. "She used to prepare snacks during festival days for the staff members because they had to work extended hours in the shop," Dr. Renu Gadgil notes. It was her generation women though who became an active part of the business.
Jewellery industry male dominated, despite the end-customer being females. When asked about why and how its changing, she points out, "It might have initially started way back when jewellery was made from heavy metal like iron and stones. As it was difficult and hazardous to work with, men might have been doing it. Down the centuries, jewellery making evolved, but men continued to do it. Also, for the longest time, women did not work outside their homes till recent history. But that's changing, and even in the jewellery business, you will find more and more women involved, especially as designers," she informs, "On the store front, a manager has to be available 24x7 to resolve any difficulty across functions like HR, Operations, Inventory Management and off course sales. This might make It difficult for women, as they also have their home to manage. But this too has seen a change over the years. More number of female managers are getting promoted because of their dedication and I can proudly tell you that two of my highest revenue generating stores like Chinchwad and Nashik are being currently headed by female managers!"
How are the classic traditional styles and new trends in jewellery balanced? Pat comes the answer, "The balance depends on demand and supply, and we also help with the change in the taste of jewellery. We supply traditional jewels with a new touch to it which is what the young generation love. How do we know this? It's because we had to design so many jewelleries for TV serials, the historical ones, and period cinema also. At that time, we came to know that, if we use the same old traditional designs and add in the new patterns, they are more accepted. The younger generations see the actor and actresses wearing something, they like it more. For example, the nath (nose ring) – a typical Maharashtrian traditional piece my mother-in-law or the generation before used to wear regularly - is being sported more as the current generation saw their favorite actors wear it. The nath is back with a bang, with more shine and glitter!"
The latest trend in jewellery, according to Dr. Renu Gadgil is lightweight jewellery; jewellery that can be worn at workplaces. This is what is reflected through their latest collection. "We have been using the colored stones recently. We used more geometric shapes and patterns, keeping in line with new demands. Budget or pocket friendly diamond jewellery collection is also on the rise in popularity. We have collection of diamond jewellery that starts at Rs 10,000 only."
While the pandemic threw a wrench in the well-run systems across the world, P. N. Gadgil & Sons Ltd (PNG Sons) ensured they remained connected with their employees throughout. Dr. Renu Gadgil says, "We told them that we have got this rest time, spend it with your family to secure your bond and ties with them. I ensured that everyone received their payroll without any cuts. Nobody got sacked, we continued with that despite we have to pay all the maintenance and everything. “The staff is their backbone, and they ensure it remains strong. Speaking of good backing, she believes that without proper support from home, working is not a possibility. She notes, "I'm very glad to say that he is cooperative; he looks after the children as much as I do as a mother. He is also involved with all the activities."
This dynamic lady is looking to continue the brand's legacy, keep doing everything we do today with new views and approaches. With her attitude and conviction, it is evident that the brand will reach newer heights as it progresses.
"WE ALSO HELP WITH THE CHANGE IN THETASTE OFJEWELLERY. WE SUPPLY TRADITIONAL JEWELS WITH A NEW TOUCH TO IT WHICH IS WHAT THE YOUNG GENERATION LOVE."
Dr. Renu Gadgil, Director PNG Sons
Despite being a Director at one of the biggest jewellery brands P N Gadgil & Sons Ltd. (PNG Sons) Dr. Renu Gadgil is down to earth. As she sits at her desk in the corporate office amidst beautiful art-pieces, this modest lady gives an insight into her journey to date. On the occasion of International women’s day, Femina has covered the incites of PNG Sons.