COVID-19 pandemic has made the companies, across all domains, update their business, move more workloads to the cloud, and automate processes. Till about a few years back, one could not imagine that a traditional industry like gems and jewellery will draw on the strengths of new-age technologies like cloud and artificial intelligence.
However, things have changed — not only the industry is willing to infuse AI into their workflows, but are also concerned to protect their IT infrastructure from increasing cybersecurity threats. One such company was Emerald Jewel Industry India that has been looking to start their digital transformational journey and shift their focus to automation to affect the bottom line positively.
To understand the use case better, we got in touch with K Srinivasan, the managing director of Emerald Jewel Industry India. Established in 1984, the company started by working with goldsmiths and then launched its manufacturing unit in 1992. In 2020, the company aims to leverage technologies like artificial intelligence to redesign the entire buying process for its dealers. A lot of this could be attributed to the pandemic lockdown that was restricting the teams to travel to its dealers.
The team was continuously facing a big challenge in communicating for new designs and showcasing their updated jewellery catalogues. “Every month, we launch more than 2,000 new designs across categories, and we need to demonstrate this to our customers as well as extend the jewellery retail design range in India,” said Srinivasan.
Further, it was also becoming a struggle for the dealers to share real-time customer feedback and information on order placement and jewellery purchasing. To address these challenges, Emerald Jewel collaborated with IBM to develop an AI-based mobile application — Tej mobile app — to remodel their business process, right from jewellery design selection to placing a purchase order, using a zero-touch engagement model.
How Does It Work?
The business model of Emerald Jewel is B2B sales, where the company markets its products to wholesalers, retailers and large retail chains. With the help of IBM’s Watson capability, the company built AI-based ‘Tej’ mobile app, the first-of-its-kind AI-enabled mobile application platform “which is a truly born-on-the-cloud solution,” said Srinivasan.
The app has been designed, built and deployed by the business design arm of IBM Services, which is powered by IBM Cloud and its AI capabilities and comes with built-in IBM Security for mobile devices. The app runs on both iOS and Android operating systems and has allowed the company to onboard more dealers onto this platform, “as it now has the capacity to scale resource requirements on-demand using IBM Cloud,” added Srinivasan.
The IBM Research Lab team has developed the Visual Browse, and Visual Search APIs hosted on IBM Public Cloud and secured with the IBM Security MaaS360 with Watson Endpoint Management (UEM) platform. The platform delivers AI-approach to unified endpoint management to enable end-users with apps, content and data.
The mobile app allowed the in-house design team of 170 handmade and computer-aided designers based in Bombay, Delhi, Kolkata, and Coimbatore to create a more than 500,000 design bank. As a matter of fact, Emerald Jewel is currently one of the first in the B2B industry to have a digital catalogue for its dealers. This allowed the company to take newer jewellery designs to market faster through the Tej mobile app and helps the dealers to select from newer designs. Further, it also enabled thousands of retailers in the market to make the latest design options to the end consumers available.
“The ability to make a design developed in Coimbatore be available to someone in Punjab as soon as the new design is introduced is only made possible through such a solution,” said Srinivasan. “Otherwise, it would have taken many days or weeks for physical designs to be sent to our dealers and receive orders.” The app connects the Emerald Jewel’s team with over 200 dealers, thereby enabling them to search through the digital catalogue of over 500,000 jewellery designs quickly and navigate the complex ordering process easier.
With the partnership with IBM, Emerald Jewel Industry India is confident of increasing its manufacturing ability significantly to three tonnes per month. Further, with the capacity to scale resource requirements on-demand using IBM Cloud, the company is positive to scale their business and onboard hundreds of new dealers with absolute ease, in the coming year.
“Alongside, using the Tej application means that any authorised dealer can start doing business with Emerald Jewellery, using a smart tablet,” concluded Srinivasan.