Overview: Core Jewellery is a jewellery manufacturer in Mumbai, India. The company was founded by the current Chairman and CEO, Mr. Kamal Bhatsali, and focuses on selling their products to international retailers. Their products range in price from medium to high and include bridal jewellery, rings, necklaces, bracelets, etc.
Our Impressions Going In: Once we knew we were going to the manufacturing facility we immediately had thoughts of Indian sweatshops, however we knew that we would not actually be exposed to that type of environment. This being a jewellry factory we assumed that the facilities would be nice and hygienic due to the value of the product they are producing. We were interested in how the base level employees were managed, because we wanted to compare them to those in the United States.
Another aspect we were eager to learn about was how the factory was set up and how the product flowed through the process. Josh and I had just finished our course in Operations and we were interested to see if any of the principles we learned in class would be present in India manufacturing.
Our Impressions Coming Out: The first thing that caught our attention was that the factory was located in a secure district. A secure district meant that regular foot and auto traffic was restricted and there were security measures all around the complex. We were not allowed to bring in cameras and or any existing loose jewellery.
Upon our arrival into the facility we were greeted by Mushaf Rahman who would be one of the people showing us around the facility. In a nutshell, the factory uses CAD to produce 3D printed models which are used to create casts to pour gold or silver into. These casts produce the base jewellery which are then refined and stones are added to complete the pieces.
In regards to our initial question about the management of the facilities and the employees, we found similarities and differences between the Core factory and U.S. factories. For one, there is no organization which looks out for the health and safety of workers. In the U.S. we have OSHA, and India either does not enforce any policies like OSHA does, or the organization simply does not exist. However, in general we felt this facility was clean and safe by Indian standards. Also the workers have longer work weeks than U.S. workers (they work 6 days, 8 hours a day). Overall, the practices in India and in the U.S. are very similar with the exception of the standards American companies have to follow.
After our tour of the operations, we gained some knowledge in regards to the sales side of the business. We asked Mushaf to talk about dealing with clients from different countries and cultures. For him, the most important point when dealing with different cultures is ensuring the product speaks for itself. He simply stated, “The most important part is the product I’m selling. If the product is good enough it will sell itself.” After our brief experience in jewellery manufacturing we both agreed that Core Jewellery’s product is “good enough”.