Digital gold is a tool which allows consumers to invest in the yellow metal in its digital form. Tanishq ran a pilot for a few months before launching the digital gold products.
Ajoy Chawla, chief executive, jewellery division, Titan Co. Ltd, said young customers are keen to buy gold as part of their investment portfolio and to build a sizeable asset class for redemption in the future.
“Sometimes it could be to save, sometimes it is for a future conversion to jewellery. This is a great opportunity to bring in a whole new customer segment to Tanishq," he said.
Tanishq is the first large jewellery retailer in India to offer digital gold to shoppers.
Since the product was launched in late April, nearly 70% of the 1,000-2,000 customers who have been registering on the platform every month were first-time shoppers of the brand, Chawla said.
“We plan to now start scaling it up by marketing it digitally, telling people about it, building up the noise as we go into season, when a lot of gold buying starts happening in October. Once the base of customers builds up adequately, we would then focus more on redemption," Chawla said.
India is among key consumers of gold globally. The yellow metal has traditionally been a a favourite asset class for middle income households.
Digital gold also saw a surge in demand during the nationwide lockdown last year. The fact that digital gold can be bought in small quantities makes it attractive to investors. For instance, Tanishq is allowing consumers to start buying digital gold for as low as ₹100.
In India, digital gold products are offered by vendors and refiners of gold through various platforms. Payment wallets like Paytm and Amazon Pay, as well as investment platforms Kuvera and Groww, offer digital gold. That apart, Augmont Gold; MMTC-PAMP India Pvt. Ltd, a JV between state-run MMTC Ltd and Swiss firm MKS PAMP; and DGIPL also sells digital gold products on their platforms.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India, however, has barred brokerages from selling digital gold.
On its site Tanishq describes its digital gold product neither financial product nor a deposit but a “method of purchasing gold for personal needs". In case customers choose to convert their gold to jewellery at a Tanishq store, the retailer will apply making charges at the time of redemption.
“As customers acquire digital gold, some of it may be purely for investment, but a lot of it is really for ultimately redeeming it or converting it into jewellery," he said.
Meanwhile, the sale of digital gold in India currently lacks any regulation.
Chawla said the company favour regulation of the product. “We welcome regulation because when regulation is there, then there is no confusion about if the customer has paid, is there physical gold available, is it available in some vault, is somebody overseeing the governance of it etc," he said.
Tanishq is part of Titan Company Ltd. In the financial year 2020-21 the company’s jewellery division—its largest—reported revenues Rs17,274 crore.
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