SPARKLE IN THE EYE

Kazakhstan 2014 | TOURISM & RETAIL | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Zhumasheva Gaisha Kuandykovna, President of Kazakhyuvelir, on the long history of the company, manufacturing jewelry, and consumer trends.

Zhumasheva Gaisha Kuandykovna
BIOGRAPHY
After graduating from Almaty Institute of National Economy in 1984, Zhumasheva Gaisha Kuandykovna worked for Kazakhyuvelir for 30 years. Over that entire period, she moved up the ladder from Goods Manager to President of the company. In 2013, it was the 10th anniversary of Kuandykovna as President of the company.

Could you tell us about the history of the company?

When our company was established, there were just four stores, and we were representatives of the retail company Kaz.Yuvelirtorg. Later, the number of stores increased to 40. Following the restructuring of the economy, many shops were forced to close, and Kaz.Yuvelirtorg is unique in being the only company to have survived. In fact, today we are known as the Kazakh jeweler, and have also moved on from simply trading to manufacturing jewelry as well. In the past, there was no manufacturing sector in Kazakhstan, and the restructuring of the Soviet economy was a difficult time for our country, as relations with outside countries were severed, and we faced the real possibility of not being able to import sufficient goods for the population. The population became more interested in jewelry in national style, which was the reason we started our own production. Our manufactured products include wedding bands, a wide choice of national jewelry, and exclusive orders and requests. We are continuing to increase our manufacturing production power year to year.

How would you describe the process of jewelry manufacturing?

We source raw materials from within Kazakhstan. The National Bank and private mining companies support us in these operations, and we work with modern, high-quality Italian and German equipment. We have invested in top-level training for our staff, and have also hired a number of experts with extensive experience. We manufacture a wide range of products in addition to high-quality individual orders. Popular products include complete sets with earrings, a pendant, and a ring, while classic pieces are always in high demand.

What products are in high demand at the moment and who are your core clients?

Today, our customers are roughly 80% from the middle class, with the remainder being upper-class clientele. The public demand for jewelry of the highest quality, such as rubies and sapphires, is rising. At the same time, we have organized the Gemological Center with specialists in the assessment and determination of stones. Leveraging this expertise we guarantee full compliance of the characteristics stated on the labels of our products. We often arrange exhibitions sales to salons, where gemologists enable customers to evaluate stones and make the right choices.

What differentiates you from competitors in the market, and what are your plans?

We differ from competitors in that we are a symbol of quality, and have had satisfied buyers for the past 72 years. Our slogan is “trust is a time-tested quality." We count Russia, Italy, and Hong Kong among our many partners. Our primary partner is the Russkiye Samotsvety Corporation in St. Petersburg. We attend international exhibitions, and are well connected to other countries, bringing our stability and quality beyond Kazakhstan's borders. Our motto for 2014 will be “quality of staff and service improvement," which will be our primary focus for the year. We currently have shops in 16 cities across Kazakhstan, and our future plans include the expansion of our network of salons and boutiques at large shopping centers, allowing us to reach more of our clients. Ultimately, we hope to educate our customers about stones, meaning that the Kazakhstani public can become discerning connoisseurs of jewelry.