Malabar Gold: From Rs50 lakh to Rs22,000 crore in just 20 years!

published on December 1, 2013

Since 2011, the entire bullion trade is reeling under increased prices, however, Malabar Gold and Diamond’s turnover witnessed 550% jump!

Malabar Group made a modest start in Calicut in 1993 with a capital of about Rs50 lakh. In just 20 years, it has grown in to a Rs22,000 crore empire, which is 44 lakh times its original capital. And all this only through jewellery, infrastructure as well as domestic and commercial building business. This is a rags to riches story. As of today, Malabar group consist 1,600 investors, 6,000 management staff and about 10 companies in India and abroad.

The group has expanded rapidly in the last decade in India and overseas, especially in gulf countries. Since 2005, the jewellery group has roped in famous personalities to act as its brand ambassadors. This includes, its current brand ambassadors are Kareena Kapoor, the Bollywood actor, south Indian actor Suriya, famous Malayalam Superstar Mohanlal and Bollywood’s ‘dream-girl’ Hema Malini. Earlier, several film actors like Junior NTR and Puneeth Rajkumar, music director Ilayaraja and tennis start Sania Mirza were associated with Malabar Gold.

During 2005, Malabar Gold was reported to be a group worth Rs500 crore.It also signed its first brand ambassadors, Tennis star Sania Mirza and Malayalam superstar Mohanlal during that period.

Over the next two years, Malabar Gold increased its reach beyond Kerala and became a group worth Rs800 crore. In April 2007, its chairman MP Ahammed was quoted as planning to invest Rs200 crore over next one year to expand its footprint in south India and abroad. ()

Malabar Gold made rapid progress over the next four years to increase its single jewellery showrooms to 54. During June 2011, it hired Brand Union to enhance its corporate image. At that time, Malabar Gold reportedly had a turnover of Rs4,000 crore.

However, within next four months, PA Ibrahim, co-chairman of Malabar Gold, told reporters, that the group’s turnover was Rs6,000 crore with Rs2,000 crore coming from abroad. In September 2011, Malabar Gold had 1,000 members from India and abroad as investors. ( )

However, before ending the FY2011-12, Malabar Gold said its total sales were about Rs12,000 crore. KP Abdul Salam, its group executive director, reportedly said, “The group sales is around Rs12,000 crore ($2.4 billion). In India we will be opening outlets in Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and other states. The group will also open outlets in Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Europe, US and Canada.”

Tiny Philip, chief executive of Results Consulting Group and advisor of Malabar Gold during March 2012, endorsed the phenomenal growth. He said, “Malabar Gold & Diamonds group has grown at 60% between 2002 and 2012. For other companies dependent on debt for expansion, consolidation of operations has to be there. But for Malabar Gold & Diamonds which is mainly dependent on equity investments, the issue of consolidation does not apply.”

Set up in 1993 in the south Indian state of Kerala, Malabar Gold & Diamonds at present has a retail network of 103 outlets spread across seven countries, 10 wholesale units in addition to offices, design centres and factories spread in India and the UAE.

For FY2013-14, Malabar Gold expect a turnover of $3.5 billion (Rs22,000 crore), and claims that it is the world’s third largest jewellery retailer in terms of annual turnover. The company had targeted a turnover of $6 billion when it had gone for re-branding over a year ago. It would mean a turnover of over Rs36,000 crore as per current calculations.

MP Ahammed, the chairman of Malabar group wrote on the company website that “We have over 80+ showrooms worldwide, with a strong presence in both India and the Middle East, and are well on our way to achieving our aim of becoming the world’s number one jewellery group by 2015.”

What is interesting is Malabar group reportedly claims that it does not have any debt and its expansion is funded through its own sources and from investors. As per the company portal, it has 1,600 investors. However, their names were not revealed by the jeweller. In the absence of any official record like balance sheet and auditor’s report, it is very difficult to assess the business activity of Malabar Gold and we have to rely only on media reports.

Malabar Gold Pvt Ltd, which was registered on 19 June 2001, has 10 directors, including Ahammed, Nishad Athikkot, Shamlal Madathum Parambath (MP), Veerankutty Kandambath Puthiyapath, Asher Ottamoochikkal, Abdul Salam Kandampath, Ibrahimhaji Pallikere Abdulla, Mayan Kutty Cholakkal, Beerankoya Kakkodi and Abdul Majeed Mozhangal.

As per press reports, last year (FY2012-13) Malabar Gold had a turnover of about Rs12,000 crore. It is expected to touch Rs22,000 crore in the current fiscal. That too when the overall bullion trade was reeling under the sky-high prices of the yellow metal. Another surprise is the 550% jump in the group’s turnover between 2011 and 2013. It reported a turnover of Rs4,000 crore in June 2011 and expect it to reach to Rs22,000 crore. The question here is how could the jewellery group achieve such a stupendous growth within such a short span of time that too when the entire bullion trade is hit by slowdown and sales affected due to increases in the price of gold?

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