Interview: Pallavi Mohadikar, CEO and co-founder of Palmonas, Woman Entrepreneur

Pallavi Mohadikar

Interview with Pallavi Mohadikar, Woman entrepreneur & CEO and co-founder of Palmonas

Welcome to our exclusive interview with Pallavi Mohadikar, the CEO and co-founder of Palmonas, a trailblazing direct-to-consumer startup revolutionizing the jewellery industry. With a passion for crafting quintessential designs of demi-fine jewellery, Palmonas offers pieces that not only exude the luxurious allure of gold but also possess the durability to withstand the test of time.

Under Pallavi’s visionary leadership, Palmonas has emerged as a beacon of elegance, offering consumers an unparalleled experience of adorning themselves with jewellery that looks like gold, feels like gold, and stays gold.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to start PALMONAS?

Pallavi Mohadikar: Dr Amol Patwari hails from a small-town Udgir located in Latur district, while Pallavi is from Nagpur but raised in Nashik. After his MBBS and post-graduation specialisation in Orthopaedics Dr Amol settled in Pune in 2015 along with Pallavi, a Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering graduate from College of Engineering Pune (COEP), who completed her MBA from IIM Lucknow in 2014.

It all began with a seemingly casual conversation with Pallavi one day. We were discussing about surgical grade stainless steel used in operation theatres and how it does not rust, get damaged or does not react with human skin.

That is when Pallavi came up with this idea of using surgical grade stainless stell to be plated with 18Karat gold and create demi-fine jewellery. The name PALMONAS was derived from a combination of Pallavi, Amol, and our daughter Anaya.

How did you come up with the idea of offering jewellery that not only looks like gold but also feels like gold and stays gold?

Pallavi Mohadikar: In India, gold holds a special place in people’s hearts and is purchased for a myriad of occasions. However, it often remains tucked away in lockers, only making appearances on special events. This renders gold an underutilized investment with limited appeal.

On the flip side, imitation jewellery, though readily available on the streets at affordable prices, is often far from skin-friendly or stylish. For the modern generation, be it college students or working women, wearing gold represents an emblem of prosperity and luxury.

They choose gold because it does not result in skin irritations such as rashes or discoloration. This epiphany led us to explore the art of crafting jewellery from surgical stainless steel, closely resembling gold but available at a fraction of the price.

How do you go about designing the quintessential pieces of demi-fine jewellery at PALMONAS?

Pallavi Mohadikar: Our aspiration is to establish PALMONAS as an international brand, with a particular focus on the burgeoning market for demi-fine jewellery in the US and UK. We began our journey with 30 unique designs, primarily in the necklace and earring categories.

Now our website showcases an extensive range of 1000+ different SKUs. What distinguishes our jewellery is the 18Karat gold vermeil plating, a groundbreaking concept. Unlike conventional gold-plated jewellery with its meagre 0.5-micron thick layer, our jewellery boasts a generous 2.5-micron thick gold layer, offering the same opulence as solid gold with a premium finish.”

PALMONAS emphasizes on jewellery that ‘stays gold.’ Could you elaborate on the quality standards and materials used in your products?

Pallavi Mohadikar: In an era where transparency and ethical considerations are paramount, millennials and GenZ are increasingly drawn to brands that uphold responsible sourcing practices. Unlike the opaque supply chains associated with some traditional gold mining, demi-fine jewellery often places emphasis on using recycled materials and ethically sourced gemstones.

This aligns with the environmentally conscious values of millennials and GenZ, who seek to minimize their impact on the planet while still indulging in the luxury of jewellery. One notable aspect that sets demi-fine jewellery apart is its commitment to inclusivity in design.

Modern jewellery brands often prioritize representing a wide range of cultures, body types, and individual styles. This approach resonates with millennials and GenZ who seek jewellery that not only enhances their appearance but also empowers them through representation and self-identity.

What have been some of the key challenges you have faced in building and scaling PALMONAS, and how have you overcome them?

Pallavi Mohadikar: Initially, people found it challenging to understand the concept of a gold alternative. Overcoming this challenge was made possible through the strategic use of influencer marketing. The endorsement and showcasing of our products by influencers played a crucial role in establishing trust and motivating first-time purchases.

With evolving market trends in mind, we are currently focused on expanding our direct-to-consumer (D2C) sales and marketplace presence. In the years to come, the millennial and GenZ population in India is expected to shift its perspective on gold. Instead of viewing it solely as an investment, they may opt for gold bonds, reallocating the saved making charges towards acquiring multiple pieces of demi-fine jewellery.

This reflects a paradigm shift in the jewellery industry, with demi-fine jewellery poised to redefine the future thanks to its affordability, elegance, and a rich diversity of designs and aesthetics.

How do you stay informed about the latest trends in the jewellery market, and how does PALMONAS adapt to these trends?

Pallavi Mohadikar: Demi-fine jewellery is an enabler of personal storytelling. Brands often offer customization options, allowing customers to engrave names, dates, or special messages on their pieces. This transforms the jewellery into a vessel for memories and emotions, adding a layer of intimacy that traditional gold jewellery might lack. Millennials and GenZ value items that hold personal significance, making customization a crucial aspect of the demi-fine jewellery experience.

Demi-fine jewellery stands as a testament to the evolving preferences of the millennial and GenZ generation. It has successfully redefined luxury and elegance by incorporating ethical considerations, personal expression, and contemporary design.

As millennials and GenZ continue to seek meaningful and sustainable forms of self-expression, the demi-fine jewellery market is poised to further reshape the jewellery industry, offering an alluring alternative to traditional gold while reflecting the values and aspirations of a new era.

Demi-fine jewellery is indeed the new-age gold, capturing the essence of luxury, craftsmanship, and personal expression that millennials value. As these discerning consumers seek unique pieces that align with their values and preferences, the demi-fine jewellery market is poised for further growth and innovation.

Its ability to blend affordability, quality, and individuality ensures that it will continue to shine as the preferred choice for the new generation of jewellery enthusiasts.

What do you envision for the future of PALMONAS?

Pallavi Mohadikar: PALMONAS serves as a platform for contemporary women to embrace their individuality, commemorate both significant milestones and minor victories, and confidently navigate the streets each day. PALMONAS will pursue a combination of online and offline channels.

Jewellery is an impulse purchase category, and people often make unplanned jewellery purchases while browsing in malls or airports. Gifting is also a significant aspect of our industry. Therefore, physical stores are essential.

However, Demi-fine jewellery is poised for significant growth in India due to rising gold prices. As mass India cannot afford to purchase large quantities of gold jewellery, Demi-fine jewellery offers a classy and affordable alternative.

In conclusion, our conversation with Pallavi Mohadikar, CEO and co-founder of Palmonas, has shed light on the innovative spirit driving this D2C startup to new heights in the jewellery market. Pallavi’s dedication to crafting demi-fine jewellery that mirrors the opulence of gold while prioritizing quality and durability is truly commendable.

As Palmonas continues to flourish under her leadership, it promises to redefine the standards of elegance and sophistication in the industry, offering consumers a timeless and exquisite selection of jewellery that resonates with their individual style and aspirations.

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