SAIF Partners invests around $13M in jewellery retailer Senco Gold

Multi-stage private investment firm SAIF Partners has invested Rs 80 crore (approximately $13 million) in Kolkata-headquartered Senco Gold Ltd, one of the largest jewellery retail chains from eastern region in India, according to a press release.

Senco, which is engaged in the manufacturing of handcrafted jewellery in gold, diamond, platinum and modern jewellery, will use the funds to accelerate its growth and establish a pan-India footprint.

Founded in 1945, Senco operates through 59 outlets across India and is planning to expand its reach across the country.

“We envision accelerating our business growth across India through the funding from SAIF Partners. This investment will give a boost to our operations and increase our pace of progress. We have found like-minded partners in SAIF Partners and look forward to working with them,” Suvankar Sen, executive director, Senco Gold Ltd, said.

Senco’s 59 stores include 29 company owned and 30 exclusive franchisees. The company also exports handcrafted jewellery to international markets such as Dubai, Singapore and the US.

Earlier in August 2012, VCCircle was first to report that Senco is in talks to raise up to Rs 100 crore (then $18 million) from PE investors. 

In the fiscal ended March 31, 2013, the company posted net sales of Rs 981.5 crore with net profit of Rs 39.9 crore. 

SAIF Partners' managing director Vishal Sood said, “We have known Senco Gold management for some time and have come to appreciate the high quality brand that the company has created. We have been impressed with Senco Gold’s stellar growth, the depth of the company’s network in east India, and the strong vision and leadership provided by the Sens.”

PE firm SAIF Partners, which manages over $1 billion of investments in India, recently increased its holding in fine dining chain operator Speciality Restaurants, whose brands include Mainland China and Oh! Calcutta. It has put money in over half a dozen firms this year including further investment in some existing portfolio firms. 

India is one of the largest markets for gold, accounting for around 10 per cent of the total gold stock globally. Rural India accounts for nearly two-thirds of the domestic market. A January 2012 report by Cognizant stated that southern India accounts for the largest chunk of the annual demand, followed by west, north and eastern regions.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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