Pranda Jewelry plc History

Address:
333 Soi Rungsang, Bangna-Trad Rd
Bangkok 10260
Thailand

Telephone: (66) 2 393 8428
Fax: (66) 2 398 2143

Website:
Public Company
Incorporated: 1973
Employees: 6,000
Sales: $75 million
Stock Exchanges: Thailand
Ticker Symbol: PRANDA
NAIC: 339911 Jewelry (Including Precious Metal) Manufacturing; 339914 Costume Jewelry and Novelty Manufacturing

Company Perspectives:

Our commitment to customers: "Our prices will be competitive, our quality exceptional, and the services that we extend to facilitate your business transactions with the Pranda Group will be unexcelled."

Key Dates:

1982:
Established in Bangkok, Pranda Design Limited begins operating as a jewelry design and export business.
1984:
Pranda opens its own production facility and changes its name to Pranda Jewelry.
1990:
Pranda goes public with a listing on the Thai Stock Exchange; the company's first U.S. subsidiary is launched.
1992:
The company launches its Prima Gold brand and establishes the subsidiary Pranda North America.
1993:
A Prima Gold retail network is launched.
1994:
A new production plant in Thailand is added.
1997:
The company opens a production facility in Vietnam.
2002:
Pranda enters the Chinese market.
2003:
Construction of a Guanzhou, China, production facility begins.
2004:
A second production plant in Vietnam is constructed.
2005:
The company announces a 200 million baht investment program in order to boost production past six million pieces per year.

Company History:

Pranda Jewelry plc is one of Thailand's leading manufacturers of jewelry, producing principally gold and gemstone jewelry, as well as costume jewelry. Pranda is also one of the country's most internationally oriented jewelry groups, generating more than 84 percent of its revenues outside of Thailand. These sales are supported by a network of manufacturing plants, including its main plant in Bangkok, with a production capacity of 3.4 million pieces per year, and foreign plants in Vietnam, Indonesia, and China. The company also has a number of international sales and distribution subsidiaries, including in the United States and the United Kingdom. Pranda also owns French jeweler H. Grinoire. The company markets its jewelry under a number of brand names, including Prima Gold, Prima Diamond, Cristalina, Esse, and Batik. Prima Gold is also the name of the company's growing retail network, which includes more than 70 stores in Thailand and across Asia and into the Middle East. Originally an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Pranda has repositioned itself as an original design manufacturer (ODM) in the 2000s. The company expects nearly all of its production to be based on its own designs before the end of the decade. Pranda is listed on the Thai Stock Exchange and is led by the Tiasuwan family, including chairman Prida Tiasuwan.

Jewelry Maker in the 1970s

The Pranda jewelry group was founded in 1973 as Pranda Design Ltd. From the start, the company focused on the export market, shipping gemstones and jewelry designs. The company's initial target was the European market but later expanded to include the United States as well. By the early 1980s, Pranda had begun to export its own jewelry designs, establishing such brand names as Esse and Batik.

Pranda made the leap from design and export to production in the mid-1980s. In 1984, the company built its own factory, in Bangkok, employing some 300 artisans. While Pranda produced and marketed its own jewelry designs, the bulk of its business came from the OEM market, with the company producing designs for third parties. The shift toward production led the company to change its name that year, to Pranda Jewelry Ltd.

Pranda also adopted stricter quality control standards, enabling it to build a strong reputation on the international market. The company also added a second Thai operation, the Crystaline Company, which focused on the costume jewelry segment. By the end of the 1980s, the company's success encouraged it to launch an ambitious international expansion program. In order to fund this effort, Pranda went public, listing on the Thai Stock Exchange in 1990. The company then adopted a new name, Pranda Jewelry Public Company Limited.

The public offering gave Pranda the capital backing to expand its distribution and production capacity. In 1990, the company moved into North America, establishing its Crystaline North America subsidiary. That operation was joined by a second U.S. business, Pranda North America, in 1992.

Pranda also targeted growth in Europe, acquiring H. Grinoire, a Paris-based jeweler originally established in 1880. The addition of Grinoire gave Pranda another strong brand, adding high-end gold jewelry designs to the company's more usual focus on the costume and mid-range gold and gemstones sectors. After moving into France, Pranda sought a new European opportunity, and in 1994 the company established its subsidiary in the United Kingdom. Germany also became a major European market for the company in the mid-1990s.

International Jewelry Group in the Late 1990s and 2000s

With more than 20 years of experience in the international jewelry export market, and with a decade of its own production under its belt, Pranda targeted a new area for the next phase of its expansion. In 1992, Pranda launched a new type of gold, called Prima Gold, which was 99.99 percent pure gold. The company's success in developing designs based on Prima Gold led it to enter the retail market, opening two Prima Gold stores in Bangkok in 1993. The concept caught on, and, after expanding into the rest of Thailand, the company began exporting its store format. By the mid-2000s, Pranda counted nearly 30 company-owned stores throughout Thailand and another 80 franchised stores throughout Asia and in the Middle East.

In order to stock its retail stores with its own merchandise, Pranda inaugurated a dedicated New Product Design and Development center in 1993. Pranda also expanded its production capacity. Pranda's main Bangkok site built up a capacity of some 3.4 million pieces per year, crafted by an employee base of more than 2,100 people. The company's Crystaline facility added an addition 80,000 piece-per-year capacity, produced by 400 workers. The company then built a new facility in Korat, Thailand, in 1994.

Pranda's international growth, and the expansion of the Prima Gold chain overseas, led it to begin developing an international production network as well. One of the group's first efforts in this direction was the creation of a joint-venture manufacturing plant in Jakarta, Indonesia. That facility grew into the group's second-largest, with a production capacity of more than 1.2 million pieces per year.

In 1998, Pranda moved into Vietnam, building a small facility there. Into the early 2000s, the Vietnam site's capacity remained at just 400,000 pieces per year. In 2002, however, Pranda launched an expansion of the site's capacity. The relatively low wages in Vietnam made it a particularly promising location for Pranda, which already exported some 90 percent of its Vietnamese production.

Pranda's attention turned to China in the early 2000s. In 2002, the company launched construction of a new production facility in Guanzhou. The plant was expected to support Pranda's entry into the Chinese retail sector as well, as the company made plans to open some 15 shops in China by mid-decade. Yet the effort hit a snag when the outbreak of the SARS virus, then the launch of war in Iraq, forced the company to put a temporary freeze on new expansion efforts.

Instead, Pranda approached the Chinese retail market in a different way. In 2003, Pranda signed a deal with Home Shopping Shanghai Ltd. to begin distributing its Esse jewelry brand in China. By the end of the year, however, the company's fortunes in China had changed. The drop-off in jewelry trade following the outbreak of the SARS virus led the Chinese government to loosen its gold trading rules. The new suppleness in the market encouraged Pranda to relaunch construction of its Guangzhou site, backed by an investment of some 60 million baht. At the end of 2003, the company also announced the opening of the first Prima Gold stores in China.

At the beginning of 2004, Pranda announced its plans to phase out its OEM operations and its intention to become a full-fledged original design manufacturer. As part of that effort, the company stepped up investment in its Prima Gold International subsidiary in order to boost its branded sales. Pranda also launched an expansion of its production capacity, adding some ten percent by 2005. A major beneficiary of the company's expansion program was its Vietnamese subsidiary, which began construction of a new factory in Danang that year.

Pranda's expansion continued into 2005 with the announcement of an additional 200 million baht in investments. This program aimed at increasing the company's total capacity to more than six million pieces per year. The production boost was expected to support not only Pranda's growing Chinese sales but also its move into Eastern Europe. In January 2005, the company announced that it was close to reaching an agreement with a German distributor in order to introduce its brands into Eastern European markets. After 30 years, Pranda had become Thailand's leading jewelry exporter.

Principal Subsidiaries: Crystaline Company Limited; Crystaline North America Inc.; H. Gringoire S.A.R.L.; LG-Pranda Co., Ltd.; P.T. GOLD Martindo; P.T. Pranda SCL Indonesia; Pranda (Guangzhou) Company Limited; Pranda Jewelry Public Company Limited; Pranda North America Inc.; Pranda U.K. Limited; Pranda Vietnam Company Limited; Prima Gold International Company Limited.

Principal Competitors: Chow Sang Sang Holdings International Ltd; LLD Diamonds Ltd; Beauty Gems Factory Company Ltd; EganaGoldpfeil Holdings Ltd; Royal Selangor International Sdn Bhd; Tasaki Shinju Company Ltd; Hang Fung Gold Technology Ltd.

Further Reading:

  • Costello, Carol, and Becky Anderson, "Jewellery-maker Opens Plant in China," Worldsources, January 16, 2004.
  • Hemtasilpa, Sujintana, "Pranda Continues to Expand," Bangkok Post, January 26, 2005.
  • Pongvutitham, Achara, "Pranda Plans JV in Germany," Nation, January 26, 2005.
  • "Pranda Jewelry Stays on Sales Growth Path," Thai Press Reports, January 28, 2005.
  • "Pranda Ranked First in Export of Genuine Jewelry," Thai Press Reports, September 24, 2004.
  • "Pranda Ready for China Free Trade," Bangkok Post, March 10, 2004.
  • "Pranda Sets Goal to Work Only on Its Original Designs," Bangkok Post, January 17, 2004.
  • "Solid Growth Likely Despite Challenge from China and India," Bangkok Post, January 26, 2005.
  • Wiriyapong, Nareerat, "Thai Jeweler Set to Strike Gold Early in China," Bangkok Post, April 23, 2003.
  • ------, "Pranda Sees Flat Sales Ahead as Sars Impact Starts to Bite," Bangkok Post, May 24, 2003.
  • ------, "Vietnam a 'Gold Mine' for Pranda," Bangkok Post, March 30, 2004.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 70. St. James Press, 2005.

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