Financial crunch at jewellery firm triggers panic among customers

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on January 08, 2018 Published on October 23, 2017

Panic gripped subscribers of chit schemes of Chennai-based Nathella Sampath Jewelry Pvt Ltd (NSJPL) after notices were put up outside its closed outlets stating its inability to pay dues to its customers.

The jewellery firm said that unfortunate turn of events had created a financial crunch and there were delays in clearing dues.

It has asked customers to check at its shops after two weeks and has “promised” to update on the progress in creating liquidity.

“It was really a shock to me. I never expected this kind of news from such a reputed jewellery brand. I joined a five-year chit scheme and have been paying ₹10,000 per month. I have already paid 56 instalments (of the 60). This is my life-time savings and I am really worried,” said a customer of the jewellery firm.

Likewise, scores of customers have registered their complaints and described their anguish on the National Consumer Complaint Forum’s website. Customers complained that the jeweller’s shops were closed in all the places.

Gold buying

Another customer said that despite paying several visits to buy gold for the money she had accumulated through a chit scheme, she couldn’t as the shop kept postponing her purchase.

The monthly amount in the chit schemes is also higher and runs into several thousand rupees depending on the type of the scheme.

Neither officials nor the management could be contacted for their reaction. The jeweller’s website was also not functioning and said “Page under construction.”

The group was promoted by Sriman Nathella Sampathu Chetty Garu in 1928 and retail operations commenced in 1998. The company is primarily engaged in trading of gold jewellery and gold bullion.

Outlets across TN

Chennai-headquartered NSJPL was incorporated in April, 2007 by the amalgamation of three partnership firms namely Nathella Sampath Jewellerie, NSC Jewellers and NSC & Co. It has more that half-a-dozen outlets in the State. The company reported a profit after tax of ₹16 crore on total operating income of ₹1,428 crore for 2015-16 as against a profit of ₹18 crore on a total operating income of ₹1,415 crore for 2014-15, according to a October 2016 document. The company derives majority of its revenues from wholesale of gold jewellery which contributed to 72 per cent of its net sales in FY16.

Published on October 23, 2017
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