Akshaya Tritiya: A look at the Tanishq factory in Hosur
The journey of a simple gold ring, a plain band with a mounted solitaire, from its raw form to a piece of jewellery, sitting pretty around one’s finger, sounds very straightforward and uncomplicated. How many steps could there possibly be? Not more than three or four? Try 12! On a recent visit to the Tanishq factory in Hosur, this was one of the many things we learnt about the ornaments that we casually slip onto our fingers or clip onto our ears.
A sprawling 1,35,000 square feet property, it is designed with calming koi ponds and water features besides artistic interiors and statement installations in keeping with what they are primarily known for — gold art, that can be both worn or just admired. This was the factory that created the gold Nano, back in 2016 and their most recent project was the restoration of one of the minarets of Humayun’s Tomb, under the Tata Restoration Project.
Once you enter the heart of the factory, where all the action really happens, it’s like you’ve stepped into a lab, complete with technicians in lab coats over their clothes, and hair nets. The dress code extends to visitors too. The reason? The coats and hair nets are washed to retrieve the gold dust that is in the air. Sticky mats at regular intervals ensure the gold dust collected by your footwear from the floor of the factory is also trapped. Even the water from the hand wash area is put through a microfiltration process to recover any traces of gold. In this way, they save about 30 grams of gold every month.
The factory’s raw material is either gold biscuits or old ornaments that are sent in to turn into a new piece. Once melted, they are turned into pellets that are then used to make jewellery. A tiny 200-gram box of gold needs to be carried by two hands thanks to the metal’s high density. We struggled to pick up a box as we were taken through the method of melting it. Once the designs are conceptualised, a model of the same is made in silver, which is then kept in between layers of rubber and vulcanised. This leaves an impression of the silver master in the rubber, which is filled with wax. The rubber is removed and replaced with slurry. This is placed in the furnace and when the wax melts, it is filled with gold. The factory is equipped with the latest machines from Japan and Germany, ensuring precision, accuracy and great quality.
While this plant prides itself on state-of-the art technology, the Karigar Centre, a 15-minute drive from here, is all about artisans and craftsmanship. The 11,990 square-feet space employs artisans from Rajasthan and other parts of northern India, and gives them an almost corporate-like set-up, far removed from the unhealthy and unhygienic conditions of small-scale sweatshops, that are ubiquitous in places known for their gold jewellery.
Luxury and grandeur aside, we were impressed to learn that the factory is a zero-discharge centre, which means that all their water is recycled and reused. Over 40 per cent of their electricity is generated from windmills in Kanyakumari and solar panels installed in the property. With responsible luxury becoming a buzzword, we’d say Tanishq by Titan is setting a great example.
The writer visited the factory on invitation from Tanishq.