Retail Aug, 17 2016

'We changed the face of Jewellery Retail' Sandeep Kulhalli

Sharing his insights, Sandeep Kulhalli, Sen. Vice President tells the tale about his remarkable journey with Tanishq.

By Deepankar Hemnani
'We changed the face of Jewellery Retail' Sandeep Kulhalli

As a leading jewelry brand in India, what is unique about your franchise strategy that makes your model click in the market?

Franchising is a thoroughly established corporate philosophy that has been seemingly embraced at Titan. Nevertheless, franchising has been the most versatile asset that has been adapted across all of our Businesses, may it be watches, Jewellery or Eye Wear. “We believe that Franchising brings local understanding of Markets, social posture, connectivity with the society and financial capability, which ultimately helps in establishing our Brands quickly. At Tata group, we have always encouraged transparency because our business plans are profoundly effective and keen upon a larger audience. It is an honor for the franchisee to get affiliated with a reputed market leader like Titan, which provides the franchisees a secure feeling to visualize a future even for their upcoming generations”.

How much has franchise helped to facilitate growth in the jewelry industry in India? How have you mastered the art of selecting and retaining the right franchise?

Initially, Indian Jewellery industry did not have Franchising as a model, Instead people considered it as a model of tranquility to acquire growth. Tanishq was the first retail jewellery brand to inaugurate franchising in India; however, a few jewellery chains have recently adopted this model and started offering franchise options. “We have mastered the art and science of franchising and working with a conglomerate like Tata has taught us some exponential techniques to analyze, evaluate and short list the worthy franchisees to become a part of our ascending venture.

What do you think personally about the Indian franchisee owner? How can Indian Franchisee owner be more competitive?Most of the franchisees in India are intrinsically business oriented and it is our job to convert them into a productive retailer. They need to understand the fact that jewellery is a very involved category in India with high value standards. Despite of the conducive positive image of the brand, franchisees should know how important it is to build a relationship with each customer. Tanishq is the face of the modern contemporary retailer and franchisees need to evolve as it is no longer a buy-sell experience, and franchisees need to get rid of the old and ancient baggage and should apply our evolved strategies. Hard selling is not the way to compete with the emerging market standards and Tanishq has always respected customer’s space. Franchisees need to get over the old style of smooth talking, inventory show, use of personal relationships, etc and focus upon helping the customer through every step i.e. starting from selecting the designs and guiding till the final purchase.

E-tailing has taken the market by storm. What are your strategies to ensure smooth operation of the franchise stores? How do you ensure your franchisees motivated to face the challenge?

Surprisingly, Jewellery has never been very big or threatened Brick and mortar retail over the world. We believe that the consumer can only get discounts while purchasing jewellery online but the factors such as trust, reliability, designs and the shopping experience gives a vital edge to influence the customer to visit the store. In India, it’s even more challenging as Indian Jewllery designs and selling processes are practically very difficult to be compatible over the internet. The manner of display, ambience, salesperson behavior, the showcasing of new collections, is all designed to encourage the modern age consumer to shop in a friendly environment. Our franchisees do not see this as a challenge but surely look at it as an opportunity to engage more and more with the customers and be a part of their lives. Conclusively, I believe that, Jewellery is an emotional product that’s bought very rationally, thus communication is very important,

Titan and Tanishq are extremely widespread. However, what markets are you still looking to expand?

India is a huge Market and tanishq has created his aura as the most desirable and trustworthy brand in India. There are many cities in the north, west and east region of the country where new markets are waiting to be explored. We must not forget that modern Retailing in India is in its early days, and our consumers have yet to experience Modern Malls comprising of luxury brands and delightful ambiances. Retailing in India is a source of Family bonding and entertainment, it’s a Social phenomenon, and these are yet to be experienced by many of our consumers from the tier two section.

Related: Genuinely generating profits

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