Taking jewellery retail in India to a new level, Govind Raj, Vice President - Integrated Retail Services, Titan industries shares the success journey of Tanishq.
Abha Garyali (AG): Please share the concept behind Tanishq’s origin and its growth to success.
Govind Raj (GR): Tanishq was Titan’s first diversification project after it had established itself as the leader in the watch industry in India, having successfully displaced HMT from the No 1 slot. Started, in 1994-95, as a manufacturer of studded jewellery and watches made of precious material, it then went on to become the retailer in the jewellery industry and started operating out of a chain of stores that were either company operated or franchised. The state of the art jewellery plant was also established in Hosur, where Titan also manufactured watches.
AG: How franchising has changed the fortune of the company for better?
GR: Titan Industries had developed a robust system of franchising for its watch business and after having success in expanding through franchising we replicated the same for the jewellery business. A major part of the chain is franchised.
AG: What all things are required in an aspiring entrepreneur to become a Tanishq franchisee?
GR: There is a robust selection process followed by the company to evaluate and select franchisees and this is done at various levels and also involves the senior management of the company.
AG: Please share your views about the concept of franchising in the jewellery business. How successful is the business?
GR: Tanishq’s experience with its franchisees has been very good and this relationship has contributed significantly to Tanishq’s success.
AG: How many franchisees do you have right now across India?
GR: The jewellery division of Titan Industries Ltd has 115 Tanishq stores, two Zoya stores and 30 Goldplus stores. Of this 31 stores are company managed and the rest 147 are franchisee run/managed. A few franchisees operate more than one store. All stores are in India.
AG: What kind of training and support do you provide to your franchisees?
GR: We offer a complete support in training the franchisee and alo provide him staff for his outlet.
AG: How much investment is required by an aspiring franchisee in terms of money, time, and dedication?
GR: The franchisee operation is a full time job and will require complete dedication by the franchisee or his family member. Investment depends on the location, size of store etc and could be in excess of Rs10 crore
AG: What is the break even period for a franchisee in a jewellery business?
GR: Cash breakeven is normally achieved in the first year of operations
AG: What are the challenges of franchising in the jewellery industry?
GR: Getting the right opportunity, the right product category, the space in the right location, good talent to run and manage the operations, financial support are some of the key challenges in this industry.