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Oct, 03 2011

AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH!

Genuine since 1854, Timex Group has hold on to its retail success. In a candid talk with Neha Prashar, VD Wadhwa, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (MD) of Timex Group India Ltd, talks about the brand's undaunted innovation.

Genuine since 1854, Timex Group has hold on to its retail success. In a candid talk with Neha Prashar, VD Wadhwa, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (MD) of Timex Group India Ltd, talks about the brand's undaunted innovation.

What is the present trend in watch retail franchising in India. Tell us about the percentage of organised and unorganised players in this sector?

Franchising in watch retail section is on the rise and all the major brands whether in mass, premium or luxury segment are rolling out aggressive 60 per cent, whereas unorganised stands at 40 per cent.

Tell us about the brand's international presence.

Timex is operating through 20 countries and has retail presence in 80 countries worldwide. Timex has a global presence with outlets in the US, UK, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia and India.

Its unparalleled network of global resources gives an edge to Timex Group's partners to compete and succeed in today's marketplace. An extensive network and close partnership with leading logistics providers enables support for the global requirements of Timex Group's brands and customers.

Elaborate on the company's origin, journey and success. What inspired the company to take to franchising route for expansion?

For Timex, it all started in the US in 1854 with the creation of the Waterbury Watch Company.

With time, Timex Group has emerged as a multinational company with a varied portfolio of globally recognised lifestyle brands. Today, it is one of the world's top 10 watch companies, measured by either revenue or units. We have taken the franchise route, as it provides us a better reach. Also, since Timex Group India is a part of Timex USA which owns 75 per cent equity in the company and due to FDI regulations we have restriction on retail operations in India.

How many franchise and company-owned outlets does the company have?

Presently, we have around 4,000 points of sales inclusive of 86 Timex Time Factory stores, which are all franchise outlets.

What kind of investment is required for a Timex franchise?

For a 300-400 sq.ft carpet area, the investment required will be around Rs 10 lakh for interiors and Rs 12-15 lakh for stock.

What is the eligibility criterion for selecting the right franchise partners. Is it necessary for franchisees to have a similar background?

It isn't necessary for a requisite franchisee to have similar background. All a franchisee needs is to have a flair for retailing and he shouldn't be a financial investor. Also, they should be well adept in store operations and customer relations in order to reap maximum benefits.

What is the USP, expected returns and the break-even period of your retail format?

The USP of our brand is that we provide superior quality and we are technologically more advanced than our competitors. We work on 35 per cent gross margins with majority of our stores and as a brand we have been able to break-even in the first year.

What strategies you follow to beat the competition?

We plan to increase our retail presence in the country and launch 100th Timex Time Factory Stores in the next four months. We also aspire to increase our reach to tier-II and tier-III cities. The company has ambitious plans to launch over 300 watches by this financial year end.

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