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Nov, 12 2013

Time is money

With more than 25 years of expertise in organised watch retailing, Titan has gone an extra mile and marked a massive expansion across every nook and cranny of India. In an interaction, HG Raghunath, Chief Executive Officer, Watches, Accessories & Fragranc

How much share of the market have you captured so far?

The Indian watch market is estimated at around 55 million units and valued at around Rs 4,700 crore. Over 50 per cent of this market is unorganised, primarily at the low end and dominated by small players assembling watches illegally, smuggled watches and fakes. The organised watch market is dominated by the brands of Titan Company Limited (Titan, Sonata and Fastrack) which have a market share exceeding 65 per cent.

What key trends have you witnessed in watch retailing?

When Titan entered watch retailing more than 25 years ago, it revolutionised the way watches were retailed in India. Today, there are 363 World of Titan outlets, 71 Titan One outlets and over 140 Fastrack stores across the country. Besides this, there are 742 service centres which provide reliable and timely after sales service. Today, every international watch brand is present in the country and though still very nascent, are setting some new standards in watch retailing. At the high end, the Swiss brands are setting up exclusive stores and selectively going into very premium multi brand outlets. Fashion brands are retailing mainly out of large format departmental stores and through shop-in-shops. The brands of Titan retail through their exclusive outlets (World of Titan and Fastrack stores), departmental stores and multi-brand outlets.

Growth at the low end and mid market has largely been driven by the Titan brands. The entry of fashion brands has driven the premium segment and the entry of the Swiss brands has driven the growth of the luxury segment. The entry of so many brands has created renewed interest in the category but Titan's investment in building its brands has driven and sustained its growth.

As lot many foreign & luxury watch brands have entered the India's watch industry so how do you intend to beat the competition?

International brands have now been in the country for many years. Titan continues to invest in its brands with impactful advertising, new product introductions and an elevating retail experience.

How much expansion have you targeted via franchising? What all training and support are you offerings to franchisees?

The company will add around 65 Titan outlets and 100 Fastrack stores during the course of the current financial year. Most of these are expected to be franchised. Training to franchisees and their staff is an on-going programme of the company. The company invests in many ground level below-the-line (BTL) activities throughout the year apart from brand advertising to enhance walk-ins and conversions at our stores.

How do you intend to keep your brand's sales intact considering the rupee depreciation against US $ and increasing inflation?

There will be greater focus on in-house manufacture to mitigate the effect of the depreciating rupee.

Tell us about your expansion plans?

Most of the expansion will be through franchisees. Titan and its brands will target aggressive growth over the next five years and expect to grow at a faster pace than the overall watch market.

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