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Mar, 03 2016

Partner & Envision A Sparkling Future For Generations To Come

Tanishq had taken the Indian jewellery industry by storm when it came into being in 1995, and it has only grown better with time. Sandeep Kullhali, Senior Vice President, Tanishq tells Deepankar Hemnani about the incredible journey.

They came, they saw, they conquered! Smart marketing strategies, incredible customer loyalty, widest franchise network - Tanishq had taken the Indian jewellery industry by storm when it came into being in 1995. It introduced brand experience of jewellery buying to the Indian customer. And it has only grown better with time. Sandeep Kullhali, Senior Vice President, Tanishq tells Deepankar Hemnani about the incredible journey.

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

Franchising is an established corporate philosophy at Titan, since its inception in 1987. This model cuts across all our businesses - watches, jewellery and eye wear. We believe franchising brings along the local understanding of markets, their social and financial standings. It creates a ready connect of the brand with the customer. The Tata Group commands immense trust in the market. We have a transparent relationship and have been in the business for a long haul. The franchisees feel secure with us. They can envision a future even for generations to come. Being associated with a market leader like Titan, puts you on a league above the rest.

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

Indian jewellery market did not have franchising as a model. We brought in franchising on a country wide level. It's just that in the recent past some jewellers have started adopting franchising as mode for expansion. We have the early bird advantage. We have an efficient process of evaluating and short listing candidates for franchisee. The process includes meeting with the senior management team, visiting the corporate office and factory. Last but not the least, we also get third assessment about the prospective franchise partner.

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. It is our job to convert them into a retailer. It's a challenge, and we try to get this understanding into the prospective franchisee prospect to get him to the final stage of his/ her recruitment. Further, we conduct franchisee training modules. We select people who are hands on as they can directly impact the business and keep up to the brand value of the Tata Group.

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?

Thankfully jewellery sector all over the world has managed to insulate the brick and mortar format. In India, it is all the more challenging as Indian jewellery designs and selling processes are practically very difficult to be ecommerce friendly. The serious buyers are not online shoppers by far. The ratio is on an even lower side for fine jewelry. Therefore, there is negligible impact of ecommerce on our franchisees. We are not resting on our strengths. We are getting e-com ready, where we can have all stores participating in online sales over the coming years.

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

India is a huge market and Tanishq has created its aura as the most 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. The new India will grow in the smaller cities and we believe growth of new opportunities will continue for years to come. We must not forget that modern retailing in India is in its early days, and our consumers are yet to experience modern malls and big brands. 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 smaller towns in future.

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