Suparna Mitra, Chief Marketing Offi cer, watches and accessories division, Titan Company Limited, in an exclusive conversation with Anil Prabhakar, talks about the growing watch market segment in India and the role that Titan plays in its growth.
The mother brand Titan is the largest in India and is synonymous with the category. It caters to men, women and children across the length and breadth of the country. Its sub-brand Raga is a very popular women’s brand in India. Its distinct design language has captured the hearts of women across India. Titan also caters to the premium men’s watch market with an extensive range of watches. The razor-thin Edge series and the light-fuelled HTSE collections are just some of the timepieces that hold their own in Titan’s wide portfolio. In India, the category is present in the organized and unorganized sector, which makes it difficult to estimate the annual market size of the category in India.
Please tell us about the portfolio of Watches. What is the ratio of ladies to gents in your product portfolio?
The Titan watches portfolio is a diverse one that caters to every segment of the market. Titan watches include Titan, Fastrack and Sonata watches. Fastrack caters to the youth with its cool and funky watches whereas Sonata caters to the economy-seeker. Apart from this we also have Xylys which is Swiss-made with master-crafted designs and Nebula which is a pure gold watch inspired by Indian heritage. Collectively, the portfolio is split into 57 per cent of variants for men and 43 per cent for women.
What is the estimated contribution of fashion watches to the total market and segment wise break up? What are your views on competing brands such as Fossil, Skagen, Micheal Kors, Emporio Armani, DKNY, Guess and Casio?
What are the latest trends in the Indian watch market?
Fashion has seen the largest growth among all style segments in the watch category. At Titan, we segment our market on price-point : largely into three segments: below Rs1000, between Rs1000 – 5000 and above Rs5000. The popular fashion brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Emporio Armani, Fossil etc. operate in the “above 5000” segment which is growing at an estimated CAGR of 30 per cent. International brands are increasing their retail footprint every year through multibrand outlets such as Zimsons, Ethos etc. and the multi-brand chains like Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop etc.
What is the growth rate of watch market in the current year as compared to the past two years?
With the advent of e-commerce, the online sale of watches in India is also witnessing a sharp increase. However, this is just adding to the overall category growth, which has remained steady for the past two years at an estimated 6 per cent CAGR Y-O-Y
What is the contribution to sales (in per cent terms) from different channels?
The two largest channels for us are the Exclusive Brand Outlets (Titan and Fastrack stores) and Multi Brand Outlets (stand alone watch retailer). Together, these two channels contribute close to 90 per cent of our sales. Large format stores such as Shoppers Stop and Lifestyle provide a unique opportunity for Titan to cater to the discerning fashion forward consumer, however in the LFS stores watches share the wallet with other accessories. We also have our own chain of multi-brand watch retail; Helios.
Online we are present through our own e-commerce channel (titan.co.in) and on other e-commerce market places
Highlight some of the product and marketing/ retail innovations of Titan company watch brands.
Titan has innovated in the product and retailing space over the years. Titan EDGE has master crafted the slimmest watch in the universe with the slimmest movement (1.5mm). Titan EDGE won the Red Dot Award in 2013 and 2014. Titan HTSE collection has the movement powered by light. Titan’s extensive retail footprint is 450+ stores strong and continues to grow. In the retail stores, all portfolios (except Sonata) have contributed to volume and value of the brand. Titan’s exclusive customer loyalty program “Encircle” has over 2 million loyal customers who have shopped with Titan across all our retail outlets.
Share your thoughts on travel retail in domestic as well as international airports.
The global Travel Retail industry is estimated to hit $100 billion by 2023 and 40 per cent of that traffic comes from Asia. Travelers are highly qualified customers and having a presence in the airport, or even in-flight retail gives you an ability to maximize exposure, recruit new customers and increase customer loyalty to your brand. Titan has extensive presence in the countries of South East Asia and the Middle-East, both of which are new markets where the middleclass is keen to travel. We are also present in domestic and international airports. So, Titan is well-positioned to offer to travelers from all over the world, whatever their style or purchasing power.
Future plans of Titan in terms of premium/luxury brands such as Favre Leuba, Mont Blanc.
Increasing expendable income, the burgeoning upper class and aspirations of international travel are making accessible luxury the perfect ground to establish international players in India. Acquisition of and collaboration with luxury brands such as Favre Leuba and Mont Blanc is a strategic move for Titan that will help tap these fast growing markets. brands are increasing their retail footprint every year through multibrand outlets such as Zimsons, Ethos etc. and the multi-brand chains like Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop etc.