April 2015 | Sangeeta Menon
'Will continue to explore opportunities in lifestyle space'
As the Indian economy revives, Titan Company plans to generate growth with the launch of new products and advertising campaigns. Excerpts from an interview with managing director Bhaskar Bhat.
The watch business has held its own in the face of ever-increasing competition. What has Titan been doing right here, and where does it need to improve?
The watch business has become intensely competitive over the past several years but Titan's brands, taken together, have a 65 percent share of the organised market. We have an array of brands that we have created and nurtured. In addition, our powerful sales and distribution network provides us with significant competitive advantage.
How have the company's forays into new categories such as helmets and fragrances been doing?
Our intent in any category we enter is to pioneer, to excel and to be world-class, to offer a different value proposition to consumers. Our watches and accessories division entered two new categories in 2013. We started the accessories business with Fastrack bags and backpacks, introduced helmets and have launched the fragrance brand Skinn. In a market where the choice is between low-quality, unbranded stuff and expensive foreign brands, there seems to be a space for a product such as Skinn. The perfumes are made and packaged in France but we had perfumers from Paris coming over to understand what kind of aromas Indians prefer. We are seeing the same success in our helmets business, which has high potential in a market dominated by unorganised players. Titan will continue to explore opportunities and categories in lifestyle space that are largely underpenetrated, underserved and unorganised.
From the company's perspective, what are your expectations from 2015-16?
We do expect a fair amount of uncertainty to continue for the first half of the calendar year. Consumer sentiment may be weak until inflation and unemployment are tackled effectively. However, there are indications of an imminent improvement in demand.