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.

This is an excerpt of the interview from the April 2015 issue of Tata Review in which chief executives of 14 Tata companies speak about the performance of their companies in the year gone by and their plans for the future:
Tata Consultancy Services: 'At TCS, it's always about the team'
Read the complete interviews and more in Tata Review
Jaguar Land Rover: 'Will deliver 12 significant product actions in next 12 months'
Tata International: 'Scale is necessary for a trading company'
Tata Steel: Driven by innovation
Tata Steel Europe: 'European countries remain the key to our success'
Tata Motors (commercial vehicles): 'We will deliver tangible value to our customers'
Tata Motors (passenger cars): 'We plan to introduce two new vehicles every year'
Tata Chemicals: 'Fiscal 2016 is going to be a year of consolidation for us'
Tata Global Beverages: 'The global market is vital to our health'
Tata Communications: 'Mindset is the key'
Rallis India: 'Want to be among the most valuable companies in our domain'
Tata Technologies: 'We see opportunities in aerospace and defence'
Voltas: 'We look forward to deploying our strengths...'
Tata Projects: New areas of business, new opportunities