Bangalore: Titan Industries, the Tata group watch major, will soon vend its second major brand, the Sonata, under the Tata name.
This, along with a campaign to introduce the concept of multiple ownership of watches, form Titan's new blueprint to increase market share. "We were not optimising our brands effectively. Both the Sonata and Titan brands have strengths of their own. They need to be marketed separately to boost their sales," the newly-appointed deputy managing director of Titan Industries, Bhaskar Bhat, said. "Sonata 'by Tata' will surely appeal to the customers," he said.
Bhat, who is also the chief operating officer of Titan, said in future, there could even be two business models for these brands. Sonata has a market share of around 20 per cent in the less than Rs.1,000 price category, while Titan has a 50 per cent market share in the Rs.1,000 - Rs.6000 price category. Henceforth, the Sonata brand of watches will be advertised as a Tata product and will carry the Tata logo too. The Sonata will also be aimed at the unbranded segment. "The potential in the unbranded market is huge. Our strategy is to give the customer a branded watch with the assurance which comes along with it," Titan Industries vice-president for sales and marketing, Bijou Kurien, said. The company had also some time back announced its plan to acquire brands to boost growth. "Yes, we are also on the lookout for acquisition of a brand," Kurien said. Kurien sees growth for Titan coming from multiple ownership of watches. "We have to accelerate replacement. It is necessary to induce single-watch owners to go for the second one. The idea is to sell a watch for every occasion," Kurien said.
"We keep changing shirts or shoes to match the occasion. It's time customers did the same with watches," Kurien said.
The company estimates a total 203 million watches are owned by 175 million Indians.
"That's an average 1.15 watches per owner. We need to increase this," he said. Titan is also planning to introduce low-priced watches to expand its rural base, and simultaneously launch its highest-priced watch, according to Kurien.
Titan's lowest-priced watch under the Sonata brand costs around Rs.250, while its highest priced watch, which falls under its Nebula range, sports a Rs.32,000 tag.
Kurien said there was a possibility of introducing newer ranges under the Nebula brand which would be priced above the existing price of around Rs.32,000.