Did you know that the jewelry market leader, Titan, also sells perfumes and sarees? here is the truth
When CK Venkataraman took over from his former boss Bhaskar Bhat as managing director of the Titan Company in October 2019, market watchers hailed his management’s decision. Venkataraman is a veteran of the business like Bhat and his experience as CEO of Titan’s jewelry store would come in handy, they said.
That wasn’t the only concern he had though. The undisputed leader in the branded jewelry market derives the majority of its revenue from its jewelry business, but that’s only part of the story. Titan, also known for its market-leading streak as Indians’ preferred choice for wristwatches, has a much broader portfolio than most of its customers realize.
Founded in 1984, the Tata Group, headquartered in Bangaluru, has over the years expanded into segments that complement each other well with its core portfolio of Titan and Fastrack watches and branded jewelry.
From handmade sarees to perfumes, Venkataraman has embraced a much more diverse business than his longtime boss, Bhat, who had transformed the company’s business during his 17 years as chief executive. According to Venkataraman, unlike when Titan was primarily known for its jewelry and watches, the mandate now is to focus heavily on expanding its other businesses.
Take its fragrance business, for example. Launched in 2013, Titan’s fragrance business is placed under a parent brand called Skinn. Developed in-house by six award-winning perfumers, including Harry Fremont, Michel Girard and Fabrice Pellegrin, its fragrances are now distributed through its thousands of branded outlets.
Further increasing its business, Titan ventured into the branded saree business with its first store in 2017 in Bangalore with its Taneira saree brand. And Venkataraman is just as excited about the future of these companies as he is about jewelry. “Our Taneira brand is placed in a market which has an opportunity of Rs 50,000 crore, while for Skinn [the opportunity] could be much smaller. Thus, the perfume sector can remain much smaller than the saree sector. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less important to Titan. Because, while the revenue share may be smaller for some categories due to their nature, there may be more customers impacted by them than a broader category like jewelry. So, the goal is to become a market leader in all of them and become a healthy company that satisfies multiple types of customers,” he told Business Today in an exclusive interaction.
According to him, making new businesses and/or brands much bigger is now at the heart of Titan’s five-year plan. “We are also expanding into new categories such as under the Taneira brand. Although we are new players in these categories, the plan is to grow rapidly and unlock substantial value. In the international market, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and PIOs (People of Indian Descent) are a priority area,” he said.
While the jewelry sector – spread across brands such as Tanishq, CaratLand, Zoya and Mia – has grown to appeal to all types of customers and their wearing occasions (formal wear for working women, jewelry for lavish parties or weddings, etc.), says Venkataraman, Titan is also expanding into new categories like branded sarees. “Although we are new players in these categories, the plan is to grow rapidly and unlock substantial value. In the international market, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and PIOs (People of Indian Descent) are a priority area. You see, the price of a bottle of Skinn (perfume) can be Rs 3,000, while a jewel can cost 50 times more. But I want our customers to use both. There are many opportunities in the luxury goods market,” he explained.