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From Watchmaker to Lifestyle Brand :The Success Story of Titan

Titan Company Limited, a part of the Tata Group, started its operations in 1984 as Titan Watches Limited and has grown over the years to become the fifth-largest watch manufacturer and the largest branded jewelry maker in the world. The company has diversified into other fashion accessories such as eyewear and fragrances and has established itself as a lifestyle brand. We will explore the success story of Titan and how it transformed from being a watchmaker to a lifestyle brand.

History

History - titan Watches Brandtales

Titan Company Limited was inaugurated on 26 July 1984 under the name Titan Watches Limited in Chennai. The company set up a plant to manufacture quartz analog electronic watches in the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu, Ltd. Industrial area at Hosur. In November 1986, Titan Company and Casio signed a MoU proposing to manufacture 2 million digital and analog-digital watches. In 1989, a satellite case plant was set up in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, with a manufacturing capacity of 500,000 watch cases annually.

In September 1993, the company changed its name to Titan Industries Ltd. as it ventured into other range of products other than watches. In 1994, Titan launched its jewelry brand Tanishq and started its journey as a lifestyle brand. The company diversified into eyewear with Titan Eyeplus in 2007 and launched its youth fashion accessories brand Fastrack in 2005.

Despite expanding into various product categories, Titan Company Limited has always maintained its core identity as a watchmaker. The company’s watchmaking heritage dates back to its inception in 1984, when it set up a plant to manufacture quartz analog electronic watches. Over the years, Titan has continued to innovate and produce high-quality watches that cater to the diverse needs of Indian consumers. Today, Titan is one of the leading watch brands in India, with a wide range of collections that include dress watches, sports watches, smartwatches, and more. The company’s commitment to watchmaking excellence has helped it to build a loyal customer base and establish itself as a trusted brand in the Indian market.

Titan’s Success as a Watchmaker

Titan has established itself as a significant player in the global watch industry. As of 2019, it was the fifth-largest watch manufacturer in the world. The company has a wide range of brands that cater to different segments of the market. Titan’s watches division comprises Fastrack, Sonata, Raga, Nebula, Octane, and Xylys. In 2011, the company secured a license for marketing and distributing Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss watches. Favre Leuba was incorporated in 2012. In 2018, the division accounted for ₹2,126 crore in revenue, which was 10% of the total company revenue.

Titan’s success as a watchmaker is not just limited to India but extends globally. The company exports watches to over 32 countries, including the United States, Europe, and Asia. Its watches are also available in leading retail chains such as Walmart and Target in the United States. The company’s global success can be attributed to its ability to create watches that cater to the specific needs and preferences of consumers in different markets.

Moreover, Titan has been recognized for its excellence in design and innovation by several national and international organizations. In 2021, Titan was awarded the prestigious Red Dot Design Award for its smartwatch, Titan Connected X, which features an always-on AMOLED display and customizable watch faces. The company has also won the India Design Mark award for several of its products, including its Nebula and Raga series of watches designed for women. These accolades are a testament to Titan’s commitment to creating high-quality products that offer both style and functionality.

Diversification into Jewelry and Eyewear

Titan has successfully diversified into the jewelry and eyewear sectors, positioning itself as the largest branded jewelry maker worldwide. As of 2022, Titan holds a notable 6% market share in India’s jewelry industry. The company introduced its jewelry brand, Tanishq, in 1994, which has since become one of India’s most reputable and recognized jewelry brands. Tanishq was established by Xerxes Desai in 1995, with the luxury segment witnessing the launch of Zoya, while the sub-brand Mia catered to work-wear jewelry.

In addition to its venture into jewelry, Titan Industries entered the fashion accessories industry with the launch of sunglasses in 2007. The introduction of Titan Eye Plus expanded its product range to include frames, contact lenses, prescription eyewear, and sunglasses. This division showcased a stable growth of 8%, accounting for ₹415 crore in revenue during the fiscal year 2016-17.

Titan’s success as a watchmaker has paved the way for its expansion into other facets of the fashion industry. With the establishment of Tanishq, the company has made significant strides in the jewelry market, securing its position as the leading global branded jewelry maker. Leveraging its expertise in design and innovation, Titan has also made a noteworthy entry into the eyewear market with the Titan Eye Plus brand. Through its diversification efforts, Titan has demonstrated that it is more than just a watchmaker and has become a trusted brand offering high-quality and stylish products across various fashion categories.

Fastrack – Youth Fashion Accessories Brand

Titan launched Fastrack, its youth fashion accessories brand, in 2005, targeting the urban youth. Fastrack has since then expanded its product range to include sunglasses, bags, belts, wallets, and fitness trackers like the Gesture Band. As of 2018, Fastrack held a 7.4% market share in the wearable devices market.

One of the reasons behind Fastrack’s success is its ability to constantly reinvent itself and stay relevant to its target audience. By engaging young consumers through social media campaigns and influencer marketing, Fastrack has been able to build a strong brand image. The brand has also promoted sports and music events to increase its brand presence. Fastrack’s customer-centric approach and focus on innovation have allowed it to establish a unique identity in the fiercely competitive fashion industry.

Taneira – Ethnic Wear Brand

Taneira - Titan Watch - Brandtales

Taneira is an ethnic wear brand from Titan that retails hand-woven sarees from different weaving clusters of India. Launched in 2018, Taneira aims to showcase the diverse and rich heritage of India’s handloom sarees and provide a platform for weavers from different parts of the country to showcase their artistry. The brand offers a wide range of sarees in different materials, styles, and colors, each with its unique story and inspiration.

Taneira’s sarees are sourced directly from weavers and cooperatives, ensuring fair wages and sustainable practices. In addition to sarees, Taneira also offers other ethnic wear options such as salwar kameez and lehengas. The brand’s focus on promoting traditional handloom weaving and providing a market for skilled artisans has earned it a loyal customer base and helped to preserve India’s rich textile heritage. Taneira’s commitment to ethical and sustainable practices has also helped to promote social and environmental awareness in the fashion industry.

Factors that contributed to Titan’s success

One of the key factors that contributed to Titan’s success is its ability to adapt to changing consumer needs and preferences. The company’s focus on innovation, building strong brands, and investing in marketing and advertising has also played a significant role in its success. Titan recognized the growing demand for affordable luxury watches and launched its Xylys brand in 2006, and identified the trend of fitness tracking and launched its Gesture Band in 2017. The company has also invested heavily in research and development to create products that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functionally superior. Additionally, Titan has embraced digital technologies to enhance its customer experience and improve its operational efficiency.

Conclusion

The success story of Titan is a testament to the company’s vision of creating products that meet the needs of the modern Indian consumer. The company has evolved from being a watchmaker to a lifestyle brand, offering a wide range of products such as jewelry, eyewear, fragrances, and even ethnic wear. Titan’s ability to adapt to changing consumer needs and preferences, build strong brands, invest in marketing and advertising, and focus on innovation has enabled it to carve a niche for itself in the highly competitive Indian market. With its continued focus on innovation and digital technologies, Titan is well-positioned to continue its growth trajectory and further strengthen its position as a leading lifestyle brand in India.

Furthermore, Titan’s success as a lifestyle brand has had a significant impact on the Indian economy. The company’s emphasis on domestic manufacturing and sourcing of raw materials has created numerous job opportunities and contributed to the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises in India. Moreover, Titan’s commitment to sustainable and ethical business practices has earned it a reputation as a responsible corporate citizen.

As a watchmaker turned lifestyle brand, Titan’s success story is an inspiration for businesses across industries. It demonstrates the importance of adapting to changing consumer needs and preferences, building strong brands, investing in innovation and marketing, and embracing digital technologies. Titan has shown that by staying true to its vision and values, it is possible to transform a small watch company into a household name and a symbol of pride for an entire nation.

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