Titan Industries, the largest player in the organised domestic watch industry with a 50 per cent market share (the watch market in India is estimated at 25 to 30 million units with the organised segment constituting around 40 per cent) is looking to expand its global reach. The company now plans to target international business in Indonesia, Pakistan, Canada, Brazil and Argentina.
Titan, which exports its watches to over 30 countries in Europe, South-East Asia and Africa, plans to enter another 10 countries this year. We also plan to enter China next year building on our success in other Asian markets like the Philippines, says Meera Harish, head, Asia Pacific Operation, Titan Industries.
The company aims to make its presence felt in 50 countries by 2005. Says Harish, "In the exports business, we have huge potential."
During financial year (FY) 2002-03, Titan's exports amounted to Rs 51 crore on a turnover of Rs 797 crore. In the current fiscal, the contribution of exports have moved up to 10 per cent of the firm's turnover of Rs 369 crore for the first half of FY 2003-04.
The company is drawing up plans to consolidate its market-share in Canada, South America and Latin America. There are not many entry barriers to the Latin American markets where Indian products are concerned, says Harish.
In Canada, the company plans to market its products to the substantial Indian population there. Harish adds, "Our findings on Canada indicate that the Japanese brands have been stagnant for the last two years and the fashion brands have been in and out of the markets. So the market is waiting for something new which may just help us."
Titan recently has had much success with its new world watch range and the company hopes to build on the brand equity this has created to tap the global markets.
Titan markets its watches in the price points of $50 to $250 per piece overseas. Says Harish, We compete on both the fashion and price platform and have priced our watches favourably to competition which is $75 to $500 per piece.
Titan follows a strategy of appointing sole distributors in one country, who then take care of distribution. The distributor has a full-fledged team to handle all the aspects of sales, distribution advertising and promotion, after sales services.
Our distributors around the world are mostly people of Indian origin and the company has followed a strategy of tapping the non-resident Indian (NRI) population through friendly distributors which has worked very well, says Harish.
On the other hand, the company's entry into overseas markets has entailed huge investments in terms of in-store advertising, outdoor branding activities and selective mass media, leveraging on the celebrities.
The expenditure spent on branding is incurred by the company while the sales promotional schemes are shared in 50:50 ratio between Titan and the distributor.