Titan Industries Ltd, the Bangalore-based publicly-held retailer of watches, jewellery and eyewear, has spun off its third-party premium watch retailing arm into a separate business unit in a bid to put it on an aggressive expansion drive.
The company, which retails nearly 40 global premium and luxury lifestyle watches under the Helios brand, is looking at doubling the number of such stores to 50.
“The business of Helios was incubated nearly three years ago and recently, we have spun (it) off, which will chart its own expansion plans,” Ajoy Chawla, vice-president and global business head - Titan & Retail, told Business Standard. “The business is growing at a healthy pace and this move is aimed at furthering its expansion.”
Helios retails watches such as Tommy Hilfiger, Tag Heuer, Pierre Cardin, Emporio Armani, DKNY, Fossil, FCUK and Espirit. During last financial year, Titan added 19 Helios stores and sales grew by almost four times.
Even as the company is fast-tracking expansion of this arm, it is parallely looking at getting into exclusive partnerships to bring more global brands into India. Currently, Titan Industries has pacts with Tommy Hilfiger, BOSS and FCUK (a snappy acronym for French Connection United Kingdom), and it is understood that atleast two more brands are expected to be added onto this list.
Titan Industries had embarked on this third-party watches retailing in an effort to grow the organised watches market in India. According to the information available, Helios is tracking a top line of around Rs 100 crore and is growing in the range of 25 per cent on a yearly basis.
According to Titan Industries, the Indian watches market is in the range of Rs 5,000 crore with volumes of 53 million units. “The organised market accounts less than half of that with around 23 million units of which Titan has 65 per cent share,” a senior official of Titan Industries, who did not want to be named, told Business Standard.
“The market size is expected to double in the next five years and a sense of the opportunity lies in the fact that only 27 per cent of Indians own a watch. There is huge opportunity and we aggressively want to grow the market,” the official said.
Last financial year, Titan Industries reported a 22 per cent growth in revenues to almost Rs 1,600 crore, based on a volume growth of 15 per cent, even as its margins were under pressure due to a spike in input costs and depreciating rupee.