Watches and jewellery maker Titan Company Ltd is looking to launch smartwatches across product ranges, which include Sonata and Fastrack, in its move to revive the watches business that has been witnessing slower growth over the past few quarters.
Titan, which debuted smartwatches in January with Juxt, the premium smart analog watch has come with its second version JuxtPro in August.
"The whole idea behind Juxt was to create a smart as well as good-looking watch. Interestingly for us, the few thousand units that were produced got sold out within a couple of months itself," S Ravi Kant, chief executive officer, Titan Watches and Accessories and Executive Vice President - communications, Titan Company. "We are looking at higher launch frequency of smart products across our watch brands."
The company, which was hit by weak consumer demand for watches, is planning a multi-pronged approach to push growth.
Titan is the first local brand to launch smartwatches, a segment that has grown globally due to Apple's smartwatches. Yet, in India, the market is still nascent, says the company.
For the quarter to June, Titan's watches business recorded a slower growth of 9.1 per cent, as the income grew from Rs 444.19 crores to Rs 484.54 crores. However, in the second quarter, the revenue decreased to Rs 523.69 crores against Rs 552.45 crores in the corresponding quarter the previous year, a decline of 5.2 per cent. While the domestic market had done quite well for Titan, the international markets saw growth slow, thanks to the economic slowdown in West Asian countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar.
With customers looking for differentiated products and advent of smartwatches, the traditional watch market across the globe has been on a downward spiral. Add to it the losing sheen of watches as a gifting item and has seen a growth decline of 20 per cent in this space over the past three years.
Titan is adopting a slew of measures to bring back growth and looks to experiment with design, which has traditionally been one of its core competencies. Kant added that the company will raise the standards of presentation of the brand across the 8,000 dealers and 1,316 retail shops that it has in the country. "If growth is not going to come at the pace it used to be earlier, we are looking at how to control cost and be far more efficient and productive." Titan had recently undertaken a VRS exercise in the company to reduce the headcount.
E-commerce is another strategy change that the company has embraced, after its recent partnership with online retailer Flipkart. E-commerce is where the consumers are going and "is really picking up quite rapidly" for Titan. In order to reach the new tech-savvy audience, the watch-maker looks to spend more on digital marketing. For instance, Fastrack already has about 30 per cent of its advertising spend skewed to the digital media.