Until recently, Rolex was the world’s biggest watch brand by revenue. But the sudden entry of smartphone makers in the watches space dethroned the Swiss brand. Apple took over Rolex and became the king in the space with a brand value of over $200 billion.
The smart wearables market has more than doubled in the third quarter of the current financial year, with India cementing its position as the world’s third-largest market after the US and China, according to the International Data Corporation. This is what the watch to jewellery maker has set its sight on and is making huge bet to garner market share by making further inroad into this space.
“We see smart wearables as the future of watches,” says S Ravi Kant, chief executive officer of watches and accessories division at Titan.
The Bengaluru-headquartered company has now created a separate vertical to up its game in the smart watches category. The vertical called Wearables and Pad has a team of technology experts who are working to come up with smart watches, which would be ahead of competitors in terms of look, feel, and features. The vertical has a team of 15 experts housed at Titan’s Bengaluru office who are working with the manufacturing team at its Hosur plant to develop smart watches.
The company is investing heavily on research and development, which will do things beyond a smart watch can do today such as switching off lights, locking, and unlocking doors and making payments. Titan is also working closely with start-ups, too, to develop such futuristic features.
“We will be rolling out four smart watches in a span of four months in the current financial year,” said Kant. The company has just launched an affordable smart watch called Sonata Stride in the range of Rs 3,000- 3,500. The coming months will also witness the launch of an advanced version of Fastrack Reflex, Reflex Beat, which would track user’s heart rate.
The Tata Group company is keen on acquisitions to bolster its strength in the smartwatches segment. “We are looking very actively and evaluating many options,” said Kant.
The smart watches segment of the company is growing at 80 per cent year on year, backed by the launch of Titan WE and Fastrack Reflex WAV, the first gesture-controlled band in the world.
In the next financial year, Titan has firmed up plans to enter the mechanical watches segment. “
Titan as a company revolutionised the watches industry from mechanical to Quartz. But now since mechanical has made a comeback in the premium end, we have developed our in-house mechanical movement,” said Kant.
The company will launch a series of watches in the range by the first quarter of the next financial year.