To begin with, the Bengaluru-headquartered company is looking at foraying into Asian market by setting up stores on franchisee basis, Bhaskar Bhat, Managing Director of Titan Company told Business Standard.
"The watches business has a minuscule presence in the international markets. The big change will come when our jewellery becomes international. By the end of FY19, we are planning to open stores in Asian countries," said Bhat, adding that the company has not zeroed in on any specific nation till now.
Given that jewellery is a low margin business unlike watches, the company will not make large investments to enter these geographies, instead will opt for low-cost franchisee model.
"These (stores) will be launched on a partnership basis with an investment range of Rs 200-300 million per store, to begin with," Bhat added.
Jewellery accounts for around 75 per cent of Titan, which also sells watches, eyewear, fragrance and even sarees.
This will be the company’s second attempt to enter the global markets in jewellery segment. By focusing on Asia, the company wants to test the model before taking this to other geographies.
Titan's jewellery brand Tanishq had opened stores in Chicago and New Jersey in the US, but those were shut down in 2008-09 due to recession when the operations were found to be unviable. It had to abort its plan to open around 25 stores in the US during that period.
The company had entered global markets with the watches business in the early 1990s and is currently present in Africa, West Asia and South East Asian countries. In 2011, the company had acquired Swiss brand Favre-Leuba for Rs 130 million, which is now sold in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Dubai. Titan has also forayed into the United States through a partnership with Amazon last year and is looking to expand to Europe in the coming years via the e-commerce tie-up.
Meanwhile, the company is also eyeing a total revenue of Rs 400 billion from jewellery business in the next five years as compared to around Rs 125 billion today.
In FY19, Titan expects to grow at a rate of 20-25 per cent backed by the wedding jewellery segment to achieve that target. “Wedding jewellery are more community oriented. We have developed the 'Rivaah' collection in this segment, which is growing at a much faster rate than the plain gold segment,” said Bhat.
With over 250 profitable Tanishq stores located across 157 cities, the company is also hopeful of improving its overall market share to 10 per cent in coming few years as compared to 4.5 per cent as of now.