Titan managing director CK Venkataraman does not like being in the spotlight. Nevertheless, the jeweler and watchmaker under his leadership (he took over in October 2019) has successfully navigated the pandemic, implemented a discretionary slowdown and ensured that gold prices remained stable. High volatility does not significantly affect the consumption of its jewelery products. Venkataraman, 63, who has been with Titan for four decades (he started in 1985 after passing out from IIM Ahmedabad) and will retire in October next year, has also written a book which The name is The Tanishq Story: Inside India’s No. 1 Jewelery Brand (Published by Juggernaut). In this interview with Vivit Susan Pinto, Venkatarama talks about Titan’s strategy for FY25, Tanishk’s response in international markets, and what his book will offer readers. Edited quotes:

How are you making sure that Titan? What is a woman’s best friend? How would you identify the categories you would enter to fulfill this desire?

A good part of our business today is around women’s products. That is, in terms of income. But if you look at the number of users we have, it changes significantly. This is because the watch business, eyewear, wearables are skewed towards men in terms of consumer segment. From a customer perspective, I would say we’re balanced from a male-female perspective. But yes, we have a big jewelry business, which is centered around women. Hence, it changes the skew from a turnover perspective. Our criteria for entry into new segments is that the opportunity to manage the category should be large, competition should be low, especially on the regulated side of the market. And the role of design and branding should be important. These are the markets that attract us.

What new areas are you taking up for the future, as Titan tends to transition into a better lifestyle? Company?

Right now, we want to keep up with the new businesses we’ve started, from sarees to accessories to fragrances. Titan’s overall portfolio will focus on making them larger in their respective categories as well as rationalizing them in terms of size. We are not looking at new categories for the foreseeable future, at least not in FY25.

Titan is opening stores internationally in the jewelery segment. What is the response to Tanishq in global markets?

The response to Tanishq in the global markets has been good. In the last 15 years, for example, the Indianness of Indian immigrants in the US has grown stronger. People are celebrating their Indianness like never before. So, when we opened stores in the US in 2022, we targeted the Indian diaspora and it clicked. This approach was different from our first shot at internationalization in 2007, when we opened two stores in the US, targeting American consumers. We made noise and we had to close those shops. We are currently focusing on Indian expatriates in various parts of the world, including Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – UAE, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, etc., in addition to Singapore. , USA, Canada, UK and Australia.

Titan also has a strong regionalization strategy. What it involves and how it helps you get share in India.?

Between 2013 and 2015, we realized that in order to make a significant mark in the wedding jewelery segment, which accounted for at least 50% of India’s total jewelery market, we had to focus heavily on each state of the country. Need to concentrate. Within states, we need to focus on the sub-segments that attract consumers to jewellery. This journey has gained wings under the ‘Winning in many Indias’ program in the last few years. Under the program, we expanded our jewelry product lines, creating zones within stores that echoed the culture of the city or state where the store was located. Signed up with regional brand ambassadors. We took ground initiatives where we celebrated brides from a particular city or state and thereby conveyed the message that Tanishk is relevant to every Indian woman.

What is your strategy as far as acquisitions are concerned?

We have made very strategic acquisitions. For example, Caratlane was an acquisition we made in an area where we thought it would take us a long time to build a business, namely, an online jewelry business that itself was digitally savvy. Targeting young women. Now, Keratlin has become an integral part of our omni-channel strategy as digital adoption grows.

What do you think people will take home after reading your book?

I think the way to run a brand and an organization is through an obsession with customers, through an emphasis on innovation, by putting the people of the organization at the center of everything. By voicing the equity of the company’s partners, whether they are engaged in manufacturing or sales operations. These are the aspects that I have tried to capture in the book. So in any business, if these principles are followed, there is a reasonable chance of success.

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