Feature

A golden chance

The key to Titan's recovery lies in an improvement in consumer sentiment

It has been a triple whammy of sorts for Titan in the past one year. Weak consumer sentiment, not-so-favourable regulations and increasing competitive pressure projected that the going was not easy for the company that made the most of a decade long dream run in gold prices from 2002. The next two quarters though promise to be better as its new Gold Harvest Scheme kicks in.

However, increasing competition from regional players which now have national aspirations with aggressive store expansion, marketing strategies and regulatory changes will continue to pose a challenge. Analysts aren’t too worried and carry the opinion that as and when the consumer sentiment recovers, the stock will follow suit. They believe the company, which has changed the landscape of the Indian jewellery market and purchasing behaviour of consumers, would have enough in its arsenal to stay ahead in the long term. 

Titan, a joint initiative of Tata group and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation, entered the market by offering mid- to high-range quartz watches in 1984. After covering suitable ground in the sector, the company diverted its attention towards jewellery in the ‘90s. In the past, over generations, families would frequent the same jeweller, convinced that the shopkeeper would not cheat them in terms of pricing and quality of gold.

The first disruption in the market came when Tata Group launched its jewellery brand Tanishq in 1995 with the intention of selling jewellery that is uniform in design, quality and price— a move that changed the landscape of the jewellery market. The yellow metal until then shone only for the local dealers (or as we now term them, unorganised dealers).

Since then, Titan has become the largest player in the branded jewellery space. With a network of 174 Tanishq stores and 33 GoldPlus outlets across the country, its jewellery business accounts for around 80% of the overall company’s sales (See: Bright spot). What upset the applecart for Titan was the change in the regulations.

Bright spot

Titan has emerged as the largest player in the branded jewellery space and continues to derive 80% of its revenue from it

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