Titan raga which was launched in the year 1992 was positioned as an occasional wear watch – to be bought and gifted on a festive or special occasion. At that point in time, in the Indian context, owning a single dress watch was adequate for the average Indian middle class woman in India. The scene has since changed. Titan re-launched Raga, as Raga 9 to 5 the all time accessory. The communication focused on the different roles that a woman plays, that of a mother, a wife, a girlfriend and how from 9 to 5, she becomes a professional after fulfilling her other roles. The target was the woman in metros from Sec A homes and former Miss India Gul Panang was roped in as the brand ambassador.
Titan has netted into an exclusive sub licensing arrangements with GVM Intrenational Limited, a member of the Murjani Group, for the marketing and distribution of Tommy Hilfiger watches in India. The Tommy Hilfiger watch collection, comprising over 50 styles for men and women, is priced between Rs 3,995 and Rs 8,995 .The watches are available at World of Titan showrooms Tommy Hilfiger flagship stores and other select premium multi brand watch outlets across the country.
Xylys, is the best offering from Titan. Titan aims to bring about a redefinition of sorts in the premium watch segment with Xylys. It is targeted at new generation achievers who go beyond the obvious who know who they are and set their own standards and live by their own values. It is a style statement for those who stand apart from the crowd.
Xylys has been created in collaboration with renowned Swiss designer Laurent Rufenacht and Titan’s own design advisor Michael Foley. The watches are priced between Rs 10,000 and Rs 33,000 and will be retailed through select World of Titan showrooms key multi brand outlets and at exclusive flagship boutiques in select cities. The brand will be available in Bangalore Hyderabad Mumbai and Delhi at the launch phase and will be rolled out to five more cities by July 2006. Actor Rahul Bose, international supermodel saira Mohan and tennis star Carlox Moya are the three brand ambassadors of Xylys.
Building the supply chain efficiencies
Building a wide network of retail stores and ensuring that the right product is available at the stores requires a focus on the supply chain. Not long ago, Titan had close to about Rs 180crore stuck between its finished goods raw material and working capital, and the company turned its inventory twice a year. Titan has since then put its assets on the treadmill to sweat them slim. Last year, it cut the flab down to Rs 110 crore, it increased its inventory turns to four. The company now plants to implement a new inventory plan of six times in a year at a mere Rs 80 crore
Earlier, the company worked on forecasting the market requirements six months in advance. Gradually, by breaking down its array of products into discrete buckets, Titan reduced its response time significantly. The cycle of forecasting sales, creating a production plans mobilizing components and assembling them into watches was pared down to four months. However, to stay competitive the company is now working towards bring out a watch in one or two months and in case of urgent requirements even in 15 days.
This make over is not skin deep and has required reorganizing the structure. Till two years ago, the company’s supply chain consisted of two discrete departments: manufacturing and sales and marketing. The idea for one supply chain banner became self evident following the implementation of an enterprise resource planning solution in 1999. This implementation enabled information to become transparent and the stocks were visible across the entire system at a single glance, in terms of quantum as well as the financial investment and for both ficihed goods and raw materials.
The company sorted out its watch categories and made distinct process for each. This happened when the realization can in that different products required different time lines to be manufactured. Depending on the market that they catered to – urban or semi urban – the batch sizes were different. The requirements of Sonata and Titan was different and the company realized that the components for sonata could be outsourced from vendors while the Titan watches could be taken care of in house. Another category of products existed which involved products where international vendors supplied components the time required of these was the highest.