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In Jewellery, Pedigree Is Important: Sandeep Kulhalli, Titan

Sandeep Kulhalli, SVP, Retail & Marketing, Jewelry Division, Titan, tells Ruhail Amin about the growth of jewellery retail in India and how Titan is disrupting the category with new offerings at attractive price points

Titan’s offering Mia, targeted at working women, has taken jewellery offerings to a new level — with designs and price points that have gone beyond wedding and festivity sales. Sandeep Kulhalli, SVP, Retail & Marketing, Jewelry Division, Titan, tells Ruhail Amin about the growth of jewellery retail in India and how Titan is disrupting the category with new offerings at attractive price points

Why standalone stores for Mia? 

We launched Mia in 2011 with a long-time perspective of creating a brand of jewellery for working women. We knew from the start that design and pricing were going to be the key factors behind the success of this new brand. The challenge for us was to create fine jewellery at lower price points. So far, Mia was driven by the corporate office, but last year we thought of scaling up the brand. In the last seven years the category has witnessed 25 per cent growth and now we are looking at a serious expansion plan. This category has almost Rs 6,000 crore market share and the overall business opportunity is great for a brand like Mia.

Your marketing strategy for Mia. 

The focus right now is on creating more awareness about the brand, which has limited distribution. You will see a lot of new marketing campaigns for Mia and obviously digital will be a big focus area for us. Growth of Mia has been consistent for the last few years. Though, the brand is strongly under Tanishq’s shadow, we want to parallelly open a fresh retail line.

What role does pedigree play as far as establishing a new brand is concerned?

In jewellery, pedigree is important, especially if you are a pan India player. Typically, jewelers are  local players. They are all connected communities and very localised. Only in the last few years have the South India-based jewelers come to north, but they are struggling as they are not used to such different sales systems.  For us moving to new frontiers is not an issue because we have Tanishq’s credibility. That said, pedigree alone won’t work if the designs and price points are not relevant.  

How are you leveraging online platforms for better customer connect?
We are investing in online keeping the future in mind. There are no examples of successful online jewelers anywhere in the world because this category is about touch and feel. However, online is a reality and we have to build it.

Your vision for Mia this year.
Our vision is to become a Rs 1,000-crore brand as early as possible. We plan to open 25 stores in the current financial year. Opportunity wise, large cities provide greater advantage and will dominate the landscape.

What kind of trends do you foresee in the organised jewellery retail industry in India?
Over the years, many regional players have turned into national players. Pus, a huge number of big players are getting associated with established brands as their brand ambassadors. A lot of consolidation is also taking place as small players are merging with big ones. As a result, the competition is more cut throat. But with our differential strategy we see a big opportunity in this trend.


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Magazine 23 June 2018 titan Sandeep Kulhalli


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