Turning back the hands of time to pre-1980s, Tata Press conceived an idea to conquer the Watch Industry. Initial negated pioneering efforts aside, perseverance won the day. Titan Watches sprang into being with the signing of a joint venture of Tata Industries with the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) in June of 1984. From that point on, it has been full steam ahead.
Titan commenced production end 1986 and hit the market in March 1987 with its brand ‘Titan’. The analogue electronic Quartz range met instant acclaim, appeasing a hungry watch-starved consumer market. This spurred encouragement and manufacture extended to bracelets, cases, electronic circuitry and step motors.
Along the way
Spanning 25-years of growth, the Titan Watch Project became Titan Watches, Titan Industries and ultimately Titan Company Limited. Production kept an impressive pace, topping the 15 million plus mark per year. Three years down the trail produced a dividend of 15% – today, 2012, sees a declaration of 175%!
Numerous technologies and sources came into play during this period. Progress was swift, steady and stamped with characteristic Titan Company aplomb. This led to innumerable achievements and accolades. Audaciously challenging the Swiss, Titan now is the world's largest integrated own brand manufacturer of watches. A major brand player, Titan stakes claim to 60% of the organized watch market, with over 150 million pieces sold across 32 countries collectively.
In successive events the 'World of Titan' exclusive showrooms mushroomed nation-wide, currently totalling 367 plus. The main manufacture facility is situated at Hosur in Tamil Nadu with assembly units in Dehradun, Pantnagar and Roorkee and an electronic sub assembly plant in Goa in India.
Titan Company notably left its footprint in Europe in 1993; then came a major one in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific regions. Titan now happily ticks its way across over 30 countries around the globe.
A brief joint venture with the American brand, Timex, between 1992 and 1998, focusing on market mass, prospered. The brand Timex jumped to 2nd place next to Titan, in popularity. On dissolution of the partnership, Titan reclaimed market share by launching Sonata, an absolute winner, followed by an astute array of wrist wear - Titan, Fastrack, and Xylys brands, luxury watches and designer timescapes - a range of outdoor clocks - defining spectacular landmarks in several cities. Pacing on, the Swiss and Japanese watch fraternity were justifiably astounded, not only with the state-of-art Production facility established by Titan, but also with its highly trained, dedicated, youthful workforce.
Endorsing the Tata spirit, Charles Correa, a world-renowned architect, was commissioned and fashioned a complete modern township at Mathigiri in Tamil Nadu, India to accommodate over 2000 Titanians, complete with an excellent school that doubles as a learning facility for neighbouring district schools.
Diversification accelerates progress. Titan’s expansion plans in 1993 turned to jewellery, with a brand launch ‘Tanishq’ in 1996. Then a spate of new ventures followed suit, Fastrack – the youth watch and accessories line in 2003; Precision Engineering in 2005, Goldplus the standardized mass marketing of jewellery in 2006 and the Titan Eyewear Division in 2007 - a project of prescription eyewear, complete with specialized outlets, catering to customers’ every need.
Catering primarily to a country which views gold as a prime investment, believes that it is auspicious, and finds it an irresistible adornment, Titan Company literally struck it rich by its entry into the world of traditional and designer jewellery. The concept of entering the glitter field, in order to forge a way out of a foreign exchange crunch of the early 1990s, appealed to Titan Company considerably. And yet again, though early steps were far from expected, the innovative Titan spirit came to the fore, turning adversaries into achievement, and how!!
Foreign Exchange being no consequence subsequently caused Titan Company to focus exclusively on the home market. Tanishq offers a stunning world of exquisite, precious designer ware through over 160 stores in 89 cities across the nation. Goldplus has a proud market share of around 40% in the semi-urban and rural scenario, whilst still in its infancy.
These two ventures are a pride to India and to Titan Company, for they certainly keep value conscious customers happy and contented.