Titan Makes IIJS Debut
Vaideeswaran N., head of business development at Titan Company, one of the biggest jewellery manufacturers and retailers in India, explains to Solitaire the company’s move to enter the B2B space for selling standardised jewellery components.
This is Titan’s first appearance at IIJS. Tell us about the company’s strategy.
IIJS is an awesome experience! This is our B2B initiative’s third exhibition in India and first at IIJS. Titan has been on the IIJS waiting list and we were lucky to get a booth this year. We received crowds of people surprised by our presence at IIJS, so much so that on day one we went straight from breakfast to dinner, skipping lunch in between. People immediately associate Titan with quality and consistency and believe they can use this opportunity for enhancing their productivity. Jewellery manufacturers that have been in this field for the past 15-20 years have told us that our quality is superior. That is a credit to us.
We are from the same factory that produces Tanishq, Mia and Zoya. We have a manufacturing mother plant situated in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, the second manufacturing unit is in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, and the third is in Sikkim.
The primary objective for our presence at IIJS is that having explored the domestic market for almost two decades, with our capabilities and capacities to serve Indian consumers through these branded initiatives, we thought why not try out in the B2B space. We aim to further build and enhance our capabilities, be more agile and bring in international exposure to the company so that we become more global at a later point – that’s our strategy. With this idea in mind, this new initiative was born around seven months ago.
There are a lot of manufacturing units in India, and we know the country is a hub of jewellery manufacturing, especially in the handmade sector. People are having challenges in terms of standardising and having consistency in product quality.
So we thought about letting the local manufacturing fraternity
benefit from our niche standard manufacturing practices that we have established over the years. The upshot is: one, their quality goes up; two, we bring in standardisation in the marketplace; and third is a levelplaying field for people to build their own quality levels.
The customer is always very, very demanding, but the question is how to meet these demands. Based on that concept and strategy, we formed this B2B unit. Soon we will be coming with an identity. So, if you want to buy jewellery, you are most welcome to do so, but we will be making it in your name, like an OEM for white goods.
In the domestic market, we sell these components made of findings and so on, but in the global market we are selling fine jewellery in the name of Titan Company. That’s the whole idea behind this B2B initiative from the company. We will not sell finished jewellery in India, because for that we have Tanishq, which is our mother brand, that’s our bread and butter for the entire Titan Company.
Do you feel you are competing with your vendors at IIJS?
We may or may not. I was totally floored by the response we have got from many people who were surprised by our presence. I think people now feel they have got a good chance to enhance their quality level, gain time, and reduce their inventory levels because something is readily available. Some intelligent manufacturers immediately realised that.
Tell us about the components you are selling. Are any handmade?
Almost 95% of our goods are automated, and of the balance some may be semi-automated, and 1-2% may be handmade – but we’re moving towards complete automation soon. We have an inventory of 150 items such as ear posts, solders, chains, stone collets, hooks, CNC ring bands, laser-cut bangles, Regi & Chokapora balls, hollow tubes, nose pins, etc.
We even offer standardised waist belt strips, which typically involve a lot of handmade work. For example, to manufacture a 200g waist belt, a jewellery manufacturer has to take 5-6 kg of gold, melt it, alloy it, then draw it in the sheet form, then cut it and do the forming work by hand. By purchasing a semifinished waist belt from us, almost 50-60% of this job is done by machine; and the manufacturer is then free to do value addition through embellishments such as stone setting, enamelling, bead work and so on. Therefore, in a way, we are saving his inventory carrying cost.
We can deliver the inventory to the manufacturer’s doorstep within 24 to 72 hours through our extensive logistics network, which is one of our core strengths as we have nearly 300 retail outlets.
The machines that we use to manufacture jewellery components are capital-intensive, with each costing several crores of rupees. By making these products available to the local jewellery manufacturing fraternity, we are adding value to their delivery and designing process, enhancing their productivity and upgrading their quality level. That’s the whole idea and strategy behind this B2B initiative in the component space.
Vaideeswaran N. (second from left) answering visitor queries at the packed Titan Co. booth at IIJS.