Oct 18, 2008

Business - India;Titan re-enters kid zone with ZOOP

Nandini Sivakumar

CHENNAI: Titan Industries has re-entered the kids watch segment with its latest offering Zoop. Targeted at children in SEC A & B families in urban India to start off with, the brand will cater to the 4-10-year age group (both boys and girls). Nearly a decade ago, it had first tried to tap the segment with brand Dash, which was later discontinued.

“We have introduced Zoop on a pilot basis in Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur and Surat,” Titan Industries business head (Titan & Retail) Ajoy H Chawla told ET. The brand will be test-marketed in these cities till December. The company plans to take it pan-India by next February or March.

According to IRS 2007, there are 14.2-million children in the 5-12 year age group in the SEC A category in urban India. “There are only a few players in the organised segment making watches for kids. We know the market is huge,” Mr Chawla said. Most parents are forced to buy cheap digital watches for lack of good brands, he added. Zoop will be available in the top 25-30 cities for the next couple of years.

“We are not planning to advertise through television channels. It is being promoted mostly through below-the-line activities like promotions at malls and amusement parks and handing out pamphlets to kids at public places,” Mr Chawla said.

Next on cards is tying up with schools to sponsor painting competitions, holding talent contests, association with children’s sporting events and, at a later stage, advertising on kids channels. The brand spend could be anywhere between Rs 1-2 crore over the next six months, he added.

Nearly, 35% of Titan Industries’ turnover in the watch segment comes from women’s watches, 60% from Men’s and the balance from paired watches. Kids watches may account for just about 5% in the next two to three years, Mr Chawla says. “We cannot expect this to be our driver for growth. The introduction of this brand is meant to expand the market and to catch them young,” Mr Chawla said.

With the tagline ‘Be a star’, the product is being positioned by Titan as a fun item. The 75 models in the collection are available in the price band of Rs 350-900. The brand is currently available in World of Titan outlets, authorised dealers and departmental stores in the five cities. Once it goes pan-India, the company will also look at making it available through other channels, including toy shops.

The team at Titan started off with a survey about eight months ago on what kids’ perceptions about owning a watch were. It was conducted in Mumbai, Chennai and Chandigarh and involved about 200 children in these cities. Based on their findings the company has come up with sporty watches with big dials for boys and bright and colourful ones for girls. Some watches in the higher end also come with accessories like binoculars and whistles.

Q&Q and Maxima are some brands that have children’s watches in the sub-Rs 500 category. Flik Flak and Espirit are a couple of others that have watches priced above Rs 1,000. A majority of the Rs 2,800-crore watch market in India is still unorganised.

No comments: