When CK Venkataraman took over as the MD of Titan Company in October 2019, little did he know that he would be faced with one of the steepest challenges of his career within the next six months.
A Tata Group veteran of 30 years, Venkat had served as the CEO of Titan’s jewellery business since 2005, before replacing long-serving MD Bhaskar Bhat who retired.
As India went into a stringent lockdown starting March 2020, Venkat had to find ways to create the desire for Titan’s lifestyle products in homebound consumers. The company’s diversified offerings — from watches, jewellery, and ethnic wear to sunglasses, bags, perfumes, wearables — may not have featured in the list of pandemic essentials.
Even though Titan’s retail outlets started reopening in a phased manner towards the end of 2020, the second wave in 2021 harmed the business even more.
But because of Titan’s legacy status and trusted relationships with customers, distributors, franchisees, vendor partners, and the community, it could be “resilient”.
Even though Titan’s stock has nearly doubled in the last one year, its business recovery has been a tad slow. But the MD isn’t “worried”. Instead, he chooses to take a medium-to-long-term view.
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- Indian startups raised about $6.5 billion in funding in the April-June 2021 quarter, while 11 of them entered the coveted unicorn club, a report by Nasscom-PGA Labs said. During the second quarter, 160 funding deals were closed — up 2 percent from the January-March period.
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“Titan has remained a substantially jewellery and watches company. But, we believe that the opportunity for the other businesses is large. It is occupying a good part of the leadership focus at this time.”