The Tanishq story began in the early 1990’s, partially forced by circumstances. Titan watches was already a successful brand which had displaced HMT from the #1 spot in the business, and it needed more foreign exchange to procure imported components and machineries to innovate watch production and meet the ever increasing demand. India was going through a foreign exchange crisis, which forced Titan to search for a business that would earn them the required foreign currency. Indian-made jewellery was already a big foreign currency earner and being strongly supported by the central government, and was also a very good fit with the watch business as articles of adornment. The best known brand names in both Europe and America had watches and jewellery together, offering further proof that the two industries are intrinsically linked. The jewellery industry also called for an organization that inspired trust and had high order design, manufacturing, marketing and retailing skills, and Tata fit the bill on all accounts.
Tanishq was coined from a combination of Tata/Tamil Nadu and Nishq (meaning a necklace of gold coins) and, again, from Tan, meaning body and Ishq, meaning love. It was launched in 1994 as a range of jewellery and watches meant for the European & American markets. But things began to change globally around this time, and the West entered a protracted period of slow economic growth followed by recession. Supplying jewellery to the Americans & Europeans suddenly no longer seemed an attractive proposition. Initially the Titan group was criticized heavily for venturing into the jewellery space and the growth was rather slow due to the changes in economy globally. However, Tanishq currently holds about 4% of the total jewellery retailing market worth around INR 250,000 crore.
Marketing Analysis, Customer Insights and Validation & Product Strategy:
This is perhaps the most improvised part of their value journey right from the inception of the idea. From the inception of the idea and planning the business model to the finished product it seems like their entire strategy has been turned upside down. The business was supposed to be selling a range of jewellery and jewellery watches to European and American customers and it ended up becoming the largest organized jewellery retailers in India with 70% market share.
By the Tanishq had completed setting up the manufacturing facility and entered the market, the landscape of the market had changed. While the western markets were experiencing slow economic growth, the Indian market had opened its doors to the world. Foreign currency and import licenses were no longer difficult to obtain. The disposable income of the average domestic population started increasing. Therefore, very thoughtfully, Tanishq shifted its focus to the Indian Market. Over a period of time they were able to understand and build solutions to please the domestic customers by standardizing their processes. India has a big market for gold and organized retailers were not there in the market. Tanishq understood the concerns of their potential customers around purity guarantee and affordability constraints to purchase gold and came up with several solutions which customers have praised over the years.
They started two monthly deposit schemes as a part of their strategy to enable maximum customers buy their products. These deposit schemes can be considered as loyalty programs as this has retained several customers for Tanishq. The schemes are summarized below.
Golden Harvest – Pay a fixed amount every month (minimum amount is INR 500 or multiples) for 11 months and the 12th month is paid by Tanishq. At maturity the full amount can be redeemed against jewellery from the store.
Swarnanidhi – A flexible, 12 months jewellery purchase scheme where you can pay any amount every month to book gold at the current rate. At the end of 12 months a consumer can redeem jewellery of the accrued amount.
Product Planning, Packaging and Business Model:
When Tanishq started in 1994 the product challenged the family jeweller system prevalent in India. Their sourcing and manufacturing unit was set up after conducting thorough research of the jewellery craft in India. The factory which is spreads over 12,500 Square Meters is located in Hosur, Tamil Nadu. The production process has been standardized and controlled to serve the global market. As they shifted their focus into the domestic market in India they have not sacrificed on their quality which resonates the integrity of the brand.
With respect to the India market, initially they were selling their jewellery at malls/supermarkets before starting their own chain of stores. They have been rigorously expanding in the past 5 years and are planning to add 30 more retail stores in the next couple of years. They own the entire process from after receiving the raw gold to selling it to their customers. Currently Tanishq has 167 retail stores each of which are more than 15000 square feet in area.
Product Positioning, Marketing and Launch:
Tanishq has brought to the market a whole new standard of business ethics and product reliability, in the process bringing about a transformation in the manner in which jewellery is bought and sold in India. Tanishq introduced innovations like Karat meter, the only non-destructive means to check the purity of gold and machine made jewellery. It has created a revolution in the Indian jewellery trade and in jewellery buying behaviour and set new benchmarks of excellence to compete with.
They have appealed to a diverse group of customers from all walks of life. They have had several targeted launches of various range of jewelries over the past decade to appeal to specific group of customers. Their latest launces includes Mia a range of 18K modern design jewellery for office wear low price and low risk implied, IVA a fusion of yellow gold white gold and diamonds, and many others such as Inara, Glam Gold, Taj, Wedding Collections etc.
The position is very well aligned to the shifting preferences of the buyers. Three segments of jewellery are more in demand at present. These include diamond jewellery, modern designer jewellery and light-weight jewellery. These are easier to make and fetch better margins as well.
Sales Enablement and Customer Relations:
Tanishq from the very beginning, has maintained a very high level of integrity and standards in the product and the business. The standard has transcended into their store operations as they developed and nurtured their organized retail model. Their stores are state of the art spacious and in convenient locations. Every store adheres to strict professional standards of courtesy, patience and customer handling skills.
Right from the moment of entry to the store through the security check and then discussing with the sales representative who is very well groomed it is a really hospitable experience. It is a five star experience. While it is impossible to make everyone happy and there are occasional unhappy customers, the experience in a Tanishq store is full of hospitality in a retail store which is highly satisfactory.
They have enough contextual marketing done through TV advertisements, Banners etc. to enable sales. They definitely seem to be aligned to their objectives of growth and living their values. However their technology investments could be increased a little bit to improve the quality of their website.
Conclusion: Tanishq as a brand is very well established in the hearts of Indian women and is at a steady path of growth.