Indians, especially women, have a fascination for jewellery that goes back centuries. One manifestation
of this continuous love affair with body ornamentation is the fact that Indians are the world's biggest buyers of gold. The market for jewellery in the country is second only to that for foods and the trade is built around so-called family jewellers - the relatively small, stand-alone establishments that are ubiquitous across the land. Tanishq belongs to the House of Tata and, true to the group's policy, it aims at bringing in credibility and professionalism to the jewellery industry.
India's jewellery market is estimated to
be worth Rs. 400 billion a year and the share of the organised sector - jewellery stores and brands managed by corporate houses - stands at about Rs. 10 billion. This small but significant niche is largely the creation of Tanishq, a path-breaking effort that has earned a well-deserved reputation for reliability and excellence, and for introducing pioneering concepts in an industry where tradition once ruled. The brand has a 40% share of the organised jewellery market and a 1% bite of the overall jewellery pie (Source: World Gold Council and Mckinsey study 2003).
There are more than 300,000 independent, non-branded jewellery retailers in India. The vast majority of these are singular entities that function out of individual cities, though a few have expanded to acquire a state-wide presence. By and large, they offer conventional Indian designs and are difficult to pin down on quality, since standards within this segment vary considerably.
Tanishq was a trailblazing endeavour to create a national retail chain that would provide
consumers with jewellery of reliable worth and high design value. Its entry changed, in more ways than one, the way the Indian jewellery market operates. With 66 exclusive outlets spread across some 50 cities and a fully integrated jewellery manufacturing facility at Hosur, in Tamil Nadu, Tanishq has emerged as one of India's biggest retailers.
Tanishq has established itself as an ethical player in a market where unscrupulous retailers have often betrayed consumer trust. The introduction of 'Karatmeters' - instruments that can be easily used by consumers to measure the purity of gold in a non-destructive manner - at its outlets is a key innovation that has developed tremendous equity for the brand. Another Tanishq novelty, one on which the brand's growth strategy is premised, is in the matter of differentiated designs, be they contemporary or traditional, Indian or international.
Modern retail values and principles in the selling of branded jewellery in India are almost completely the handiwork of Tanishq. The brand has broken fresh ground in retailing by creating exclusive outlets with hitherto unknown in-store ambience and hospitality touchstones. It has launched new collections at a quicker rate than its competitors, and conducted marketing promotions and fashion shows to enhance the shopping experience of consumers.
Although the purchase of branded jewellery is
still a new experience for a whole lot of Indians, the Tanishq brand
enjoys increasing levels of consumer loyalty. Over the past three years, it has been one of the best performers in the branded jewellery sector. In 2002, about one million people shopped at Tanishq stores all over the country. A highlight of the brand's success is that, while the jewellery market growth has declined during the past two years, Tanishq has recorded an annual growth of approximately 40%.
The Tanishq Design Studio is at the heart of the brand's success. The state-of-the-art infrastructure and technical know-how at this facility comes from the UK, Germany and Switzerland, and it has helped a team of award-winning designers develop new collections at regular intervals. Riding on its prowess in this sphere, Tanishq won the Most Desirable Jewellery Brand in India honour in 2003 at the Images Fashion Awards. Among the highlights of the 2003 Miss India beauty pageant were the distinctive crowns that adorned the three winners. Chiselled by artists from the Tanishq Design Studio, the crowns salute the spirit of Indian women.
Besides catering to Indian consumers, Tanishq has successfully entered key export markets such as the US, the UK, the Middle East,
Singapore and Australia. This is testimony to the brand's ability to craft products that meet the requirements of varied cultures and sensibilities. The brand Tanishq, like the Tata name, has established itself as an ethical brand, earning the respect and affection of its consumers.
Tanishq was born in 1995 after the Tata Group decided to spread its wings and embrace the branded jewellery segment. It was set up as a division of Titan, the group company that had transformed the Indian watch-making industry. Internationally, watches and jewellery have a sturdy synergy and are often retailed out of the same store, with design being a key driver in both categories. It made sense for a watch company with a strong retail presence to look at its next wave of growth from the jewellery segment, which had a huge potential.
Tanishq had a high-profile launch, but its initial production was restricted to the 'studded' jewellery segment. Its strategy changed soon after to accommodate the Indian preference for buying gold jewellery. Tanishq then tacked to a mix of studded and gold jewellery and went in for a fusion-design approach. Its initial methodology of using western designs changed as it sought a wider market. This revised strategy was initiated in the year 2000, when a new management team took over and turned around Tanishq's fortunes.