Titan to gold plate a Nano, expand jewellery chain

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CHENNAI - Watch and jewellery maker Titan, which owns the Goldplus chain of jewellery, has decided to gold plate one Nano, the wonder car from Tata, as part of its campaign to celebrate 5,000 years of Indian jewellery.

“Today a Nano car is an aspirational product for the Indian middle class. And Goldplus jewellery retail chain is focused on rural and tier II markets. We decided to marry these two which would result in an ultra luxury product,” C.K. Venkataraman, chief operating officer (Jewellery Division) of Titan Industries, told reporters here.

Titan threw a challenge to its designers to gold clad Nano, with traditional jewellery designs as the core concept. Unveiling the three shortlisted designs, Titan said it would ask the public to vote for the best design.

“We will gold clad one Nano car with the most popular design and show it around the country. Some may even get a chance to ride the modern gold chariot,” Venkataraman said.

He said the company will be adding five more Goldplus outlets this year to take the total number to 34 outlets across six states.

“It is not easy to open stores in each town. The kind of designs demanded by the population varies widely even between two nearby towns. We will first consolidate and then expand the Goldplus network,” he said.

The average investment per Goldplus store is around Rs.7 crore ($1.5 million) and each store is earning around Rs.20 crore per annum.

“None of our stores are incurring a loss,” Venkataraman said.

Titan’s two jewellery divisions (Tanishq and Goldplus) this year are expected to close with a turnover in excess of Rs.4,500 crore ($1 billion) as against Rs.3,500 crore ($789 million) earned last fiscal.

“Goldplus revenue will be more than Rs.500 crore and that of Tanishq will be more than Rs.4,000 crore,” Venkataraman said.

He said the division uses around 15 tonnes of gold per annum and resorts to hedging to manage price fluctuations. Apart from the in-house manufacture of jewellery, the company also outsources some portion.

Filed under: Economy

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