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Five minutes with Kuruvilla Markose, COO of international business division at Titan Company

Five minutes with Kuruvilla Markose, COO of international business division at Titan Company

Indian jewellery brand Tanishq, part of the Tata Group, has opened its first international store in Dubai

Kuruvilla Markose, COO of Titan Company

Could you give us a sense of the scale of Tanishq’s operations?
Tanishq currently has a presence of 340+ stores in India and revenues of Dhs8.3bn (INR 16,700 crores) in FY20. Bearing the authenticity and assurance of the Tata group, Tanishq, over the last two decades has been able to earn the trust of millions of consumers. In 2019, Tanishq was awarded the title of The Most Trusted Jewellery Brand in India by the Trust Research Advisory.

Why was the decision taken to expand into Dubai?
The large Indian diaspora coupled with the huge demand for jewellery from residents and tourists alike made the City of Gold an obvious choice. We were ready to open earlier this year, but then Covid-19 hit and we had to delay our plans due to the subsequent lockdowns in India and the UAE.

The way the local authorities have handled the impact of the global pandemic is truly remarkable and we have no doubt that due to their concerted efforts, Dubai is safe, Dubai is secure and Dubai is open.

As a safe and exciting destination for tourists as well as businesspeople, professionals and now retirees thanks to a new legislation, we believe the long-term potential of the UAE is intact. Also, the UAE is at the forefront of the global recovery post-lockdown. With our first international opening coinciding with the ‘Dubai is now open’ campaign, not to mention Diwali and the festive season, we are excited at the prospect of being part of this resurgence.

Will Tanishq expand further in the region?
With the launch of our Meena Bazaar store in Dubai, our current focus is on UAE as a market for our international expansion. We do plan to expand into other countries within the GCC in the long term.

Tanishq Dubai
Tanishq has opened a 2,000 square-foot store in Dubai’s Meena Bazaar

How has Covid-19 impacted the gold and diamond jewellery business?
Yes, like everyone we were affected by the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. But our jewellery business has gained momentum in the past couple of months and helped our business to gradually return to normal amid the Covid-19 outbreak. We anticipate a further boost thanks to Diwali and the festive season.

From rolling out initiatives, such as video calling and live assisted chat, to make it easier and safer for consumers to shop, to maintaining ‘Gold Safety Standards’ in all stores as well as Karigar (artisan) centers where the jewellery is made, we have made it easier for customers to shop from home as well as made our stores safe to visit.

What are you plans for e-commerce at Tanishq?
Online shopping has gained momentum in India and business through our e-commerce channel has grown significantly across all of Titan Company’s divisions. With UAE having a strong digital penetration, we hope to leverage e-commerce as a channel in the near future. In a category like jewellery, we believe assisted-online selling will help customers discover our products from the comfort of their homes and [they can] then buy either online or in-store.

How will Tanishq compete with established brands which have had a head start within the UAE?
This part of the world is home to 142 nationalities. The region’s recovery post-lockdown, coupled with a traditional affection for jewellery, and our own legacy, will stand us in good stead. Dubai and the UAE are large and evolved jewellery markets with many Indian and international players. We believe that Tanishq will help grow and expand this market.

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