In 1994, Tanishq was launched to take Titan to the next level, but it FAILED! Everyone asked Ratan Tata to shut it down and cut the losses To their utter shock, Tanishq went onto makes 85% of Titan's 29 billion dollar business Here's the CRAZY story:

Tanishq was a blunder when it started, yet it grabbed the Indian market and is now one of the biggest jewelry brands in India. So, here is the backstory of how they were able to pull this off:

Tanishq was launched by Titan back in 1994. The term Tanishq was coined by late Mr. Xerxes Desai by marrying the words ‘Tan’ meaning body and ‘Nishk’ meaning a gold ornament. Now, don’t ask us what Titan means ?

Titan got overconfident after turning its watch making business—a success. And this led it to believe that it understands the wearable market deeply. What the company did next? Titan launched it’s jewelry segment, but there was a catch!

It aimed to transform the consumer behavior by building an appetite on 18-karat jewelry instead of the 22-karat standard —which turned out to be a great failure but why?

Because, the company failed to understand that India is a status driven society. Gold is seen as a symbol of wealth & fortune rather than as an accessory. Any attempt at democratizing high-status products will only result in a failure! Just like Nano.

Nano was an attempt by TATA to give every middle-class Indian— a Car, but none of us wanted our identity to be attached with “the cheapest car” in the world. This could’ve lowered our social status and do we want that? NOO!!

For nearly half a decade, Titan failed to understand this. TATA continued to bleed from it’s jewelry segment and was even asked to reconsider the adventure on its newly embarked journey. You see, before Tanishq, the Indian jewelry sector was largely unorganized. The problem?

• The local jewelers were the kings and customers had to rely on their word • There was no way to assure price and purity of the gold & • Limited designs How did Tanishq solve that?

After facing a huge setback in the domestic market, TATA realized that it was doing something wrong. Acceptance is the key to a successful business. Tanishq accepted the Indian consumers’ psyche.

Apart from launching 22-karat jewellery, it introduced “Karatmeter” that checks Gold’s purity in it’s major retail stores. Now, this was a gamechanger as — • a great deal of women started pouring in Tanishq stores to check the purity of their pieces.

• nearly 60% of the jewelry tested below the caratage their family jeweler had assured. This led to loss of faith in their generational family jewelers.

• to top it off, if the purity was found to be lesser than what was claimed, Tanishq replaced the piece with higher purity, while only charging the customer the making charges. Gold upgrade was free!

This boosted the customers’ confidence in Tanishq. Now, Tanishq is well-known to adapt to market requirements. It aligns the marketing strategy apt to the buying behavior of it’s target segment.

The previous generation has seen gold as an investment instrument and occasional wearable. but the generation of today is more financially aware and besides investment, they see jewelry as a style statement, a means of self-expression. To cater this need,

Tanishq launched Mia (which means “Mine” in Italian). Mia intends to sell more by selling to fewer. The jewelry is 14-karat and lightweight which makes it affordable for the customers.

Weddings are a grand celebration in India. They accounts to 50% of jewelry bought in the country. Tanishq saw this as a great opportunity. In 2017, it launched its sub-brand Rivaah, a beautiful union of ‘Riwaaz’ and ‘Vivah’ —that focused largely on the wedding jewelry market.

Every other jewelry brand sells wedding jewelry, then what’s so special about Rivaah? Well, Rituals are soul of a wedding and every piece of wedding jewelry is a symbol of these rituals. Tanishq’s Rivaah understands this.

It celebrates brides across India. Rivaah introduced a range of designs that keeps cultures and traditions in mind. You can buy state-specific designs that suits your cultural values. Currently, Tanishq yields over 20% of its sales from the wedding jewelry segment.

Titan has never shied away from experimenting new things. Imagine, if Titan had shut down Tanishq when it was a loss making business?! From selling time to being timeless, it has built a billion dollar empire.

And this couldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Tanishq. Don’t you think?

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Even though Tanishq is a giant right now, it might have to fight the largest company in India. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jewels might give Tanishq a run for its money. A thread on that coming next Wednesday!

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