Corum, a favourite timekeeper with many US presidents, to expand base in India
New Delhi: What’s common to former US presidents George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton? All of them at one point or the other, were spotted wearing watches of the Heritage Coin range from the Swiss watchmaker Montres Corum Sàrl, better known as Corum.
The 61-year-old Swiss watch brand known for its high-quality and limited edition watches globally is strengthening its presence in India by rebuilding its distribution network and hence boosting its revenue.
In the process, the company recently partnered with the luxury watch retailer Ethos Watch Boutiques to sell Corum watches in India. “Till now, we were selling watches independently in India, through our own subsidiary. The operational cost was high and India was contributing just 1-2% to our global revenue. So we decided to shut down our subsidiary and redefine and rebuild our distribution network here,” said Jacques-Alain Vuille, executive vice-president at Corum.
Corum, owned by China Haidian Holdings Limited group, has been operating in India since the 1980s. The company plans to close 2016-17 at 48 million Swiss francs in revenue, about 3 million Swiss francs up from its annual revenue targets.
Vuille added that with the distribution changes, the Indian market is expected to contribute 5-10℅ to the global turnover of the company over the next few years.
Priced at Rs1.5 lakh onwards, Corum is currently sold at four of Ethos outlets across four cities. Over the next 18 months, the retailer plans to expand the offering to 12 stores across ten cities. “Corum has a wonderful story and a wonderful craftsmanship, which needs to be communicated across the country. We will be focusing on the social media campaigns to communicate the product,” said Pranav Saboo, co-founder at Ethos Watch Studios. Ethos is run by watch components supplier KDDL and is the authorized retailer of 61 luxury watch brands in India including Rolex, Omega and Rado.
The company currently operates 45 premium stores in 14 cities and is planning to open another 25-30 stores, taking the total store count to 70 by 2020.
Earlier this month, Ethos had tied up with Titan Co. Ltd to relaunch the 279-year-old Swiss watch brand Favre Leuba in India.
Ethos closed 2015-16 at Rs370 crore in revenue and hopes to be a Rs1,000 crore company by 2020.
According to a study by the industry lobby group Associated Chambers of Commerce of India, the luxury market in the country is expected to grow five fold in the next three years.
The market is expected to cross $18.3 billion in 2016 from $14.7 billion in 2015, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 25%.