Bengaluru: When times change, the time keepers must change too.
With its watch business facing sluggish growth and new buyers turning to connected wearables, the four-decade-old Titan Co. Ltd on Monday said it will launch a range of smart watches along with HP Inc.
The new watches will arrive in select domestic and international markets in the next couple of months.
The entry into the smartwatch category is the next step in Titan’s journey as a lifestyle company, said S. Ravi Kant, chief executive at the company’s watches and accessories division.
Traditional watchmakers across the globe are stepping up to the challenge as technology giants such as Apple Inc. and Samsung Group carve out a new category of smart watches. Watch manufacturer Fossil reportedly spent $260 million to acquire Misfit, maker of wearables and Internet-connected devices.
The move also coincides with Titan’s move towards becoming a more digital company as it aims to woo younger, tech-savvy shoppers. Earlier this year, it launched digital Sonata watches under the SF brand.
The retailer’s stores are also expected to be digitally integrated as it hopes to sell its watches and jewellery products across multiple retail channels.
Innovation from HP Inc. “is helping fashion-forward brands infuse technology into their designs to give consumers the stylish timepieces they want but that are more connected and responsive," said Sridhar Solur, general manager, wearables and smart platforms at HP Inc.
In the quarter ended 31 September, Titan’s watch business that includes brands such as Sonata and Fastrack saw a marginal growth in sales. Sale of watches grew 4.4% to ₹ 546 crore. For the year ended 31 March, net income at the company’s watch business stood at ₹ 1,926 crore up 7.2% from the previous year.
Shares of the company were trading at ₹ 376.70 up 1.39% on the Bombay Stock Exchange at 1:50 pm on Monday.
About 52 million watches are sold in India every year.