The entire division is focussed on getting business back on track: Suparna Mitra, Titan

Mitra, the CEO of Titan, shares the intricacies of their recent campaign and how they plan to encourage consumers to invest in at least one non-essential item to help move the cycle of the economy

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Published: Aug 18, 2020 8:33 AM  | 6 min read
Suparna Mitra

Over the last few months, COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown have caused a massive dent across businesses and leading to dim consumer sentiments. To build positivity and to uplift consumer sentiments, watch and jewellery company-Titan Company Limited has launched its integrated campaign #LetsGetIndiaTicking. The campaign that encourages consumers to invest in one non-essential item to help move the cycle of the economy will see many initiatives from Titan at the ecosystem, brand, and consumer level, all directed towards an industry-level outcome. We chat with Suparna Mitra, Chief Executive Officer, Watches and Wearables Division, Titan Company Limited to understand the intricacies of the campaign, how the company plans to collaborate with the ecosystem to bring about necessary change and more.

Edited excerpts below:

How was the idea behind the campaign born and how does the brand plan to scale-up the initiative?

When the unlock phase started in May and June, we witnessed an unwillingness of people to buy anything other than essentials. This was due to safety concerns and also because of reserved spends. Consumers were spending all their time at home and did not feel the need for many products. We saw a need to bring a campaign that is call out to consumers to start buying to improve the conditions of those affected due to this pandemic led financial crisis. Through the campaign, #LetsGetIndiaTicking we want to motivate everyone to go out and buy something to make themselves happy and make someone else happy too.

 How does Titan plan to collaborate with the ecosystem to bring about necessary change?

This campaign will have multiple legs and we are already seeing tremendous support from other companies that want to join us and resonate with the sentiments. Over and above the film and BTL outreach, we are planning to create a microsite where people can join the movement by simply clicking a picture of the non-essential spend and submitting the entries. We are hoping to touch 1 million participation through our integrated efforts. 

We truly believe that every movement begins at home and needless to say that we will kick start this campaign with 7000+ Titan family members and our partners. This campaign will also see participation from Tata Group companies.

The Covid-19 outbreak will change the way retail is executed in India. How is Titan embracing the safety of employees and consumers with the reopening of stores?

At Titan Company, we are ensuring the utmost safety of our employees, partners and customers. At corporate office and stores, we are working on reduced capacity with staff rotation. All locations are sanitised throughout the day and temperature is monitored. At the store, there are temperature checks and hand sanitizers. All customers and employees have to wear masks. The record of customers coming into stores is maintained. We have provided UV boxes to sanitize products like watches which have been tried by customers before placing them back. We have provided sanitizing soaps and liquid for products which can’t go under UV machines. Store staff have been trained to follow all the processes.

For the employees, there are designated places which have been marked for employees to work, keeping social distancing in mind. Masks and use of sanitizers are mandatory. All doors are kept open so that there is no need for employees to touch bars, handles to open. There is a foot-opener/peddle which has been fitted to all doors. In the canteen, the floor and tables have been marked in such a way that only two employees can sit lengthwise to ensure sufficient distancing between people.

Share with us some learnings from consumer engagement programs during the lockdown and how those learnings will be leveraged strategically in the year ahead?

We have done three types of consumer engagement during the lockdown. The first leg was “empathy calls” done to lakhs of customers by the store staff enquiring about their health and safety. This was widely appreciated as a goodwill gesture. We have even done online concerts exclusively for our customers by Titan employees during the lockdown.

Simultaneously, our brand teams were working on engaging videos for occasions like Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day and Pride Month.

And finally, we were working on elaborate and comprehensive safety guidelines and protocols and communicating them to our customers so that they are reassured of the highest concern for safety after the stores open.

What has been your personal vision for the watches divisions since taking over as CEO?

Currently, the entire division is focussed on getting business back on track. Every single person is positive and hopeful and consumed with the need to contribute to make the journey back to pre-Covid levels.

What was your creative brief to your agency for the recent campaign and what were the challenges you and the agency faced when bringing it to life in the current times?

The consumption challenge is huge and it not only requires all our collective efforts but perhaps something very innovative that pushes people out of their state of fugue. Our ask was: is there a deeply emotional way that we can connect with everyone in the country, not as consumers but as people, and get them to step out of their homes and buy some product or service and help move the wheels of commerce and through that help millions of people whose lives depend on that commerce? The messaging needs to be an inflection point of a movement that urges individuals to kick-start the wheel of the economy, with the help of any purchase, however small.

For an idea that's envisaged to move the nation, the challenge was to connect with the audience at an individual level and give them their own reason to participate. The situations shown have people from all walks of life representing small businesses, factory workers and large corporates. All situations of physical commerce are shown with all safety precautions like masks. We have depicted a slice of life situations that we all remember from our pre-Covid lives but have not necessarily adopted back after the lockdown was over. It connects with the consumer in all of us. We had to strike a very fine balance between asking people to be altruistic and helping the nation and finding their little joys that are triggered by every small purchase.

 What will be your focus areas for the brand as we go forward? 

Our overall focus for watches is to build the Smart segment while focusing on design innovation for the other segment. Post the successful launch of Titan ConnectedX , we are gearing up for the smart products under various brands Fastrack, Sonata and Titan. There are also lot of interesting launches and campaigns planned on the premium segment.

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