We aspire to get to 90% level of last year in the next few months: Ajoy Chawla, Titan

On the launch of Zoya’s ‘Rooted’ collection, Ajoy Chawla, CEO - Jewellery Division, Titan Company, discusses strategies used to get customers back and being optimistic about festive & wedding season

e4m by Simran Sabherwal
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 9:29 AM
ajoy chawla

Zoya, the diamond boutique from the House of Tatas, recently introduced its new collection, ‘Rooted’— a lineup of over 45 pieces for the modern sophisticate. Zoya’s ‘Rooted’ draws on motifs from the world’s rainforests, which are seen to be exotic, colourful as well as resilient and nurturing. The Zoya woman is typically well-heeled, well-travelled and seeks exclusivity and the rainforest mirrors the Zoya woman’s inner resilience and salutes her inner strength. Ajoy Chawla, CEO of Titan’s Jewellery Division says, “With Zoya, we are redefining luxury jewellery as a personalised and purposeful connection with our customers. The muse for the new collection is the Zoya woman - a nurturer, a caregiver, a dreamer and an ambitious go-getter. We see her breaking free from patriarchal and societal expectations, finding ways to authentically reconnect with her deep feminine. She now engages more deeply with her personal aspirations finding clarity of purpose and strength within. "Rooted from Zoya" symbolizes her inner strength and is an expression of this inner quest.”

Ajoy Chawla, CEO, Jewellery Division, Titan Company Ltd; Gauri Khan and Revathi Kant, Chief Design Officer, Titan

The brand associated with entrepreneur and Interior Designer Gauri Khan for the launch of the ‘Rooted’ collection. Khan had been associated with Zoya earlier for the launch of its store in Delhi. Khan states,Zoya is a brand that is distinguished by its fine craftsmanship and design and each piece has a beautiful story behind it. So it is a brand that appeals to me very much.” She adds, “I am launching Zoya’s collection for them. This collection, Rooted, speaks to the inner strength of the feminine spirit, something I feel is very relevant in today’s challenging times. The motifs in the collection are inspired by the rainforest, which is a fitting metaphor for the inner strength and perseverance that women share with nature.” 

Gauri Khan

Commenting on the marketing for the new collection, Chawla says, “We connect with our customers through events but as we are constrained from doing events, that will be difficult this year. However, we will be present across all the relevant media, be it Digital, magazines and newspapers.”

On the Recovery Path

Launched in 2010, Zoya has built a distinctive reputation over the last decade on the artistry and craftsmanship of its products. The brand has two stores in Mumbai, one in Delhi and opened its latest store in Bangalore in March. The positive response to the brand encouraged Titan to expand its operational footprint beyond Mumbai and Delhi into Bengaluru, marking the brand’s expansion for the first time in the South Indian market. However, two weeks later the newly launched store had to pull down its shutters, albeit temporarily, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown.

However, the recovery has been encouraging since the restrictions have been eased. Chawla says, “We are very encouraged and happy with the response. There's confidence in brands like ours and customers have been comfortable visiting our stores. For Zoya, we target a certain profile of customers who have not been economically impacted. The Zoya customer is very keen to celebrate her personal milestones and that has driven sales recovery during this period.”He adds that the recovery has primarily been led but its existing customers.

What has also helped the brand is the digital outreach it took that helped consumers in smaller cities, such as Alwar, Jabalpur, Jaipur & Indore, connect with Zoya’s jewellery advisors online and complete transactions. The company enabled its customers to shop remotely through online videos. While the company had employed this strategy for Zoya earlier, the pandemic resulted in this being extended to Tanishq as well. The company also had a significant part of its product portfolio photographed and put it online on an endless aisle. In the specific case of Zoya, shortlisted products were delivered to the consumer’s home to enable final purchase. Says Chawla,“We saw a lot of online traction for all our brands. We increased our visibility and presence online, enabled remote shopping with video walkthroughs of the new collections and product launches, and enabled online appointment booking in a much bigger way.”

A big priority was to ensure that safety protocols were followed in all the brand stores in the portfolio - Zoya, Tanishq, Mia, CaratLane. “There was zero compromise on safety protocols. This built a lot of customer confidence. In fact, we believe this also helped us gain some market share,” says Chawla.

Titan also ensured that it continued with all its slated product launches and launched Tanishq’s‘Aarambh’ collection in July following it up with Zoya ’Rooted’. Chawla says, “We continued all our efforts to drive growth. We ensured that none of the product launches was deferred indefinitely. We launched products, ensured merchandise availability in our stores and did not cut down on the stock. We've been able to maintain the choice for customers, even amidst these situations.” He adds, “We will be launching a new collection for Tanishq shortly. We have kept all the things that create and build desire and interest in customers. We’ve remained connected with our customers through our store teams and our jewellery advisors.”

These initiatives have helped the brand recover to a large extent. Chawla states, “Over the last few months we’ve seen close to a 90% recovery, both for Zoya as well as for Tanishq. However, Q2 of last year was a weak quarter as gold prices spiked. Therefore, the base effect might also be showing up a little bit in this recovery. When I say 90%, one should not assume 90% on business as usual but on a weak quarter YoY. On a like-to-like basis, the recovery may be about 80%-85%.”

Festive Cheer?

With consumers confined at home and cutting back on spends over the last six months, the upcoming festival season provides the consumer an opportunity to indulge, reward themselves and even gift their close friends and family. In addition, expectations are that people will start the shopping for the upcoming wedding season by October. Chawla is optimistic on Q3 and adds, “When we look at the next few months, we aspire to get to 90% level of the last year.Q3 last year was a big quarter, as it usually is, and we saw good growth. At an overall level, I would simply say that we are going into the festive season full throttle expecting a very successful and good season.”Looking ahead, this year the company is actively exploring the Hyderabad market.  Plans are also to test the markets of Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad for a Zoya store.

On a final note when asked on marketing spends Chawla states, “We've spent and done a fair amount of advertising inQ2. I don't see any reason why we should hold back spends in the second half of the year. We will in fact be comparable to what it was last year in the second half of this fiscal.”

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube