Timex Group looks to expand manufacturing footprint in India

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on August 06, 2019 Published on August 06, 2019

Tobias Reiss-Schmidt, President & CEO, Timex Group

US-based watch major Timex Group plans to accelerate growth of its Indian operations, which is currently its third largest market globally.

The company believes that its manufacturing footprint in the country has a strategic role to play not only in serving domestic demand but also in its global supply chain.

Tobias Reiss-Schmidt, President and CEO, Timex Group, told BusinessLine, “India continues to be an extremely important market and we will continue to invest in future growth in the country. Our ambition is to outperform the market and continue growing in double digits. We are optimistic that we will be able to grow around 20 per cent annually for the next five years.”

The company’s Indian business has been growing on an average at about 15 per cent annually in the past few years. In a bid to accelerate growth in India, the watch major plans to expand its manufacturing capacity, grow the franchise-led stores channel in tier-2 and 3 towns and also increase sourcing for global operations from the country.

Expansion plans

Currently, it has 54 stores and aims to ramp up the count to 100 stores by 2021.

“Timex is in a unique position of being a true watchmaker brand that focusses on authentic watch-making and craftsmanship and is also available at very accessible prices,” Schmidt said.

Asked about growing concerns regarding consumption slowdown in the country, he said, “India’s watch ownership is only 35 per cent. So, there is a huge headroom for growth. There is market opportunity and also awareness and appreciation for Timex brand. I evaluate markets based on fundamentals. I have trust that India will continue to move in a very good direction.”

Talking about future avenues for growth, Schmidt said, “Currently, our business is driven by traditional watches which will remain core of our business. But the Timex brand allows us to have a play in digital watches and smart watches. We have a lot of technological know-how in the company globally and we will bring that to the market.”

The company also designs, manufactures and distributes timepieces under global licensing agreements for luxury brands such as Versace and Salvatore Ferragamo. It recently added Ted Baker to its global luxury portfolio, which is expected to be launched in India in the near future.

On expansion of manufacturing footprint in India, Schmidt said: “The factory in India at Baddi is a core part of our global manufacturing strategy. We have identified multiple steps for expansion of our manufacturing capacity in India. In addition, the development of quality vendors in India, in order to increase the share of Indian components in our global collections, is also an important focus. While the Baddi factory is mostly producing for India, exports are increasing.”

Published on August 06, 2019
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