1993, Tanishq office in Golden Enclave, Bangalore.
After a massive failed attempt to sell in diamond-studded jewellery as a brand in Paris, Europe, The Tanishq brand of 18 kt jewellery had been launched in the local market. It was failing here too. The logo itself looked like some Chinese Restaurant, the front of the store was all covered, the products were chunky and meant for European tastes. And we were losing lots of money daily, to keep the stores running. On top of it, the staff designation was CROs -Customer Relationship Officers – Maintain Customer Relationships like in a 5-Star hotel. Nobody thought Sales was their main function.
On top of it, I had moved from the watches division to the Tanishq division to handle supply chain. My watch colleagues kept badgering me. That Tanishq would close down any day and i was a fool to be shifting to that Tanishq division.
What are my learnings?
1. There is a need to change with the market. Tanishq introduced India’s first karatmeter, Introduced 22 kt gold jewellery, changed the designation and the mindset of the staff to selling (they became RSOs – Retail Sales Officers), and many other things.
2. The people are your greatest assets.
What are the learnings for retailers, post Corona?
1. There is a need to change with the market. We need to be more conscious of the expenditure, expansions etc.
2. Since people are the only “thinking assets” we have, we need to involve them in finding new solutions to new problems.
3. While we may not know when we can reopen the store, using technology to connect with the customers, staff and vendors is a good way to both keep communication going. Most experts say, it is better to over communicate than to under communication, on the assumption, people will understand.
We know how many people followed the lock down rules.
Tanishq is now a very successful brand and 80% of the revenue of Titan company comes from it. I am happy and humbled, I could play a part in its success story for over 10+ years with the brand !