We’ve significantly upped Titan Raga’s budget this year: Suparna Mitra

Titan Company Ltd last week expanded its Raga watch range with the introduction of a limited edition collection that has been designed by Masaba Gupta. The Titan Raga-Masaba Limited Edition Collection features 11 statement pieces that feature designs line engraved tribal pillars, elephant links in antique finish, intricately carved fish charms, stars and more. 

Titan today is the world’s fifth largest integrated own brand watch manufacturer, and has created and sold more than a 150 million pieces the world over. The company reported a growth of 28.9 per cent in income in Q2 FY18, while net profit for Q2 FY18 was up 70.9 per cent at Rs 305 crore, compared to Rs 178 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal. 

The income from watches business for the quarter was Rs 570 crore, against Rs 523 crore in the previous year, a growth of 8.8 per cent, even as the festive season build-up was encouraging. 

Speaking on the new collection, S Ravi Kant, Chief Executive Officer, Watches & Accessories Division, Titan Company Ltd, said, “This Limited Edition Collection blends the Feminity and Romance of Raga with the Tribal and Pop Art signature look of Masaba. The Titan Raga-Masaba Collection is a testament to the Raga brand, which has elegantly and fashionably evolved over the years to suit every woman and every occasion.” 

Adgully spoke with Suparna Mitra, Chief Marketing Officer, Watches & Accessories, Titan Company, to know more about the new collection, the partnership with Masaba Gupta, Raga’s communication strategy over the years, marketing budget and more. Excerpts: 

What was the idea behind getting on board Masaba Gupta for the latest range of Raga watches? How did you zero in on this designer for this collection?

As you know, Titan Raga is India’s most favourite brand for watches for women. Titan Raga has been known for its excellent design, new collections every year, which keep on taking it to higher levels. So, when we were thinking about what else we could do about Raga, and in particular how to attract the younger audience, we thought why not a collaboration. And when we thought about collaboration we were thinking about an association with a designer who is somebody who can appeal to the younger audience and yet is very rooted in his or her inspiration. Masaba came up right on top because her sarees, her garments, her entire line is very rooted in its inspiration, but very contemporary in its form and expression. So, we thought of marrying the design language of Raga, which is more elegant and sophisticated, with the kind of edginess and contemporariness of Masaba, and that’s what exactly has come out in the Titan Raga-Masaba Collection. 

Over the years, Raga has evolved from being something merely functional to being an extension of one’s personality. How did this transition happen? Could you briefly take us through Raga’s brand journey?

Raga was originally launched in the early 90s as a sub-brand, which is a very long time. In 2006, we actually re-launched it as a sub-brand, which means it was not just a collection of watches, but also a sub-brand. And at that point we had thought that the core values of the brand would be feminism and sensuality. We did huge campaigns and a lot of new collections, which were inspired by either nature or jewellery that was liked by women. At some point in that journey we realised that it has gone from being a watch to more of a jewellery piece. Then along the journey we found that it’s not just about being an accessory or a jewellery piece which adds to your feminism, but also an expression of confidence. Indian women have made tremendous strides and we have also tried to match her by bringing more and more some of the values like self-confidence. Just to articulate this, between 2006 and 2010 we used the tagline, ‘Ek Khubsurat Rishta’, which we changed to ‘Khud Se Naya Rishta’, which mirrors an Indian woman’s own journey of confidence and independence. 

Raga’s communication has been about the new age Indian woman, her self-expression, freedom of choice, assertion as an independent decision-maker. Going forward, what issues of feminity and the changing times will Raga’s communication highlight?

Yes, you are right. We have several campaigns which have been path-breaking. We did the campaign which features Nimrit Kaur, and then we did a digital film called #BreakTheBias, which was for Women’s Day in 2016 that went viral and impacted a lot of people. Early in 2017, we did a brand film on mothers and how women look at motherhood. It’s a journey where we are looking at various aspects of a woman’s life, her relationship with herself, with her work, her career and also, as I said, motherhood. So, it’s a constant journey and something that we feel we need to clean out those issues, the dilemmas that she is facing. 

What is the marketing and advertising budget allocated for Raga in this fiscal?

We don’t actually give them out separately. We have significantly upped the marketing budget for Raga this year. We have already done the Espana Campaign, which we did for Diwali, and now we are doing this Masaba collection. I think, maybe for the first time we are marketing two different collections of Raga in the same fiscal. So, definitely it’s a very big priority for our marketing budgets. 

How has the festive season been this year for Titan’s watch business? How has Raga fared during festive buying? Could you give some estimates in terms of revenues and sales?
I won’t be able to share the revenue estimates, but it’s been very positive and we have done beyond our expectations. 

How are you tapping digital media to increase reach and engagement with consumers? What about your presence on e-commerce platforms or online sales?

We are doing a lot of stuff. Even for this campaign we were doing a pre-launch with a teaser campaign with #TickTalk, #Masaba. We are also live streaming this event on social media. Going forward, there is a lot of engagement and activities that we have thought not, for only this campaign but across the board for all our brands. Digital has become a very important medium, because people (not just the youngsters) are consuming a lot of social media. They consume a lot of news on social media and it’s also easy to interact with people through it. Unlike traditional media, where I can only say what I want and won’t be able to see the people’s reaction, here it is instant, it is interactive, and you can have a lot of fun around it. I think it’s something that our brand team is very excited about. It gives so many new opportunities and you don’t have to wait for a long time. You know you have an idea that you can execute in 2-3 days which will go live and you can see what is happening.


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