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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Dubai on cards for India's biggest gold jeweller

Titan expects sales from its Tanishq stores to increase about 30 per cent

Indian customers look at gold jewellery at a stall in the Asia Jewels Fair 2017 in Bangalore this month. The Indian jeweller Titan aims to expand.  Manjunath Kiran / AFP
Indian customers look at gold jewellery at a stall in the Asia Jewels Fair 2017 in Bangalore this month. The Indian jeweller Titan aims to expand. Manjunath Kiran / AFP

Titan, India’s largest maker of branded jewellery by market value, expects sales from its Tanishq stores to increase about 30 per cent this fiscal year as the country’s biggest tax overhaul in decades helps to attract more customers and the company expands its network.

“We are going to get more aggressive” as the new measures to boost financial transparency favour the company, said Sandeep Kulhalli, the senior vice president for retail and marketing at the jewellery arm of Tata Group. The company plans to add 25 to 30 franchisee stores a year in India, and it is also exploring setting up shops in Dubai and Singapore, he said.

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Titan has become the top pick among Indian jewellers after the government implemented the uniform goods and services tax last month, as well as introducing additional measures to increase financial accountability and clamp down on so-called black money. The stock has surged 86 per cent this year to a record, valuing the company at about US$8.4 billion. Asia’s third-largest economy vies with China as the world’s largest gold consumer.

“Now there is a more level playing field,” said Mr Kulhalli. Customers who earlier shied away from Titan because of higher prices and favoured the financial flexibility offered by smaller jewellers, will now shift to branded stores because of their trustworthiness, he said.

The company - which has about 224 stores nationwide - plans to open more outlets in the north, west and east, targeting smaller towns, Mr Kulhalli said. “India is blessed with consumers who still have a strong affinity to gold and diamonds and the social fabric is still around weddings,” he said. “As long as these factors remain, consumption in India will not be an issue.”