Wrist Watches form an integral part of the personality of individuals in the present era. Earlier seen as a luxury item, they are now witnessing a fundamental change in perception, and are now gaining respect as an essential utility item. For the watch industry, time seems in its favor what with the liberalization of the Indian market coupled with the rising purchasing power of the young and consumerist Indians
ABOUT THE WATCH MARKET IN INDIA :-
Indian watches market was for long dominated by public sector organizations like Hindustan Machine Tools Ltd. (HMT) and Allwyn (also famous for its refrigerators once upon a time!), and has now left the pioneers far behind or nowhere in market by private sector enterprises like Titan, Sonata, Ajanta and Timex along with foreign entities jostling for display space in the smallest of shops selling these products.
Before the establishment of HMT as the dominant player in the Indian markets initially, the country was solely dependent on imports to meet the internal demand. However, establishment of HMT as the leading player in the wrist watch segment in the 1960’s, changed the scenario.
In post liberalization India , the market stood to witness intensive competition between foreign and Indian manufacturers like Timex, Titan, Movado, Longines, Rado, Rolex, Fréderique Constant, Mont Blanc, Swatch, and many others. Many watch makers have made significant inroads in the industry and others are in the process of establishing themselves, currently.
Besides this, buyers are extremely choosy about the brand and type of wrist watches they wear. Being extremely brand conscious, their tastes have evolved over the years and have gone beyond the realms of durability to choose in terms of aesthetics and elegance. Thus it is a buyers market with multitude of designs that have entered and flooded the market place.
The size of the watch market currently is estimated to be around 40 to 45 million pieces annually. The organized sector alone contributes up to 30 percent of this figure, and the rest of the demand is being met by the unorganized grey sector. This data is significant indeed in view of the socio economic distribution of the Indian populace. More than 58 percent of the population is under twenty five and more than 80 percent of the population is below 45 years of age.
In dollar terms, the estimated annual market size is around USD 195 million, despite the fact that the penetration of watches is the lowest, compared globally. Looking into this fact and the long standing Indian tradition of comparing watches with jewellery and other traditional items, many watch companies are interested in setting up base in India . The average growth in the size of the market is slated to be around 10 -15 percent per year.
A casual study of the watch market reveals that it is segmented on basis of multiple proportions such as price, benefits and types of watches. The price of the watches is a major motive in the minds of the customer. Accordingly, three segments can be identified here, namely low priced, medium priced, and high priced watches.
The lower priced segment consists of watches priced less than INR 500; the medium price range consists of watches in the INR 500-1500 range and the high priced watches come in the INR 1500 upwards range. There are other higher categories as well such as the premium and luxury range, but they appeal to only a small category of the watch market in India.
According to a recent study, more than 90 percent of the watches were from the lower price ranges with international costs being less than 20 euros. Moreover, around 20 to 25 watches are being sold for every 1000 citizens. Thus there is enormous potential for growth of the industry in this untapped segment. Some customers look out for features like fashion appeal, technology, sophistication and status. Others go for durability, economy and precision.