Electronic Watches were introduced in the world market in the early seventies. They came to India in 1979 but had to be withdrawn due to problems with the product. HMT Ltd (HMT) introduced its electronic watches in 1981 and was followed by Hyderabad Allwyn Limited (Allwyn). Organisations such as Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT), Semi Conductor Complex Ltd. (SCL), etc. introduced watches but were not successful. By mid eighties many smaller companies, originally manufacturing mechanical watches, diversified into electronic watches. In 1987 Titan Watches Ltd. (Titan) ajoint venture ofTata Sons and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation entered the market and shortly established itself as a major manufacturer.
1.2 INDUSTRY STRUCTURE
The electronic watch industry is dominated by HMT, Allwyn and Titan. They command about 80% share of the organised sector. Therefore, the study concentrates on these manufacturers, though issues pertaining to smaller companies are addressed.
The installed capacity of the industry is 10.8 million pieces. A large unit, Indo French Times, with a capacity of nearly 2.0 million pieces is lying idle due to some internal problems among the promoters.
The production at present from the industry is around 6 million watches. While HMT and Titan operate at 70% - 80% capacity, others work at very low capacity. In the case of Allwyn, the company is facing various problems. Titan - Timex has just completed one year and is still in its gestation phase. The other small companies work at low capacities as their market reach is limited and are not able to compete with the big companies.
In terms of importance in the market, Titan has a share of about 58%, HMT 29%, Allwyn 5.5% and 7.5% with others. However, including mechanical watches the market shares are : HMT 63%, Titan 18%, Allwyn 8% and others 11%.