Dubai: One of the largest gold and jewellery companies in India, Tanishq, is expanding in the UAE using a “hybrid” strategy. Sharaf Retail of Dubai has agreed to join the Tata Group-owned company as a franchise partner and help open new shops in the Gulf.
The distinction is that partnerships are uncommon in the retail sale of gold and jewellery. Whether it’s Malabar Gold & Diamonds, Damas, Joyalukkas, Kanz, or Jawhara, the companies primarily own the stores in the UAE. This retail model made sense because the majority of the businesses were family-owned or connected businesses that wanted to operate independently.
Tanishq’s stores were actually directly controlled by the company when it entered the UAE through Dubai. or did they?
Titan Company ltd.’s Kuruvilla Markose, CEO of the International Business Division, clarifies the situation. “When we start in a new region (such as the UAE/Gulf), we prefer to directly own the first set of outlets as that helps us gain first-hand experience in the new region,” he said.
“Jewellery is a high potential category and as we delve into this new space, we wanted the right partner,” said Sharafuddin Sharaf, Vice-Chairman, Sharaf Group.
Herein lies the role of Sharaf Retail. Over time, Sharaf has established itself as the industry leader in the retail of technology and gadgets. (under Sharaf DG).
A high-profile entry
Over the past 20 years or more, Tanishq jewellery collections have been sold in store outlets in the UAE. But it wasn’t until late 2020 that it invested in standalone, owned showrooms in Dubai for maximum visibility. Since then, it has grown to include outlets in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
There are also the Titan showrooms, a sister company that specialises in watches, of course. There are 21 Titan showrooms total, 18 of which are held by Titan and three of which are run by Rivoli.
“In the long term, the Titan Company believes that a good combination is for about 30 per cent of the outlets to be owned by the company and 70 per cent by partners,” said Markose. “The company uses the outlets it owns to showcase the best ways to achieve both revenue growth and great customer experience.
“Partners learn from this and also bring their regional expertise, creating a win-win for Titan, its partners and customers.”
The company owns three of the seven Tanishq boutiques in the UAE, and the other four are held by “long-standing partners who already own Tanishq stores in India and wanted to invest in the UAE growth story.”