As more and more consumers look forward to being constantly in touch with their digital selves – with the help of its world class smartwatches and other wearable range Fossil Group is enabling connected lifestyles in India.
Vasant Nangia – Managing Director, Fossil Group, India speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about the company’s current focus and future plans for India.
How does Fossil Group look at the growth opportunities in India?
While the market for smartwatches is at a nascent stage in India, the sector has experienced an unprecedented growth of 41.9% in Q2 2016 as per the International Data Corporation. Estimated high growth of this market is on account of increasing adoption of wearables for personal use and enterprises alike. The rise in social media activity and the need for being updated has boosted the demand for these devices. Other factors contributing to the high demand for wearable devices are easy connectivity to smartphones and the internet, real-time updates and corporate wellness programs by enterprises across the world.
Consumers recognize the advantages of staying connected and are embracing the idea of traditional timepiece now enhanced with technology. We see these advantages only grow over time as smartwatches improve their functionality.
India is and continues to be an important market for the brand. It is one of the fastest growing markets for the Group in Asia Pacific and proves to be an ambitious market in terms of growth. The target audience in India is vast, diverse and young, making it one of the best audiences amenable to smart devices and smart watches.
The wearables industry is excitingly dynamic – constantly evolving and changing in leaps and bounds. Till date, smartwatches have remained in the realm of brand loyalists and tech cognoscenti; however this is fast changing with a growing number of consumers looking to include connectivity in their daily lives as unobtrusively as possible. In fact, a recent report states that the worldwide wearable devices sales are set to grow 18.4 per cent in 2016 alone. And we believe that India will play a pivotal role in this growth.
What is your go to market strategy with regards to expanding the horizon for the brand and its associated sub brands in India?
We currently have 600+ points of sales for both our house brands (Fossil, SKAGEN and Misfit) and licensee brands (Michel Kors, Emporio Armani, Chaps, Diesel, DKNY and Kate Spade a recent addition to the India family). This is set to increase, multifold in the years to come as we have been able to leverage retail, departmental stores, local chains and duty free platforms in order to reach all corners of India.
With the launch of the connected devices across brands we will further look at expanding our footprint by adding new doors in the consumer electronic and technology channels.
While we are firming up our presence in the offline space, we cannot ignore the power of ecommerce and the reach it enables. We are working towards a robust presence for all our brands across key ecommerce partners like Myntra, Flipkart, Amazon, Tata CLiQ, Jabong and AJIO in the country.
Today a lot of traditional channel partners are looking forward to associating with innovative brands that can provide them with cutting edge product offerings and help them create market differentiation. How can you help in this direction?
Today, the growing penetration of the digital world in our daily lives has changed the manner in which consumers stay connected with the world around them. From real-time updates to curated content to constant updates from their social networks, consumers are constantly connected to avoid the fear of missing out and it is with this belief that Fossil Group offers a wide variety of smartwatches and smartwear that will meet consumers’ needs for both style and digitally enhanced lifestyles.
Fossil Group recently unveiled a range of stylish wearables across six of our owned and licensed brands in India. These include:
- The design forward wearables from MisFit, a brand synonymous with fitness and wellness targeted at the dynamic and energetic youth of today with the aim to promote a fit and active lifestyle
- Fossil, with Fossil Q Wander and Q Marshal smartwatches which seamlessly weave together design and function
- The classic Michael Kors Bradshaw Access and Dylan Access geared towards the fashion-focused technologically forward consumer
- SKAGEN with its new connected hybrid smartwatch and connected activity tracker that are attractive, intuitive and smart and debuts in four styles
- Emporio Armani connected hybrid smartwatch which blends its timeless dynamic styling with technology. The hybrid smart watches are available in four metal finishes, rose gold, black, gunmetal and stainless steel
- The CHAPS connected hybrid smartwatch which is the perfect watch that promotes a healthy lifestyle without being too intrusive, the perfect accessory for those looking to pursue a healthy, active lifestyle
Consumers from across different target groups will be able to select from the wide variety of smartwatches that are best suited to their lifestyles.
So be it someone looking for their first watch that they will forever treasure or someone looking to enhance their digitally always connected lives or those looking to elevate their healthy lifestyles, Fossil Group is looking to engage with discerning consumers with a wide variety of requirements.
What are your plans to engage with regional distributors in India?
We are working on our distribution strategy for expansion and will look at all possible options.
Today a lot of brands are creating a unique balance between ecommerce as well as traditional channel partners – what is your strategy here?
Online retail is slated to be Fossil Group’s major growth drivers besides traditional retail channels. The brand has tied up with all e-commerce players, making ecommerce the fastest growing verticals for the group. The growing penetration of ecommerce also allows the brand to increase its visibility and points-of-sale reach in tier II markets; thereby assisting in developing an increased growth for the brand.