Vasant Nangia, Managing Director, Fossil India, talks about how the American watchmaker has captivated the Indian hearts to Caroline Diana
Tell us a little about Fossil — its inception, journey and growth in the Indian industry?
Founded in 1984, Fossil was the first American brand to bring value and style to the watch category transforming the concept of timekeeping from the merely functional to chic and stylish must-haves for the wrist. Since then, Fossil has always been in the avant-garde, whether in terms of technology, the choice of materials or design. About four years back, Fossil entered the Indian market and Fossil India is a 100% subsidiary of US-based Fossil Inc. The journe y, of course, has been interesting, because the watch market in India is really mature.
What trends and transformation have you seen in the watch industry in the last five years?
Earlier, watches were mere timekeeping devices. Today, they are more than that. They have become fashion accessories. Like jewellery, they too fall under various categories, such as office-wear, sportswear and evening-wear. And there are watches for the young and watches for the old. Fossil meets the demands of all categories of people. For instance, we have the brand Burberry. These watches are an expression of the brand’s expertise in timeless design, appealing to the different attitudes of the Burberry man and woman. The design is in the detail — all influences from the iconic Burberry trench coat, from the D-rings and trench coloured dials, to these strong bolts that hold the case and protect the movement from the elements. It all comes from this iconic timeless piece of our heritage which is the foundation of the brand.
What is the demographics of customers who buy your watches?
Fossil watches are preferred by younger people who have higher earning potential and are willing to spend. These watches are also preferred by working women.
Are your watches targeted at adults or do you have watches for children too?
We do have a small-sized Adidas watches. But they are not necessarily for children. Our focus is primarily on adults who are fashion-conscious. Our brand Diesel is for men, who want their watches to look macho. DKNY Men’s watches are also masculine, modern, smart, innovative and timeless. The collection has a ‘fashion meets sport’ theme comprising exquisitely crafted watches completed by lustrous stainless steel or matte leather straps. DKNY’s Sparkle collection is for the ladies. With a variety of crystal studded bezels and gleaming bracelets in luxurious finishes, this collection can be flaunted at any time of the day and at any occasion. In classic feminine and contemporary boyfriend designs, these timepieces are the latest reflection of DKNY’s aesthetic genius.
What marketing strategies do you employ to increase the sales of your products?
We do lot of web marketing. We sell our watches through online selling portals like Myntra and Flipkart. Because youngsters today are net-savvy and the web would be the right medium to showcase and sell our brand.
What is Fossil India’s roadmap?
The company plans to expand its distribution. We plan to extend the distributorship to more malls and supermarkets. Plans are also in the pipeline to open Fossil-exclusive stores in the city. But this will take some time.