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Clock ticks for Titan foray into US

Mumbai, Sept. 23: Titan Industries is eyeing the American market after its successful foray into Europe and the Far East.

The watch maker of the Tata group is also undertaking pilot projects on personal accessories like sunglasses and silk scarves, and leather accessories like belts and wallets.

Titan's chief operating officer-watches Bijou Kurien said, “We are testing the I-Gear sunglasses as an extension of the Fast Track watch brand.”

Titan has unveiled its internationally styled watches today, which are available in 60 designs. The watches are priced between Rs 2,000 and Rs 7,000. The range will be competing with the Swiss and Japanese makers.

The company expects the watch division’s turnover to grow 20 per cent in 2003-04 to around Rs 1000 crore, company officials said.

Exports are likely to account for 15 to 20 per cent of the watch division’s turnover in the next three years from 10 per cent at present.

“The worst is behind us,” Kurien said. The company’s European operations will break-even by next year, he added. We have built the brand to a certain level in terms of quality,” he added.

The watches division contributed more than half of the sales in 2002-03, the remaining being accounted for by the jewellery division. Analysts had predicted earlier that the jewellery division would outpace the watches division this year, but this may be far off the mark if Kurien's forecast comes true.

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