Timex in India
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"Imagine people walking into a Titan showroom, asking for Timex and being told that the brand was not being sold any longer. The 'Timex has wound up' factor was crippling. We had to rebuild the image from scratch."
- Pratap P, Marketing Manager, Timex Watches, in August 2000.
In March 1998, Timex Corporation (Timex Corp.), the US-based watch manufacturer and Titan Industries Ltd. (Titan),1 leading Indian watch manufacturer, announced the break-up of their joint venture (JV), Timex Watches Ltd (Timex). Considering the fact that during the JV's six-year life span, Timex had built up sizeable brand equity in the Indian watch industry, the break-up attracted significant media attention.
Analysts remarked that Timex would have to set up its independent distribution network in the country from scratch. Since this would in all probability take a considerable amount of time, Timex risked losing market share to competitors. Much to Timex's relief, as per the agreement between the two companies, it was allowed to continue using Titan's distribution and marketing network for the next two years.
1] Titan Watches Limited was promoted jointly by Questar Investments Limited (a Tata group company) and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Limited (TIDCO). Refer Exhibit I for details.
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