Tata Group company Titan has said the second Covid wave proved to be a setback for its FY’22 business plans that were made with a lot of “ambition, substantial excitement and passion”. The company, however, said it is moving ahead with “calmness and composure” and is confident of overcoming all the challenges.
In its annual report for FY2021-22, the company said it is expecting that by September 2021, much of the country will be vaccinated, paving the way for some kind of normalcy in business environment.
The company’s business plans for FY2021-22 were made with “a high level of ambition, substantial excitement and passion. The second wave of COVID-19 has come and caused a setback to those plans, but without taking away the medium-term opportunities and the advantages that those plans represented,” its report commented in terms of the outlook of the company for this ongoing fiscal.
It further said that the management is approaching FY’22 with the same calmness and composure like it did in the previous fiscal and “is confident that it will be able to overcome all the challenges that come its way”. The company, which primarily operates in segments such as watches, jewellery and eyewear, is expecting consumer demand to be “good” in FY’22.
“The economic circumstances of the company’s customers (the upper middle class) are expected to be as good as in FY 2021-22 or perhaps even better, given that virtually all companies are giving out raises to their employees, with its cascading effects on other segments of the population,” the report noted.
It further said the rural economy is also likely to be good on account of good monsoon rains and that will also leave a cascading positive effect on other consuming segments. Addressing shareholders, Titan Managing Director C K Venkataraman said FY’22 will be another “challenging year” and the company would continue to exercise “prudence” in managing its expenses.
“With the second wave of the pandemic hitting India and lockdowns being repeated across states, FY’22 will be another challenging year, or at least till the vaccination drive reaches a fair level of coverage in the country. In such times, we will continue to exercise prudence in managing our expenses,” Venkataraman said.
Moreover, the management of cash and the balance sheet has become well-institutionalised processes in the company, and this should hold the company in good stead to overcome tough periods, he added. He further said Titan’s business segments have emerged stronger with the learnings and experience of the past year.
“Armed with this arsenal of knowledge, along with our strengths of the fantastic brand portfolio, dedicated people and strong customer relationships, we are better prepared and positioned to navigate future challenges,” Venkataraman said.
Titan is a Joint venture between the Tata Group and Tamilnadu Industrial Development Corporation Limited (TIDCO). It had commenced its operations in 1987 under the name Titan Watches Limited and later in 1994, diversified into Jewellery and subsequently into eyewear.
Titan’s total income for FY 2020-21 was at Rs 20,783 crore, up 3 per cent and its profit after tax was down nearly 42 per cent to Rs 877 crore. As of March 31, 2021, Titan operated 1,909 stores with 2.5 million square feet of retail space. Titan, which is also one of the largest watchmakers globally, operated 662 Watch care centres in 241 cities.