Speaking at the launch, Bhaskar Bhat, Managing Director, Titan Company Limited said, “As a company, we believe that sarees are a natural extension for Titan. We are known for creating design-led lifestyle brands that enable self-expression including Titan, Tanishq, Fastrack, Xylys, Raga, Skinn (fragrances) and now Taneira. Similar to the jewellery market when we began, this 5,000 year old category is a large, unorganized market and underserved in terms of authenticity of the product. Seeing the tremendous reception, we have had in our pilot stage of the business, we are confident this venture will be an opportunity for us to build relevance and enable transparency and authenticity for the customer.”
Understanding the Store
The flagship store, which is spread across 7,500 sq. ft., showcases a curated range of handcrafted sarees from across the country. The impressive collection ranges from Mugas from Assam, Ikats from Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa; Jamdhanis from Bengal, Chanderis & Maheshwaris from Madhya Pradesh to a vast collection of Tussars, India’s indigenous silk.
The store also houses an entire floor dedicated to bridal trousseaus and is resplendent with Banarasi silks including the rare-to-find Raktambari, Shwetambari, Gyasar and Hazaar buti. This section also showcases a wide range of rich Kanjeevarams in myriad hues.
Ajoy Chawla SVP and Strategy & Business Incubation at Titan Company Limited says, “Given the rich heritage of Indian textile weaving and crafts, Taneira has chosen to celebrate sarees, handmade with love from pure and natural fabrics, handpicked from the diverse weaving clusters of India; thus, delivering an expansive and exclusive collection, all under one roof.”
The flagship store at South Extension Part 1 is a reflection of the brand’s philosophy – the store has been designed using purely natural materials, handmade by artisans across India. Taneira’s celebration of traditional Indian crafts in an upscale earthy setting comes alive not only in the vibrancy of their product range, but also in this unique store, designed by Auroville-based Dharmesh Jadeja, Founder of the design firm Dustudio. A visual treat for the keen eye, the store reflects the magic of Indian textiles, motifs, landscape and culture.
“The design of the store is inspired by the beauty of the sarees of different regions depicting textures and landscapes of India. To give an earthy tone to the store, we have used old Tamil wood Calamardo for the fixtures and wood from old buildings to construct the legs of tables,” says Jadeja.
“An earthy tone has been chosen for the store in order to help the colours of the sarees stand out beautifully in stark contrast,” he adds.
“A saree is very sensitive to lighting, so most the material that we have used to design the store absorbs light. We have selected ambient light – close to natural daylight – which almost brings out the real colours. Lighting is mostly done from the ceiling,” he reveals.
Apart from this, the store boasts of a big terracotta wall cladding, Makrana marble window to allow natural light to seep in, old mosaic tiles on floors and panels inspired from hand-paintings by women who live in rural areas.
Dustudio has designed Taneira’s Delhi stores. They are also working on other stores of the brand in Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai. The approximate cost involved in designing the store ranges from Rs. 3,000-4,000 per sq. ft.
The primary target audience of the brand is predominantly women over 30 years of age who choose to wear sarees and Indian dress wear. The secondary target audience is women below 30 years of age who seek Indian wear for important occasions in their lives including weddings, work occasions, festivals, etc.
In terms of a mindset, she is progressive yet rooted. Her choices reflect her refined taste and self-expression. The brand sees her as independent, balanced and celebrating tradition while not being bound by it.
Shyamala Ramanan, Business Head, Titan Company Limited, says, “Taneira celebrates authenticity in every sense of the word – in our products, in our retail experience, in our crafting of the store, and most importantly, in the woman that we stand for. The Taneira woman is unapologetically herself, comfortable in her skin; rooted yet progressive. She wears the saree out of choice, not compulsion and celebrates tradition but is not bound by it.”
The pricing strategy of the brand is comparable with pricing in the market for similar products – handwoven and pure fabrics.
“We have a large range of products in all price bands, starting at Rs 1,500 for formal/ daily wear, while a large part of our range is from Rs 4,000-8,000 for festive and occasion wear. The more exclusive designs for bridal wear and heavy occasions are available from Rs 12,000 and goes up to Rs. 2.5 lakh,” explains Ramanan.
The brand, which launched its first pilot store in Bengaluru in 2017, is still exploring both high-street and malls. At present, understanding customers is more important for them. The brand’s custodians say they will make future plans for whenever they are confident that the present is secure.
The brand has four stores currently – 2 in Bengaluru and 2 in Delhi. Each city has one outlet in mall and other at the high-street.
“The stores are a process of discovery. Each store has a different format. The offer discovery of products is a sensorial treat and everytime you walk-in here will be something new that you will find, and you have not noticed in your previous trip,” says Ramanan.
“Apart from offline stores, we have also started online operations with Taneria.com and are fairly happy with the response that we are getting. We are also present on the luxe space TataCliQ. Online we are showcasing a repertoire of products to get women into the physical store,” she adds.
At present, the brand has decided to open only company-owned outlets. The products will only be sold through exclusive branded outlets, Taneira.com and TataCliQ.
The brand is planning to open 10 stores in the next 12-18 months in the top 15 cities and plans to take the total store count to 50 in next 5 years.
“We want to reach not just the metros but also Tier I cities where demand for high-quality branded sarees is increasing. Aside from this, we are looking to open stores in cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Patna, Lucknow and Indore in the future,” concludes Ramanan.