Tanishq has adopted a “hybrid” strategy for its expansion in the UAE by partnering with Sharaf Retail


29th March 2023

Tanishq has adopted a “hybrid” strategy for its growth in the UAE. To expand its business in the Gulf region, the company, which is owned by the Tata Group, has partnered with Sharaf Retail in Dubai to establish new stores through a franchise model

It is unusual for gold and jewellery retailers to use a franchise model. In the UAE, most stores are owned by the brands themselves, such as Malabar Gold & Diamonds, Damas, Joyalukkas, Kanz, and Jawhara. This retail approach was logical because these businesses are mostly family-owned or affiliated enterprises that preferred to handle everything within their own structure.

When Tanishq initially entered Dubai, it owned the stores directly, or did it?

Kuruvilla Markose, who is the CEO of the International Business Division at Titan Company Ltd., provides clarity on the matter. “When we start in a new region (such as the UAE/Gulf), we prefer to directly own the first set of outlets as that helps us gain first-hand experience in the new region,” he said.

This is where Sharaf Retail comes into play. Over time, Sharaf Retail has emerged as a dominant player in the retail industry for technology and electronics products under the brand Sharaf DG.

“Jewellery is a high potential category and as we delve into this new space, we wanted the right partner,” said Sharafuddin Sharaf, Vice-Chairman, Sharaf Group.

Tanishq has been selling its jewellery collections in the UAE for more than two decades. However, it wasn’t until late 2020 that the brand decided to enhance its visibility by opening standalone showrooms in Dubai, which it owns, and has since expanded to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Additionally, Titan, the sister brand that specializes in watches, has 21 showrooms in the UAE, out of which 18 are owned by the company, and three are operated by Rivoli.

“In the long term, the Titan Company believes that a good combination is for about 30 per cent of the outlets to be owned by the company and 70 per cent by partners,” said Markose. “The company uses the outlets it owns to showcase the best ways to achieve both revenue growth and great customer experience.

“Partners learn from this and also bring their regional expertise, creating a win-win for Titan, its partners and customers.”

Of the seven Tanishq boutiques in the UAE, three are company-owned and four by ‘long-standing partners who already own Tanishq stores in India and wanted to invest in the UAE growth story’.