The list of Swiss watchmakers who have launched their respective brands and sub-brands in India continues swelling. The 53-year-old Candino Swiss Watch Company is the latest of the lot. Candino, though not as celebrated a name as some of its Swiss counterparts, is a traditional family-run business which manufactures designer watches along four distinct lines - Class, Vitality, Craft, and Hardshell.
Candino entered the Indian market in November 1999 by 'soft launching' its range through its agents, Orient Centres, in Chandigarh. However, now the company is aiming to open 15 to 20 outlets by the end of 2000 in select metros and mini-metros such as Chandigarh, Delhi, Jaipur, Indore, Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Amritsar, and Hyderabad. The company is targeting sales of 4,000 to 6,000 watches during the current year, and hopes to sell up to 10,000 watches during 2001. Towards this end, Candino plans to target more metros later next year.
But the big question is, does India have a market to support so many players? "The Indian market had so far been dormant, but now it was opening up and offers great potential for the Swiss watches," insists Alfred Neuenschwander, director, Candino.
Though Candino watches are priced from Rs 6,000 to Rs 50,000, Neuenschwander said that only the medium priced watches in the Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000 range - under the Class and Vitality lines - were being introduced in the country. Higher end models would be launched, subject to consumer response.
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