Article: Titan Elevate: Making business challenges real for MBA grads

Employer Branding

Titan Elevate: Making business challenges real for MBA grads

The case-study competition has grown leaps and bounds in the past 2 years for the company. What is so intriguing for the top B-school (MICA, XLRI, FMS, MDI among others) students that it has touched more than 5000 participants. Read more.
Titan Elevate: Making business challenges real for MBA grads

Started in 2014, the Titan Elevate has seen huge thumbs-up from the B-school fraternity. Titan Elevate is a thought-provoking case-study competition for B-School students in India which also aims to brand the company as the ‘Employer of choice’ on campus. The initiative by Titan strives to equip fresh talent to face tomorrow’s business challenges in real-world situation. In its 3rd year in 2016, the case-study competition took place in September this year after rigorous assessments. Raj Narayan, Senior Vice President and Chief of Human Resources of Titan, shares more on the Titan Elevate programme with People Matters. 

The Titan Elevate initiative is an interesting concept. What was the thought behind this concept? Share the interesting journey of the initiative so far.

Titan Elevate was launched in 2014 in 11 premier B-Schools in the Country with an objective of branding Titan as an 'Employer of choice' on campus, give students a preview of the life in Titan and crowd-source ideas on business situations For Season 1 and Season 2, we a case study challenge method was used where we gave students cases based on real life live business challenges. In season 3, the phase 1 of the challenge was more personal and we asked students to connect Titan to their lives. The journey has been a phenomenal success and we have seen the participation increase consistently year of year. Season 3 has touched more than 5000 students.

What is the procedure of the entire initiative? How do you select, trim and make way for the best talent to emerge as the winner?

As mentioned earlier Titan Elevate season 1&2 was based on case study format – seeking solutions & ideas from young minds. In order to build a greater connect with the individuals we launched season 3 in a different format – We realized that the one thing that all of us are passionate about is 'talking about ourselves. We asked the students to share their personal stories on a theme that resonates with what Titan is i.e.: ‘Restless, Responsible. Respected'. We asked students to take a plunge and share those moments where they would have failed, learnt from their mistakes, earned respect , were responsible etc. We then selected 2-3 students from each campus who got to work on the case study round. The college winners were called to Bangalore for a 3 day experiential learning opportunity where they got an opportunity to visit our stores, go through a workshop on Business Canvass Model and got mentored by senior leaders for the case study.

10 B-schools participated this year (incl. MICA, XLRI , FMS , MDI , IIFT , NMIMS, VGSoM , TAPMI , SCMHRD , SIBM ) . The number of people participating increased from 750 to 1300 this year. The engagement on the digital platform has increased from 3000 to 11000.


This year the competition is focused on the theme ‘elevating experiences for the people and its impact on the world’. What is the idea behind this theme and how are you going to extrapolate this from the participants?

We wanted to build a greater connect with the individual through their personal stories, we wanted to engage with them by giving them a feel of how it is like to work with Titan. The elevating experience was not just for the participating students, but for all those associated with the even from Titan too. Alongside we did a lot of digital drives through our page ‘Titan Careers’ such as live chats with our senior leaders to drive the message of ‘openness and transparency’. 

The 3 Rs: Restless, Responsible, Respectable – can you share the success stories of Quartz and Tanishq, and how by being restless in attitude helped Titan reach where they are?

Titan first entered the watch business in 1987, it dared to be the only watchmaker in the world to be entirely quartz technology driven, this at a time when the Indian watch market was a predominant mechanical watch market. With its focus on pitching watches as a style accessory and its international design language, Titan disrupted the current market to quickly assume a dominant role. Through the years, Titan, has launched exciting products and made a mark for itself with its signature brand campaigns. Consider the successful light fuelled HTSE series, or the razor-thin genius of the Red Dot Award winning Edge watch collection, Titan has also managed to capture a major share of the ladies watch market with a unique brand for the design seeking Indian women, Titan Raga. Zoop, is another successful brand from the Titan portfolio that is sharply targeted at kids aged between 5 to 12 years, the latest feather in Titan’s cap is the launch of Titan JUXT, Titan’s first step into the world smartwatches.

After a giant success in the watch industry, we were swayed by the West where watches and jewellery were sold together. We then set out to create a jewellery division. Contrary to the other Tata entities that catered primarily to the male community, this potential offering from Tata was made for the opposite gender. With a vision to create an organization that inspired trust and had design, manufacturing, marketing and retail skills, we launched Tanishq in the year 1994 as a range of jewellery and ornate watches for the European and American markets. Even though the business had a huge wealth potential, the demand in the West declined due to slow economic growth followed by recession. We changed our business model and began focussing primarily on the Indian jewellery market. At the time, the Indian jewellery industry was disorganized and was limited to family jewellers. We revolutionized the jewellery buying behaviour in India and set new parameters for others to follow.

What are the ways by which this initiative will “equip fresh talent to face tomorrow’s business challenges ”

We assigned mentors to all the teams who made it to Phase 2, which gave them a hands-on experience of how feasibly their ideas can be implemented in the current business environment. The store stints gave them an opportunity to understand the ground reality, and experience end-to-end store processes. The primary and secondary research conducted by students gave them an insight into consumer psyche.

What has been Titan’s ROI in this?

  1. Out-of-Box solutions – The panellist evaluating during grand finale are mostly the business heads including our MD which has makes it easier to absorb young ideas in the business.

  2. Employer Branding – With our page likes increasing up to 11000 currently on Facebook clearly shows the extant of brand awareness on campus.

  3. Talent pool – The winners are selected through a rigorous 3 step process of storytelling, semi-finale and finale by panellists who are mostly from business. This helps in attracting the best talent available.

  4. Help in building Titan’s equity on campus.

And what’s the prize for the winners. 

We are offering Pre-placement interviews for the 2nd year and summer internship interviews for the first year winners. Giveaways also include Mia –Gold & diamond earrings, our newly launched smart watch – Juxt pro, xylys, Raga & Edge watches.

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Topics: Employer Branding, Leadership

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