When fashion and function merge

Johnson Verghese, VP, Managing Director, Fossil India Pvt. Ltd. shares the latest from the world of watches, at the launch of the fourth Fossil retail store in Bengaluru.


1. What is the look and feel of the new store in Bengaluru?
If you look at our store today, it’s nice, clean and modern looking but there are many core elements of vintage. The use of stone on the floor is a very vintage themed element. It probably goes back to 1950s in terms of the patterned stoned flooring. Every single aspect of our brand brings in some element of design that relates back to vintage. Vintage is inherent in everything that we do but it’s not the only element, Fossil is vintage and so much more. It’s actually a marriage of themes of modern plus vintage. So the products are modern but we’re looking at some elements that express vintage. There’s a sense of nostalgia when people talk about vintage, for all of us.

2. How has the Bengaluru market been for you and what are your expansion plans here in the south?
We are not limited to regions or metro cities; we would love to go beyond that. In fact, we’re present across many cities in the country and we’ll look at every new city that offers infrastructure that allows us to get in. We have no limitations in numbers, we definitely want to grow the brand in a fairly uniform manner. We’re a global brand but we have a certain partiality for Bengaluru, as we’re headquartered here.

3. What makes brand Fossil different from others in the same segment? What makes it a class apart?
It’s all about what the core values as a brand are. The core of our philosophy is getting the design right, making sure that the products that we bring into the market are relevant and there is a lot that we do to make that happen. In India, we genuinely hear the voice of the consumers and based on that, we pull in what they really want. So, we have the advantage of being a global company who listens to the global trends but also provide inputs from the Indian consumers via a regular structured process, that makes it a part of the global design mix. Additionally, I can quite clearly say that we lead the market in the fashion space with our smartwatches because we’re in the technology plus fashion space put together. We’re not in the gadget space and we don’t treat our watches as functional devices either. Of course it does the functional job, but it’s a fashion device first. We merge the two concepts of fashion and function together into our smartwatches.

4. What are the new watch trends globally?
Technology is an inevitable in our lives and as it continues to grow, it becomes more and more an integral part of our lives. While technology is an inherent element that we integrate into our lives from a fashion perspective, people’s innate desire to be fashion oriented hasn’t changed. Colours, dials that are customisable to match your wardrobe and the occasion will always be in.

5. What are Fossil’s new product launches?
The Gen5 just got launched a couple of days ago and we’re expecting that it’ll do even better than all the previous generations that we’ve had. Generation 5 smartwatches are an advanced version of Generation 4 smartwatches that bring forth various features that Gen4 didn’t have, so it’s a continuing story for us. We also launched Fossil Sport smartwatch just a while back in India which is doing exceedingly well already. It is a much youthful and attractive smartwatch that appeals to younger people who are fitness and athleisure oriented.

6. What are the future plans?
Our core business in the country is watches and we’d continue to focus on them. However, we’re also looking at a steady growth for our leather goods and jewellery in the country.