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The Tanishq saga began in the early 1990’s, primarily fuelled by the fabled Tata entrepreneurial spirit and partly forced by circumstance. Tanishq was coined from a combination of Tata/Tamil Nadu and Nishq (meaning a necklace of gold coins) and, again, from Tan, meaning body and Ishq, meaning love.
It was launched in 1994 as a range of jewellery and jewellery watches meant for the European & American markets. But things began to change globally around this time, and the West entered a protracted period of slow economic growth followed by recession. Supplying jewellery to the Americans & Europeans suddenly no longer seemed an attractive proposition.
Tanishq, today, is perhaps the only major Tata brand with a strong appeal for women. Very importantly, Tanishq has brought to the market a whole new standard of business ethics and product reliability, in the process bringing about a transformation in the manner in which jewellery is bought and sold in India.
The splendid Titan watches success story was already up and running, and happened to need more foreign exchange to purchase the imported components and machines required to keep up with the burgeoning watch production.
But with India going through a foreign exchange crisis, there was no help coming in, forcing Titan to search for a business that would earn them the required foreign currency.
It was a business with a huge wealth potential and it added a very feminine offering to Tata’s long line of products that appealed mostly to the opposite gender. It also called for an organization that inspired trust and had high order design, manufacturing, marketing and retailing skills, and Tata fit the bill on all accounts.
Tanishq, therefore, switched tracks and shifted its focus to the Indian market and develop a somewhat grandiose vision of the brand as a composite avatar of Cartier, Tiffany, Esprit, and Ernest Jones all rolled in one.