Luxury Marketing and Catering to the Posh

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How India’s luxury market has been shaped over the years – from USD 23.8 billion to 30 Billion

India’s luxury goods market has witnessed a remarkable growth over the years, keeping at par with countries like UAE, Australia and Singapore. Fueled by rapidly growing urban middle class, India is seeing an unprecedented growth amongst all luxury categories – some of which are seeing a particularly intense growth and interest from international players.

The consideration has been on the upswing, with India offering a rather unrivaled demographic dividend on the back of more than one million young adults entering the job market every month with their purchasing power and interests. However, this is not the only reason behind the exponential growth in luxury segment – as evident in the progress and growth chat of multiple brands. The market is filled with examples of clever marketing and initiatives by mavericks who have been perceptive of the country’s luxury market.

Former Managing Director of auction house Sotheby’s India, Gaurav Bhatia, has had his own experience foraying as one of the first generation of luxury marketers in the country. Heading South Asia’s Fine Art & Jewelry division, Bhatia’s advent in luxury and lifestyle, with Sotheby’s opened up a new market for the firm. Sotheby’s is one of the world’s largest brokers of fine and decorative art, jewelry, real estate and collectibles.

Bhatia also formerly headed the marketing division Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) and was responsible for the marketing and business development for the Luxury Wines & Spirits division for South Asia steering it to a robust volume growth in a highly taxed luxury category. LVMH is the world’s biggest luxury goods company, which sells luxury handbags, fashion and other leather goods, perfumes, cosmetics, and recently launched Fenty by Rihanna as the first multicultural brand to be launched out of the LVMH stable. LVMH in India will see a strong growth trend with the emergence of new malls opening up in Mumbai in the next few years.

The growth is also not limited to spirits and auctioned goods. India’s posh diaspora has also seen an interest in international luxury brands, such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Breitling among many others – stemming from an interest in international designer goods.

Prem Dewan, retail head, OSL Luxury Collections pointed out that Indians prefer shopping at retail stores over online shopping, especially when it comes to investing in luxury brands. Dewan added, “India has overtaken most countries and is now second to the United States when it comes to luxury retail segment. The luxury market in India is flourishing and is growing at a fast pace. The spending capacity of people in India has grown at a tremendous rate.”

Another reputed menswear designer, Sunil Mehra in India, acknowledged the potential of the sector. Mehra also asserted on the importance of marketing, stating that ‘wrong marketing techniques can impede the sector’s progress’. Sunil said, “The factor which can hinder growth is the placement of the product. It is important to note that market penetration has to be directed at the right segment, for a particular product or market. Mapping the pyramid of the retail sector is a must-do homework. Once it’s done, nobody can obstruct the dynamic growth.”

The market has further seen a growth because of some positive policies and regulations by the government in India – having ensured that the Indian market is no longer ignored by international brands. This has also offered opportunities to the new brands to set-up shops in India and create their own network to find a huge customer base for their products. The leaders and perceptive marketers have understood the distinct characteristics of the Indian market.

With millennials becoming consumers of luxury with a unique taste and new market avenues opening up in the country, the luxury goods industry is bound to see large growth numbers – with an increase in the number of stores and investments into India’s markets.

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