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Exclusive & Personal

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Luxury is often associated with the elitist and the exclusive . Thus, till a decade or so ago, even the affluent in India saw it as unattainable. Today, luxury is all about aspiration. The young have begun to dream bigger, plan better and are focused on achieving their dreams at the earliest. In my view, luxury is the promise of a young India and a reflection of a country that aims for the moon. India has over 2 million households earning $100,000 or more annually and these households are expected to grow at 13 per cent over the coming years. While there could be a myriad different ways of enhancing affordability, it is only a certain quality of taste and thinking that can ensure understated, beautiful and elitist luxury.

The Evolving Consumer
The Indian youth have tided over this apprehension very effectively. Their innate intellect and media-savvy attitude has provided them the required exposure to discern between luxury and gaudy flamboyance. The Indian consumer has evolved — from being deprived to being flooded with offers; from being price conscious to being value conscious. New ventures and high-paying jobs have taken luxury into the homes of many. Affluent Indian youngsters in the 25-30 age group will  continue  to be the focus of global luxury marketers over the next decade or two.

Brand Communication
It  has become a necessity for marketers to focus on communication to build and sustain their brand’s exclusive experience. Luxury brand communication today is timeless and yet contemporary. Customers seek engagement at the store as well as at the post-sales stage. Thus, good customer relationship management and an effective sales staff has and shall remain a key differentiator for luxury brands.

To me, luxury is bespoke and this aspect goes back to the time of the royals, with their exclusive handmade watches and jewellery pieces with intricate detailing. This exclusivity is important for me in all my lifestyle products and solutions, as they reflect my style.

The author is chairman and MD of Raymond

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 14-01-2013)