Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Is India the Luxury Goods White Knight? 26/11/08

CNN ran an essay competition inviting business students and young entrepreneurs to take part in a competition to answer the question, Why India means business? There are some very interesting essay results from the winner and several runner's up.

Of particular interest is Brenton Cordeiro's comments in relation to India in general and also luxury, he was a runner up and he currently works with the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media. Brenton says...."It's no wonder that the industrial and services sectors account for over 80 percent of the country's GDP. With increasing margins and an ambitious business appetite, Indian enterprises have embarked on a shopping spree, purchasing companies and signing deals in various countries.

India's Tata Group for instance, made headlines when it bought luxury car icons Jaguar and Land Rover. Anil Ambani's Reliance Entertainment tied up with Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios in a $600 million deal in mid-2008. A report by consultancy firm IndusView Advisors said that Indian business houses had finalized overseas mergers and acquisitions worth $26 billion till September-end this year.....

Manufacturers of high-end products have also entered the foray targeting India's growing rich. From Rolls Royce to Cessna, Gucci to Jimmy Choo, the lot of them have descended on Indian cities wooing the potentially huge market of India's young, brand-conscious, professionals and entrepreneurs who take home hefty pay packets."

There is such a huge population in India (and disparate mix therein) and even gaining a very small market share of the very wealthy is opportune. The more India relaxes regulation the more foreign investment is increasing. According to Brenton "India managed a cool $25 billion in foreign direct investment inflows in 2007-08." Increases in internal and external investment ensure India is increasing its importance as a key market on the global stage. Luxury brands are seeing these opportunities and pushing further into this market, with the most recent new store openings being by Hermes and Giorgio Armani. Luxury brands who made their early foray such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel in particular have seen the opportunity and will only invest and venture into new territories with a very long term view. These are early days indeed, and we watch with interest.

And Brenton's final comment "The icing on the cake for India Inc: The Forbes List of Billionaires 2008 included 53 Indians. India dominated the top ten on that list with a tally of four Indians, more than any other country". So take that!

Read more of Brenton's essay plus the other Runners-Up and most importantly the winning essay...

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Melinda O’Rourke is the founder and Director of MO Luxury, a dynamic, Sydney-based management firm specialising in luxury brands and services. Melinda and her associates at MO work with local and international brands across prestige retail, fashion, fine jewellery, timepieces and specialised services. Melinda is well-connected, well-read, and well-versed in the demands of the luxury market and its client base. Her advice is firmly based in objectivity and ultimately, accountability. Melinda offers constructive counsel and both strategic and creative thinking and is able to draw upon a strong network of specialised talent to compliment the MO Luxury team as needed. Melinda enjoys excellent industry relationships and is regularly quoted in the business and fashion media. Read more about MO Luxury,