The luxury sector in India was worth 4.76 billion dollars in 2009, 5.8 billion dollars in 2010 and is pegged at a whopping 14.7 billion dollars in 2015, according to A.T. Kearney report. In 2012 itself, luxury sector in India is set to see a growth of 25 percent. A Technopak Survey for luxury trends in India in 2011-12 reported that India ranks at the 15th place amongst the all the countries having the highest number of high net worth (HNI) individuals in the world. While highly customized and exclusive luxury goods remain popular in India, there are a few new trends that local and international luxury brands are adapting in India for 2012. Here’s a quick look.
The big fat Indian gifting culture
Indians are highly accustomed to multiplicity of festivals and complex family structures. This makes gifting a significant part of Indian culture. And this is something that international brands are expected to ride on in 2012. India’s gifting season begins post October each year and international luxury brands will adapt to festive gifting by combining local and cultural elements with their own creations. Many International luxury brands are making foray into India, especially after single brand retail FDI approval by Indian Government.
More luxury lingerie
Pamela Harper, a luxury industry veteran from about 32 years who represents Halcyon Days and Myla, an old British lingerie brand told Mint that 2012 will also see new luxury lingerie brands entering the Indian market. And for the lingerie brands that already exist, more of their product extension and market penetration will take place. The lingerie market in India is largely under promoted, owing to low levels of Indian consumer acceptance and cultural restraints. Luxury brands have an opportunity to fill in this space and capitalize on it.
Education in the Luxury industry
With the Indian economy growing dynamically and welcoming more foreign brands in the luxury sector, education too has assumed importance. Not only are more Indian students pursuing their degree in Luxury Management as a specialization abroad, but international scholarships in this area are also being offered. Italian art and design institutes Nuova Academia di Belle Arti (NABA) and Domus Academy announced scholarships worth a total of $460,000 for international applicants, including five specifically wanted from India in March 2012. Representatives from these institutes have showed a special interest in India because of its growing potential in the luxury goods and design wear sector.
Don’t be surprised if you see a Swarovski crystal on a handbag or Burberry designing camera covers. The point here is that an emerging luxury trend in India for 2012 is pointing largely towards established brands diversifying into other ventures. David S Graves, CEO, Laureate Hospitality, Art & Design, Laureate International Universities Network stated that India too will witness this international trend on its own shores. Prada and D & G have already designed cell phones for LG and Motorola. Designers like Armani, Gucci and Versace are designing hotels and interiors. India will also see luxury makers diversifying their offerings. Tata taking over Jaguar points towards this trend amplifying in the future.
Growth in environmental friendliness
While CSR reporting and carbon footprint is gaining serious dimensions all across the world, Indian corporates too have been catching up with green initiatives. The luxury sector in particular also has been showing interest in adhering to environmental regulations. This is because their younger consumers are particularly conscious about their luxury perfume being animal tested or which leather they are wearing.
In addition to these trends, art rentals, wine and cigar clubs amongst the Indian highbrow, bespoke luxury services, exotic sports, luxury travel to exotic destinations, B-towns becoming hubs for luxury buyers and the mushrooming of more luxury malls were reported by Technopak to be the game changers of the luxury segment in India in 2012.
Let’s see how India’s tryst with super-luxe pans out in 2012!