The ‘feel good’ factor has become synonymous with contemporary India. The country’s economic performance in the last decade or so has created a collective atmosphere of self-belief and confidence. The rise of India has also forged a stronger cultural identity. It is cool to be Indian. Given this background, there is an emergence of the concept ‘Indian luxury’. India has strong traditions in luxury, whether this refers to royal patronage or craftsmanship in textiles and jewellery. Luxury is no longer just about evoking western-influenced values and lifestyles.
We live in strange, paradoxical times. On one hand there are talks of high interest rates and inflation afflicting the Indian economy. And on the other, we are seeing luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Jimmy Choo and Burberry arriving in India, with malls, like the UB City mall in Bangalore and DLF Emporio in Delhi, dedicated to super luxury brands, being launched.
According to KSA Technopak, the market potential of the luxury and premium segment in India is around $18 billion and expected to grow three times as much in the next ten years. Estimates also demonstrate that 1.8 million Indian households spend about $10,000 per year on luxury and premium products and services. That’s an interesting statistic in the light of the current fears of a global slowdown.
Despite growing concerns over inflation and an economic slowdown that may have dampened buying sentiment, some new players have met with initial success in the Indian subcontinent. According to Ledbury Research, the global luxury goods market in 2006 was worth £75 billion, with annual sales growth in double figures. India has been identified as an important source of this growth. A survey conducted by AT Kearney estimates that the Indian luxury market is worth $377 million and is likely to growth at an annual rate of 28% in the next three years.
Fashion magazine Vogue, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Conde Nast India, claims that it...