After acquiring Samuels last year and Rogers this month, Gitanjali Group has entered into a joint venture with Italy-based Morellato & Sector Group. Through the JV, the jewellery major will be launching 10 international watch and jewellery brands. The total investment for this is stated to be in the region of $15-20 million.
The agreement between the two companies provides for the distribution of all the watch and jewellery brands of the Italian group – mainly, Morellato, Molecole, Sector, Philip Watch, Just Cavalli Jewels, Just Cavalli Time, Miss Sixty Jewels, Miss Sixty Time, Roberto Cavalli Timewear, John Galliano, and Pirelli Pzero Tempo. Retailing will be through high-end jewellery and watch shops in India and through the opening of dedicated stores as a joint venture. The brands will be distributed through various Gitanjali Lifestyle outlets and multi-brand watch stores called Bezel.
In the words of Shashank Pathak, vice president – Retail, Gitanjali Lifestyle, “We will be looking at launching an assembly plant in India for the watches, and plan to open 151 outlets to retail these watches across the country. By 2008, we plan to have 25 Bezel stores across India, which will be a mix of company-owned as well as franchise stores.” Commenting on the rationale behind this JV, Pathak added, “Luxury watches is a natural extension to jewellery business, and Morellato brands will strengthen the existing portfolio of Gitanjali Group. The Indian watch industry is marketed at Rs 4,000 crore and is growing at the rate of 32 per cent per annum.”
Elaborating more, Pathak said, “The JV aims to have a 360-degree approach in the value chain, from having a manufacturing base in India to branding and distribution of the same through the group’s extensive network.”
Massimo Carraro, CEO of Morellato & Sector, said, “We are bringing Italian design and fashion along with the quality and tradition of our watch production. The entry into the Indian market will allow us to protect our position with greater force in the Far East, an area that is witnessing exceptional growth and in which we greatly believe.”
– Zainab Morbiwala, Mumbai Bureau