India is a country that is embracing luxury at its best. Luxury is a constantly evolving and subjective concept, not easy to define.
Luxury and fashion have grown beyond cosmopolitan cities such as Delhi and Mumbai to cities like Ludhiana, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Hyderabad. Fashion retail businesses are targeting conscious consumers and aspiring sections of society that include young executives and entrepreneurs.
Designer, Nikhil Thampi says, “Luxury in India has always been at forefront, it is just now that it has taken the lime-light. Now, people are aware of what is happening in the world. We are accessible over a click through Instagram, Twitter. So, our reach is very vast. Initially, we were typographed to be very traditional in our approach but now, seeing the expansion of Indian designers on global runway is taking the world by storm.”
There is a vast improvement in standard of living, factors like price consciousness has decreased, and the advent of technology (mobile and e-commerce) are leading to consumers demanding latest trends and products at par with the world’s best. The reach of the digital medium is far and wide, and has been a key factor in increasing the awareness of the international luxury brands in India.
Designer, Rocky S says, “We are from the culture which believes in luxury from every angle. Time has changed and people look up to Bollywood celebs as fashion icons and they aspire to wear what the actors are wearing as that it luxurious for them. Besides that there are a lot of luxury brands that have evolved in three – five years. Now, everybody understands luxury very well. Over the time, it has become acceptable and easily accessible.”
The new luxury consumer is younger, better informed and more global. With the emergence of a new class of affluent young Indians with great purchasing power, India is now a lucrative market to invest in for luxury brands. A large portion of these young consumers want to define their own rules and are open to experimenting.
Promoter and Director Ador Group and Co-founder 1908 eventures, Deep Lalvani says, “Over the last ten years, many brands have entered the Indian market, so the exposure to the brands have increased. Local brands have come up with very specific products. The digital world has helped a lot in spreading the awareness about the products and grow the market faster. It is a great time to be in this space.
India’s luxury market has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. The market has been maturing at a steady pace with a change in the customer profile through the years. In 2012, India was the fastest growing luxury market in the Asia-Pacific region, brisker than even China and saw an almost 30 per cent increase in 2013.
CEO, Myenvybox, Rishi says, “What exciting about India is, unlike the West and the rest of the world where luxury has grown up in a brick-and-mortar environment, we will be the first ones to experience luxury growth online.”
The luxury market is likely to witness unprecedented growth across categories including jewellery, fashion, automobiles and fine dining. Driven by increasing disposable income and aspirations, Indian consumer spending is expected to grow many times in near future.