Indians have been warming up to global luxury brands for some time now. But, the trend over recent years has been so obviously on the upswing that you cannot ignore the growth of this segment any more, asserts Abhay Gupta.
The mere mention of the word 'luxury' throws up instant images of grandeur, high fashion, designer clothing, fashion shows, Bollywood, glossy magazines, Page 3, and a high dose of sensual-visual appeal. It is another fact that luxury is much more than just fashion.
Luxury is a lifestyle, and fashion is just a minuscule part of it. Businesswise-the most visible or voluminous part of the overall luxury trade, fashion has also been quite an employment generator. In the last few years, the luxury segment in India has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 25 per cent. As per a report by the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the market is expected to hit $18.6 billion by the end of 2016 from the current $14.7 billion.
The Indian luxury landscape is currently experiencing strong evolutionary undercurrents that are redefining the consumer profile and how luxury players operate in this domain. Besides fashion, service areas such as fine dining, electronics, luxury travel, luxury personal care and jewellery have been seeing increasing revenues, and are expected to grow by 30-35 per cent over the next three years. Spending on luxury cars continue to rise growing at 18-20 per cent during the same period. As the purchasing power of women keeps rising in India, the luxury beauty products market too has been witnessing a fast paced growth.
Additionally, luxury is no longer the privilege of the few who were born into wealth. There is now a larger consumer base, which has the money to splurge but want a real value proposition at the same time. No longer is luxury fashion out of reach-a true democratisation of luxury and fashion has taken place.
The Indian roots of luxury
But how has luxury fashion built up over the years to its current pace? When did the lines between Indian fashion and international fashion start blurring? How is the 'Make in India' movement going to impact the luxury fashion scenario? When will India produce a truly international luxury fashion brand?