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Do you see India as a market where any brand can experiment with their products?
Well, I don't know what dimension of experimentation you are talking about or whether the reference is to foreign brands or local brands. If you look at foreign brands, we have seen instances of some global brands launching India-specific products, such as Canali or Jimmy Choo, which have clearly helped expand their business in India. So to that extent, yes, experimentation can work.
What are the trends in malls in Singapore and China currently? What new can be expected there?
Given the unique constraints around availability and cost of real estate in India, I don't think one can really draw straight-of-the-bat examples. That being said, mall management is a specialised field and simple elements like zoning, brand mix, adequate food-and-beverages or entertainment options, mall maintenance, etc, are all elements that need greater focus.
Which of your ambitious future plans will the L Capital Asia funding facilitate?
At L Capital Asia, we like to play the role of value-added investors - with a very deep and singular focus on lifestyle consumer businesses across the domains of consumer product brands (in categories like fashion, accessories, footwear and handbags, watches and jewellery, home decor, etc); beauty and wellness (both products and services); lifestyle, food and beverage (both products and services); selective retail and distribution; media and entertainment and travel, tourism and hospitality.
Geographically, we started with a very strong focus on only two countries: China and India. Today, our reach is pan-Asian, with investments in China, India, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, the UAE, etc.
Currently, less than 10 per cent of the funds that we have deployed so far have gone into Indian businesses. Only three of our 25 investments till date have been in Indian companies. While we have not made a new investment in India for the last three years, we do view the market as having strong long-term potential across all our focussed sub-sectors. We hope to increase our investment activity in the country going forward.
How do you feel e-shopping will change the way people shop in future?
The digital domain is having a big influence globally on how people shop, be it online or offline. So, it is not only about wider product availability, convenience and price arbitrage or discounts. It is also about how brands engage with consumers. E-shopping or e-commerce is but only one facet of the broader development. Internationally, companies are really working on more holistic O2O (offline to online) initiatives. We would expect that trend to permeate into India as well.
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