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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

It's brand first, not profits for Omega in India

Himani Chandna Gurtoo, Hindustan Times  Vienna, Austria, April 07, 2013
First Published: 23:56 IST(7/4/2013) | Last Updated: 23:58 IST(7/4/2013)

For Swiss luxury watchmaker Omega, India is a complicated market. The lack of brand consciousness among Indian consumers has forced the company to focus on creating brand awareness first and profits afterwards.

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"The Indian consumer is not a typical brand fan like consumers in Europe, Japan and other countries," said Stephen Urquhart, president, Omega. "India is a complicated market where we have not been able to roll out our plans in full terms."

The Switzerland-based company has six boutiques and 48 stores across India. And it does not expect India to enter the list of top 10 markets, which contribute most to its turnover, before the next eight to 10 years. "But, India is one of the fastest-growing countries in the list of top 20 markets for us," said Urquhart.

Urquhart did not say whether the company has met its met break-even point in India. He, however, said that the company is optimistic about its growth plans for the domestic market. "The growing organised retail environment in the country is a healthy signal for us," said Urquhart while unveiling Omega's Ladymatic collection watches.

Targetting women's obsession for gold, the collection blends steel with gold to make it relatively affordable. "A gold watch is maybe what most ladies want to buy, but it is not always possible because the price of gold has gone through roof," said Urquhart. The collection starts at around Rs. 3.4 lakh and goes up to Rs. 44 lakh for an all-gold style set with diamonds.

(The writer's travel and stay was sponsored by Omega)


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