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European luxury courts the subcontinent

Int'l brands are looking East to market high-end accessories and jewellery to India’s uber-rich and those who want to be seen there, reports Radhika Pancholi.

business Updated: Feb 22, 2008 23:48 IST
Radhika Pancholi

International brands, especially from Europe, are looking East to market those high-end accessories and jewellery to India’s uber-rich and those who want to be seen there. Swiss watches, travel gear and high-end gems and jewellery are making their presence felt in a growing Indian retail market.

While statistics are not immediately available on the luxury segment as a whole, the luxury apparel segment alone is pegged at Rs 30 to 40 crore. “This is just the figure of what sells in India and not the total Indian consumption, which would also include what Indians buy on their international trips,” says Pankaj Gupta of Tata Strategic Management Group. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

No wonder, an increasing number of jewellery brands are making a beeline for India. Brands such as Valente, Calgaro, Rosato, Facco, Stefan Hafner, Morellato and Campo Marzio have tied up with India’s Gitanjali Lifestyle to launch their brands in India.

Speaking at the launch, Paola Provera of the Mariella Burani Fashion Group that controls brands such as Calgaro, Rosato and Facco under its belt was upbeat on the Indian market. “As a group, we have always been thinking on the Indian markets as it has huge growth potential. We needed a partner who would help us position our line of jewellery and we found such a partner in Gitanjali,” Provera said.
The Group would be launching its brands in Gitanjali stores across India. “We are looking at the store-in-store formats for our brands for the time-being,” she said. Manufacturing these fine pieces of jewellery in India is also on cards.

DIT, the group that owns the Stefan Hafner, Iosi, Roberta Porrati and La Nouvelle Bague brands is, however, sticking to the exclusivity of handcrafting its jewellery in Italy. A typical Stefan Hafner piece can cost anything between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 32 lakh.

The Indian partners for these tie-ups are upbeat too. “We would be retailing these brands through Gitanjali Retail ventures, our multi-brand stores for luxury goods,” Anuj Rakyan, Vice-President—Commercial, Gitanjali Group told Hindustan Times, adding that the plan was to have stores where all these brands and more were available under one roof. “We already have 15 such stores across the country. However we are yet to open in Mumbai,” Rakyan said.

He said the company was also looking at the accessories segment to get more high-end brands into India. It’s not just jewellery. Accessories such as Swiss knives, travel gear, watches and fragrances are also vying for a piece of the luxury pie.