There may be an economic slowdown, but India still matters for luxury brand Louis Vuitton, whose chairman and CEO Yves Carcelle was in the country recently.
The brand, initially associated with travel, now spans fashion, accessories and timepieces. HT’s Saurabh Turakhia caught up with him. Excerpts:
What is the purpose of your visit?
We wanted to restart the shop we have at the Taj (Mumbai) as soon as possible, after the terror attacks damaged it. I am here to pay a visit to our team as well as the Taj management and convey a message of confidence to them.
What are the challenges of operating in the Indian market?
There are administrative constraints in India. A little bit of administrative ease will help. The infrastructure is also not as developed as it should be, though I must admit that things are changing.
What are your India expansion plans?
As of now, we have four stores in India. In the next three to five years, we expect to be present in Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. These are dependent on the time taken for completion of the projects.
How is India developing as a luxury market?
The Indian luxury market is still very small but it is very important to have a strong relationship with it. India has started influencing the world and with its Oscar victory. It has forced people to look at it with a different eye. I am confident of the market in India because there is a strong supporting tradition here.