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World's biggest and best brands at HT summit

business Updated: Mar 30, 2007 00:26 IST
Vinod Nair

Twenty top executives from prestigious luxury houses from around the world will participate in the Hindustan Times Mint Luxury Conference, the second such conference from HT Media Ltd, that begins at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi on Friday. Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath and French Foreign Trade Minister Christine Lagarde will inaugurate the conference.

The keynote speakers at the conference include Yves Carcelle, chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, Francoise Montenay, president of Chanel SAS, Christian Blanckaert, executive vice-president of Hermès International, Philippe Leopold-Metzger, CEO of Piaget, Michele Norsa, CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo, and Christophe Caillaud, president of Jean Paul Gaultier.

“India offers a large consumer base for luxury companies wanting to enter here. The rapid increase in disposable income has further added on to the potential for luxury products establishing in the Indian market,” said HT Media Vice Chairperson and Editorial Director Shobhana Bhartia. “The Hindustan Times Mint Luxury Conference comes at a time when India is gearing itself up as one of the favourite destinations for luxury retailing.”

With its theme ‘India – Captivating the World’, the two-day luxury conference will have presentations and discussions by the keynote speakers pertaining to the growing market for luxury goods in India vis-à-vis other developing markets elsewhere in the world. “I believe India has phenomenal potential and growth has been exceptional. In fact, the volume of business in India is proportionately larger than when we started in China,” said Carcelle of Louis Vuitton.

“Habits have changed: earlier people in India only invested in gold, today they also invest in accessories. And this is not a new phenomenon for us in India. In the case of Louis Vuitton, our history with India goes back many years, well before we established a retail presence in the market,” said Carcelle.

"Several of our most exceptional special orders were for Indian maharajahs who took the art of travel to a new level. Some of these pieces, including a trunk created for the maharajah of Baroda in the 1920s, can be seen in our museum in Asnières," said Carcelle.
Talking about the Hindustan Times Mint Luxury Conference, Chanel SAS's Montenay said, "The HT Luxury Conference is a good platform that enables international and Indian companies (and the administration) to exchange views."

Other prominent CEOs who will speak at the conference include Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne of Estèe Lauder Companies Inc, Alain Viot of Lladro, Diego Rossetti of Fratelli Rossetti, Armando Branchini of Altagamma, Elisabeth Ponsolle des Portes of Comitè Colbert, Odile Roujol of Lancome, Didier Grumbach of the Federation Francaise de la Couture and French luxury shoe designer Christian Louboutin.