(Clockwise from top left) Smita Jain (Director – MGLuxM, SP Jain), Darshan Mehta (President & CEO, Reliance Brands Limited) and Nitish Jain (President, SP Jain) in conversation during the webinar on ‘Re-Imagining Luxury’
SP Jain School of Global Management hosted a webinar on ‘Re-Imagining Luxury’ with Darshan Mehta (President & CEO, Reliance Brands Limited) on September 5, 2020, where he shared valuable insights with the participants on the transformation of the luxury fashion sector in India. The session was moderated by Smita Jain (Director – Master in Global Luxury Goods & Services Management, SP Jain).
Reliance Brands Limited (RBL), part of the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), is the largest player in luxury to premium lifestyle space with an enviable portfolio of 56 international brands, operating 438 mono-brand stores and 346 shop-in-shops in India.
Here is a summary of the key takeaways from the session:
How does an Indian customer understand luxury?
Darshan Mehta: In India, luxury customers are placed in cohorts such as ‘new money’ and ‘old money’. The main factor that drives luxury sales in India is the ‘Psychographic tool’. Every individual has multiple personas, thus, embracing multiple brands.
The difference between Indian and Chinese luxury markets
Darshan Mehta: India will never be the next China in terms of luxury. India will always be the next India. ‘Luxury’ in India is like a tide, although China is 6X (greater) of India in terms of retail.
Marketing the ‘Made in India’ tag
Darshan Mehta: We need to adopt the thought process of the Western countries where “the money lies in the intellectual property” and not in the physicality of the product. The western world has started to become aware of the Indian luxury essence. The next inspiration of Giorgio Armani will come from India.
Future of the traditional brick and mortar retail vs e-commerce
Darshan Mehta: Physical experience can never be replaced by the online experience. Loyal customers would rather go to the store for the feel-good experience. Online purchasing of luxury sometimes can be lonely and clinical experience-wise.
The most important part of luxury is innovation!
Darshan Mehta: Fashion being the highest polluting sector, no brand is sustainable to its true essence. Sustainability can be achieved by adopting the approach of “Less is More”.
The secret to success
Darshan Mehta: To be successful, one should have fresh thoughts and be bold. Always have a curious mind and be with people who have a different mindset. And, lastly, be patient!
Outlook for the 2021 Luxury Fashion market
Darshan Mehta: The discretionary spend on expensive products is merely dented. The high spenders would still spend and make purchases. Thus, individuals, especially young graduates, should not fear about not making their career in the Luxury Fashion segment.
If you missed the webinar, you can watch the full talk here: