How has COVID-19 affected the global luxury industry? How can luxury companies emerge stronger, more innovative and decisive after the battle against the coronavirus has been won? To answer these important questions and more, SP Jain School of Global Management hosted, for the very first time, a Power Panel webinar on April 14, 2020 bringing together luxury leaders from across the globe to share their insights, perspectives and relevant facts.
The webinar was attended by over 300 participants from around the world and included an eminent panel comprising:
- Ajit Pai (CEO Audi, Audi Thane & Mumbai West Region)
- Angelica Di Guglielmo (Luxury Brand Management Specialist & Worldwide Sales Director, Mischka Aoki, Milano)
- Gauri Kohli (Director - Luxury, PR Pundit, Delhi)
- Megha Malagatti (Business Development Director - L’Oreal, Paris)
- Pareina Thapar (Co-Founder, Longform PR, Delhi)
- Saurabh Dube (Director of Sales & Marketing, St Regis, Mumbai)
- Tarek Azmi (Founder - Here's Good News Training & Co-founder - Grey Matter KSA, Dubai)
- Conversation Lead: Rizwan Bachav (Investment Banker/Key Opinion Leader Luxury & Lifestyle)
In response to the most pressing questions facing luxury brands today, the panellists highlighted key trends that will set the tone for a possible new era in the global luxury industry.
In-store luxury experiences will continue to dominate in the post-COVID world
While most sectors are shifting to digital means of shopping, the luxury retail segment has a unique stand. The segment is driven by the consumers’ need for indulgence and immersive experiences, which cannot be fulfilled through online platforms. Luxury holds a more symbolic value over functional for most consumers and industry experts believe that digitalisation of brands is a temporary solution. Although brands are acknowledging the need for omnipresence in times of COVID-19, most retailers believe that in-store experiences will continue to dominate luxury shopping post the pandemic.
Conscientious, responsible luxury is the future
Luxury brands have always enjoyed an air of exquisiteness and an association with being glitzy. However, the industry is now witnessing a change in consumer behaviour, with more people gravitating towards conscientious, responsible luxury as an effort to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. This has caused a ripple effect, leading brands and creators to seek slower lines of production that promote sustainability and creativity. Luxury brands are focusing on curating collections to address responsible consumption, and slow living, while maintaining their exclusiveness and premium quality at the same time.
India to occupy a coveted top spot in the global automobile production space
The automobile sector relies greatly on China, with the country accounting for 29% of the world’s total automobile manufacturing. While production in China cannot be avoided entirely, industry experts are expecting a shift to markets like India for production. India already has manufacturing capabilities; however, holds a small share of the pie at 2.9%. While the transition will take time, the shift is likely to put India on the global automobile map as it holds the potential to impact the employment and economy in the long run.
Domestic leisure travel to be the saving grace for the hospitality/aviation industries
Arguably, the hospitality and aviation sectors are amongst the most impacted segments due to COVID-19, with the Indian hospitality industry suffering losses to the tune of USD 4.5 billion. However, the industry is anticipating making a comeback by Q4, with certain sub-segments ruling over the others. While inbound and outbound tourism is expected to be slow, owing to the restrictions placed by countries on international travellers, the domestic corporate travel may also take a hit depending on the state of business in the country. However, domestic leisure travel is expected to rebound swiftly and will be a major factor in helping the industry recover post the pandemic.
The event was organised as part of SP Jain’s Master in Global Luxury Goods & Services Management curriculum, enabling students to get hands-on learning and up-to-date insights from industry experts.
The webinar was covered by leading publications including Shiksha, Education World and CXO Outlook.