March 29: The second and final day of the third Mint-HT Luxury Conference saw an in-depth discussion on creating global brands by eminent personalities.
Addressing the opening session on: ‘Feeling Good: The Role of Luxury’, Mark Lee, CEO, Gucci, quoting a Nielsen survey, said aspiration levels in India were very high and 48% Indians aspire for a Gucci product.
At present, the company has two stores in India and plans to open two more in 2008.
Carlo Rivetti, chairman, Sportswear Company, said: “India is an unknown jewel. I didn’t know India till I came here.” The Sportswear boss said India should focus on its own inherent strengths like Ayurveda, which is becoming highly popular in the West.
Vittorio Missoni, chairman, Missoni and vice-chairman, CNMI (Milan Fashion Week), said, “There is huge potential in India because of its craftsmanship and art. The colours and styles of India are a perfect fit with those of Italy.”
The ITC group was keen on luxury retailing and large commercial spaces were earmarked for that purpose in all their new properties. Nakul Anand, divisional chief executive, ITC Hotels, said luxury is more about taste, and not money.
India’s retail market is estimated to total about $300 billion and is growing at more than 20% annually.
Frank Zambrelli, president and creative director, Leiber, said, “India has shown that a culture can maintain its culture and yet become a world superpower. We need to follow the Indian model and not try to impose or copy the Western one.”