New Delhi: Luc Rochereau, regional brand director, Middle East, India and Africa, at one of the oldest Swiss luxury watch brands IWC Schaffhausen, sees India as one of its top 20 markets by 2022.
IWC Schaffhausen, which sells watches priced at $5,000-25,000 (excluding special collections), is working “extensively" to achieve that dream by shifting focus to women consumers in the country.
Recently, the brand, a part of the €10,647 million Richemont group that also owns brands such as Cartier, Montblanc and Piaget, has launched a new line of watches for women in India called 2017 Da Vinci Collection.
The collection comes with a round case studded with crowns. The company will also be offering selective models with added diamonds, straps and bracelets.
This is IWC’s second launch targeted at women in India. The company had launched its first line Portofino in 2014, which, according to Rochereau, has done very well.
IWC Schaffhausen also appointed Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor as its brand ambassador earlier this year. “We are working extensively in India. India is a very high potential market for us. That’s why we chose Sonam Kapoor. We wanted to highlight feminity, luxury and class at the same time. At present, India is one of our top 40 markets," Rochereau said, without disclosing the exact rankings.
IWC Schaffhausen is retailed at seven points of sales in India and 100 globally. However, the company has presence in almost all the countries across the globe via e-commerce. “We have also started our own platform in a few countries including America. We are currently selling through Net-a-porter and Mr. Porter (online marketplaces)," he said.
In India, the company has partnered with multiple retailers for different cities, including Johnson Watch Co. (Delhi), Kapoor Watch Co. (New Delhi), Ethos Watch Boutiques (Bengaluru), Art of Time and Rose (Mumbai), The Helvetica (Chennai) and Exclusive Lines (Kolkata).
Going forward, the company is setting up its second manufacturing facility in Schaffhausen in Switzerland. IWC is also planning to sell its products through its own e-commerce platform in China and Europe.
According to data from market research firm Euromonitor, luxury timepiece industry in India was estimated at Rs1,404 crore (at sales value) in 2016, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.7%. Between 2016 and 2022, the industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.9%.