The last few decades have seen a nuanced and dynamic change unfold in the relationship between Indian consumers and the luxury industry. Homegrown luxury names in India have transformed into brands catering to a global Indian as well as international clientele and setting up one of a kind experiential stores, and malls like DLF Emporio, The Chanakya, and the newly opened Jio World Plaza are presenting the modern Indian luxury consumer not only with brands that were earlier not accessible to us like Bulgari, Hermes, Cartier, and Tiffany & Co. among many more, but also curating a luxury shopping experience that rivals the experience of luxury shopping in European metropolitans.
Many factors contribute to this layered and ever-evolving Indian luxury consumer ecosystem, from our diverse social landscape, changing cultural dynamics, and a growing sense of self-expression and individuality, to increasing spending power, digitisation, and many more intricacies of our changing lifestyles here in India.
Bazaar India explores a few avenues of understanding the evolving Indian luxury ecosystem.
A CREATIVE REVOLUTION OF HOMEGROWN LUXURY
There has been a shift in the narrative of what “Made in India” stands for in luxury. From a sole focus on bridal wear, Indian luxury has transformed into a profitable and cultural storytelling through its exquisite craftsmanship, extraordinary weaves, and high quality.
This rebirth of homegrown luxury has attracted not only more seasoned luxury buyers in India who understand the craft, but also millennial and gen z luxury buyers who want to invest in luxury as a means of self expression and to convey their ethical values through art.
This shift has also placed India on the map of global luxury as a key industry player, with names like Gaurav Gupta, Rahul Mishra, and Sabyasachi cultivating a global clientele.
A GLOBAL RELATIONSHIP
Names from the Indian luxury industry expanding overseas have been balanced with an increasing number of luxury brands of French, Italian, Swiss, British, and American origin among others setting base in India.
Having recognized its ever growing spending power and changing social dynamics, international luxury brands want to benefit from the layered luxury consumer base here.
From ultra high net worth consumers who have had existing relationships with ‘heritage luxury brands’ like Hermes, Chanel and Dior and consumers newly entering the luxury market looking for ‘bridge to luxury’ brands like Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, to aspiring future buyers who adore luxury capsule collections like Giambattista Valli X H&M, India is a hugely attractive market for global luxury brands.
A MYRIAD OF INFLUENCES
The Indian luxury ecosystem is not black and white. It is crucial to delve into the different factors that influence how complex layers of Indian consumers interact with luxury as it is an incredibly emotionally driven industry.
Digitisation has had a huge role to play in the relation of Indian consumers with the luxury industry - from digital mediums becoming a part of the brand experience to increased access for people in cities that do not have luxury stores. There has also been an interesting focus on spending on luxury experiences rather than material goods, especially in younger luxury spenders.
Another essential influence is our cultural landscape and how it has shaped our opinions on the concept of worth and investing in luxury to express yourself, to age old habits of involving family members in spending on momentous purchases and preferring the experience of a mono-brand store over multi-brand stores, when it comes to luxury we’re finding a new balance.
At the end of the day, the experience of buying and owning luxury is intensely driven by personal and cultural sentiments, values, opinions, and motivations. Thus, the luxury market in India has all the makings of becoming a powerful influence in the global luxury industry.