Luxury brands with long-term vision like Louis Vuitton will work in India



The flow of luxury brands into India started with Louis Vuitton 10 years ago when it entered the market in Delhi in 1993. The mood was upbeat that time with everyone thinking with LV setting up shop in the city, more will follow suit.

And they did.

But the difference between LV and some of the other brands was that, this brand came with a long term plan in mind. I remember Louis Vuitton’s former Chairman and an old time friend of mine Yves Carcelle telling me that he wasn’t looking for huge revenue immediately and that his eyes were on many years later when the brand will slowly sink in to the market and then start flourishing well. And it did just that. Louis Vuitton today is one of the very few brands that is happy to be in India despite heavy tariffs, poor infrastructures and traditional mindset of people in India.

But the brand slowly but steadily started expanding with stores in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and it’s become the most popular brand in the mind of people. All because of the vision it had not for fast bucks but for long term for India.

Unlike LV, some of the other brands that stepped into India either retracted after expanding, or ran into issues with their partners or simply closed shops here. All like this happened because they failed to do their due diligence before stepping in here.

They in their hurry to start business here ended up either with some crooks as partners or went for some high fliers who didn’t need income from such ventures to buy their champagne and caviar. Then some started expanding for no reasons and even entered into cities where no one dared to. Some thought taking movie stars to their shows abroad will boost their sales. And some even had cocktail sessions in their stores.

Result? Nothing happened! Or maybe that’s the wrong thing to say. One thing happened… Their money went down the drain…

All because none of these brands had any vision for long term in India and no patience to make their brands grow consistently. But that’s not going to happen. One got to have solid plans and long vision to make their brands set their roots here. If not, they are bound to pack their bags as some of the others did!

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