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Will luxury brands focus more sharply on India in the post Covid phase?

Will India's luxury markets take off?

High end luxury brands would be looking at India for their growth in the post Covid phase. With a population of 1.3 billion, making it the world’s second-most populous country, India is a potential luxury behemoth, said Vogue Business. India has one of the highest numbers of ultra high networth individuals (UHNIs) in the world. According to a Knight Frank study, individuals with a net worth of over $30 million can be classified as UHNI.

India with a luxury market of $6 billion, has 6,884 UHNIs in 2020 but the number is set to rise 63 per cent by 2025. The number of high networth individuals (HNIs) – people with liquid assets of $5 million to $30 million — were estimated at over 3.5 lakh. 

Jing Daily, a digital publication in China representing the luxury consumer trend noted that Beijing is undergoing a historic transformation, with its crackdown on the private sector which has alarmed global brands in turn. “And while leaving China for good is unrealistic, looking to India as a strategic way to expand could be a winning strategy for luxury brands,” the publication said in a recent article.

It further said that flow of foreign direct investment, political stability, and more highly-skilled workforce development have helped India accelerate its economic prosperity.

Also read: Luxury brand Gucci under attack in China for stereotyping Asian women

“The luxury market is set to significantly expand in the coming years, it is a wide open sky,” brand consultant Harish Bijoor told India Narrative. Though India cannot be compared with China, the post pandemic phase and the recent clampdown in China would push these luxury brands to look at India more seriously, he said. “Luxury shopping is skewed in India as more HNIs make their luxury purchases outside India but with the new economy and the growing millennials, that could change,” Bijoor said.

India has over 912,000 millionaires, representing 2 per cent of millionaires globally.

Consumer behaviour has already changed considerably with a higher disposable incomes. Luxury brands are now set to cash in on that.

However, high import duties on luxury items make a large number of items more expensive in India compared to other countries. “If brands do not want to miss the great growth opportunity present in Indian market, they should match the products and prices on par with their offers in other international markets,” Indiaretailing.com said.