India presents exceptional potential for luxury sector: Montblanc India President

Gitanjali Diwakar | Updated on May 08, 2019

Franck Juhel, President, India, Middle-East and Africa, MontBlanc   -  Special arrangement

India is a country with growing population and increasing middle class consumers. Frank Juhel, President of Montblanc Middle East, India and Africa, says India presents an excellent potential for the luxury pen sector.

In an interview with The Hindu BusinessLine, Juhel says he expects continued year-on-year double digit growth.

Excerpts from the interview:

Could you tell us about the scope of luxury products in the Indian markets vis-à-vis the Middle East and rest of Asia?

As the fastest growing major economy in the world, India presents exceptional potential for the luxury sector. Last year saw the value of the luxury industry reach $30 billion, and long-term economic prospects are highly favourable – the sector is forecast to grow five-fold within the next four to five years. We (Montblanc) have had a presence here for over 25 years, and today have the widest network of boutiques across the country compared to any other global luxury brand.

The level of growth we are seeing in India is not dissimilar to the Middle East and rest of Asia – they are all markets with growing populations and increasing numbers of middle class consumers who aspire to luxury lifestyles. What is slightly different in India, and is tempering the expansion of luxury brands in this particular market, is the limited infrastructure – appropriate retail real estate for luxury brands has not yet been developed with enough scale. So while Montblanc has the clear lead in terms of presence in India – we opened our twelfth boutique this month – expansion continues at the rate of appropriate retail environments becoming available.

What are the changes that you have observed in the last decade?

For Montblanc the last decade has seen us intensifying our business in India, and increasing our presence here. This has included our successful joint-venture partnership with Titan Company Ltd. in 2016 that has helped facilitate our growth trajectory.

The last 10 years has also seen the growth of the internet as an additional channel for retail globally, and that includes India. Our presence in e-commerce through TataCliqLuxury has enabled us to provide access to Montblanc for all our pan-India clients, especially those beyond the Metros and Tier I cities where we don’t yet have boutiques, and where luxury is certainly spreading its wings.

Could you tell us more about the brand’s future in these markets in terms of sales predictions and marketing strategies?

We have absolute confidence in our future in India. We expect continued year-on-year double digit growth and will continue to increase awareness of the breadth of the Montblanc offering. There are so many elements to what we have with our

timepieces, writing instruments, accessories and leather goods, while new verticals such as travel and tech are adding to both the relevance and appeal of Montblanc.

Will there be any additions to Montblanc’s collections?

Absolutely! We continue to present new products in each of our categories, and have a number of exciting launches scheduled through the year. We also continue to deliver the ultimate in craftsmanship in our high artistry collections – in both timepieces and writing instruments – so expect to see a number of exceptional new pieces this year.

Published on May 08, 2019

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