The luxury industry in India really took off in 2012 with several luxury brands setting shop in India. While other industries and brands have been impacted by demonetization, recession and other such events, the Luxury industry has primarily remained unaffected by them. In fact, if anything, the luxury industry has only grown beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. With rising incomes, better job prospects, and cheap internet, awareness about international trends in fashion and lifestyle has grown many folds. So much has been the growth since 2016, India is now poised to beat China to become the world’s largest luxury consumer. As more millennials enter the mainstream as earning members, the demand for more affordable luxury has been the key driver for most luxury brand’s growth.
Indian Luxury Market
The Indian luxury market is different from other international luxury markets because of its extreme price sensitivity. Even when a customer buys a luxury car like a BMW or Porsche, the first question most consumers ask is ‘what’s the mileage’. This hyper cost sensitivity has forced brands to rethink their marketing strategies to cater to Indian luxury consumers. This meant introducing less expensive product lines to get more footfalls, besides the heavy spend on social media marketing. Since most Millennials first research the products they want online and then purchase offline, the need to set up trendy luxury retail stores that match the brands’ audacious online luxury identity. This has also created a clear demand for well-trained luxury professionals who have the right skills to be able to handle High Net-Worth Individuals (HNIs) who are the brands’ loyal customers.
Scope of Luxury Management
In 2017, the global luxury industry surpassed $1.2 Trillion. By 2020, it is touted to be worth $1.5 Trillion. While the Americas and Europe still remain key markets, however, studies suggest that the majority of the growth is expected from India and China.
In India, there has been a steady rise in the proportion of mid-high and high-income earners. As per a recent report by Mckinsey, by 2020 the HNI population would increase by 94% whereas, in China, it is estimated to be around 74%. While Tier I cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and others are already replete with various luxury brands, Tier II and Tier III cities are the places where real expansion is happening. The newfound wealth in these cities, the rise in aspirational values, affinity towards the finer aspects of life are pushing sales across the board. From luxury cars, perfumes, fashion, real estate, wines & spirits, watches, all sorts of brands are expanding to Tier II and III cities. This equates to better job opportunities for those willing to make a name for themselves in the luxury industry.
Stakes are high!
Luxury brands need to uphold their brand image in every interaction with their customers. Since a luxury retail store is a primary avenue for product sales, brands typically employ professionals with years of top-notch experience in customer service and sales. Professionals who are presentable, strong communicators and have the confidence to deal with the kind of customers that indulge in high-end luxury products are now in great demand. And it really takes a great amount of skill to work in the luxury industry. With most products ranging from anywhere between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 Crore, stakes are high and customers fickle minded.
Brands demand and need professionals who can perform beyond expectations from day 1. Luxury management courses have bridged that gap and provide professionals who have specifically undergone the training and are well versed in the ways of how a luxury brand operates. With newer innovative marketing strategies being implemented, luxury professionals need to be prepared to deal with the challenges of working in the Industry.
Key Skills needed to work in the Industry:
- One must be a keen follower of the luxury industry and have personal aspirations for the products.
- Attention to details is key in the luxury business.
- Empathy and a natural ability to be able to strike up a conversation.
- Strong leadership qualities with excellent communication skills
- Ability to multitask with excellence
A course in Luxury Brand Management
Luxury is a fine blend of ‘exclusivity’ and ‘extravagance’. Hence, the service a brand offers at retail is of great importance for the success of the brand. This means the professionals working with the brand must become ’brand ambassadors’ who must speak the brand’s language. They must also act as the brand’s experts with intricate knowledge of the products. Nothing works better than a professional who knows the products in detail and is able to help customers with the minute details that highlight the workmanship, perfection and the labour that goes in creating a pièce de résistance. A luxury brand management course that specializes in such areas encourages students to develop the requisite skills and competencies of future professionals in the Luxury Industry. Many courses also include a significant portion dedicated to practical training at some of the most renowned luxury brands for hands-on training. Internships are also included post completion of the course for training.
Choose Luxury Connect Business School
Luxury Connect Business School is India’s first and only luxury business school that offers a comprehensive 16 months post graduate luxury brand management course to students from across India. The school provides luxury brand leaders and professionals with decades of experience as faculty who share real-world professional experience with students for a more hands-on approach.
A key differentiator of Luxury Connect Business School is the fact that the curriculum focuses heavily on imbibing skills needed for performing the responsibilities of the job with panache. One key aspect of this is the customer handling aspect that needs one to be able to handle HNI customers. A major part of the job is knowing how to deal with such customers and ensure a great shopping experience. Luxury Connect Business School imparts soft skills training such as
- Attention to detail
- Appreciation of craftsmanship
- A pleasing personality that oozes with empathy and care for others
- Ability to multitask and learn on the go.
- Active Listening Skills
- Expert level product knowledge
- Great communication skills
- Amazing customer service skills
Ultimately when a customer enters a luxury brand retail outlet, they expect the best simply because of the Aura of the luxury brand. Customers buy certain brands purely because of the emotional connection they have with the brand. In the digital world, where any product can be purchased at the click of a button, luxury stores offer which an online site cannot, a shopping experience like none other. And with the kind of selling prices luxury brands command, customers expect nothing but the best. The luxury experience, therefore, starts right from the moment they enter the store. The very first people to engage with the customers are the storefront employees and it is up to them to ensure that the customers have a great experience. Armed with these soft skills taught at luxury connect business school, our students are better placed to offer an amazing customer service experience.
What makes Luxury Connect Business School unique in this regard is that to reinforce the learnings from the course, every student must complete a 6-months mandatory internship. Internships are offered with some of the most prominent luxury brands in India such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, ETHOS Watch Boutiques, Genesis Luxury, Michael Kors, among others. The internship with renowned international luxury brands empowers students in the best possible way to face the numerous distinct challenges they may face in the industry. Post the knowledge gained from the luxury b-school, the internship reinforces the concepts and helps our students to engage with customers better. Additionally, with its strong affiliations in the luxury industry, LCBS offers students opportunities to interact with industry brand leaders & professionals in an informal manner. Students get to meet, discuss, exchange notes, share idea’s and learn from the real-time experience of these senior stalwarts.
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