India is one of the world’s most energetic, diverse and testing markets for brands who want to set sights in the country. However there is a minimalist revolution trend where consumers are moving towards simpler products, says Greece born Eliana Koulas. She also says that because of overcrowded Indian luxury market, premium high street brands were making way. Koulas, who has set up Luxus Retail in 2012 bringing La Martina, an iconic Argentinian luxury Polo brand to Indian shores in 2013, moved to the country with the aim to bridge gaps in the Indian retail market to redefine the concept of luxury fashion.
“The Luxury market in India gathers tremendous attention as a vast majority of the international brands has arrived or are relied upon to enter. Luxury retailers have understood that India is one of the world’s most energetic, diverse, and testing markets for brands who want to set sights in India,” she said in an interview. She has previously worked with some of the leading fashion giants such as Tom Ford, Versace and Corneliani, Bentley. Talking more about India as a market, she says: “India is still at an early phase of its advancement as a luxury retail market. Due to its market fluctuation, it’s difficult to analyse it.
While India is pictured as an upcoming business sector due to its colossal potential, it is the size of the market which makes it extremely exciting for brands to venture into for the long haul. “It was not too long ago we witnessed the badge brand syndrome boom, where the focus was all about logos which people wanted to flaunt since the premium positioning of brands had a strong foothold on consumers. “However, we are now witnessing a quiet minimalist revolution trend where consumers are moving towards simpler products with lesser logos. This is trending particularly with our La Martina customers who prefer to downplay the brand they wear, with a stroke of subtlety,” she added.
Koulas also said that since the Indian Luxury market is overcrowded and has a strong niche, in the last five years premium high street brands have established their presence in the market in a huge way. “This has led to an exponential increase in retail spending as a whole,” she said. Koulas also feels that for most global luxury brands, India is the past and India is the future. “The influence of Indian culture globally has grown tremendously by brands, designers and celebrities. Bollywood and sports celebrities are also playing a significant role in the overall domestic brand strategy which is trickling outwards on a global platform. They have changed the power of branding.
“The amplification of influence is just enormous due to the stars huge fan following,” she said. “In order, to create a niche in India, one needs to think ‘India’ and focus on the local needs in order to be relevant in India. Continuous innovative strategies and a wholesome brand experience are what bring a consumer back time and again,” added the expert. Talking about their expansion plans of Luxus Retail, she said: “Our focus so far has remained on our flagship store in Delhi and our store in Hyderabad. However, with the boom in online shopping, we are now looking at e-commerce as well.
“A lot of international brands held back going the digital route as it would eliminate the physical experience, however, we are witnessing that this is enabling customers to purchase more if we give them an online opportunity,” added Koulas.