Luxury Connect brings global luxury education to India 

June 7, 2012 

 Shortage of trained manpower in the luxury industry is spawning new business opportunities. Abhay Gupta, the former executive director of Blues Clothing Company that represents brands like Versace, Corneliani, Cadini and John Smedley in India has set up a new venture, Luxury Connect, which is partnering with global educational institutions to provide luxury specific training and education.

The company has tied up with SDA Bocconi School of Management, Italy to launch a luxury business management programme in India this April. It has also collaborated with Jean Claude Roustant, former retail training director at Louis Vuitton, to offer a luxury customer experience management programme. One of the biggest problems faced by luxury brands in the country today is shortage of trained manpower. By 2022, the Indian luxury products and services segment will required close to 1.76 million trained people to work at all levels.

"The new venture will also offer consultancy, helping international brands set up shop in India and Indian brands go global," says Gupta, who has launched the consultancy along with longtime associate Rajat Bhattacharya, who will be the chief sourcing officer and NIFT graduate Love Ranga, who will be the chief strategy officer

According to a recent report by industry body CII. The Economic Times and consultancy firm AT Kearney, a number of luxury brands are looking to enter the Indian market looking at the growth of over 20% in luxury sales. The number of high networth individuals is growing rapidly in India, which is contributing to faster luxury sales in the country. India has three million affluent households, defined as those with more than $ 100,000 (around Rs 50 lakh) of investable surplus, according to a global affluence study by research firm TNS.

The Indian government recently allowed 100% FDI in single brand retail but with a rider that 30% of the sourcing will be done from Indian SMEs. Luxury Connect will also offer assistance to international luxury brands in sourcing products and services from India.

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