LVMH eyes Indian challenger brands

15 August 2011

NEW DELHI: LVMH, the luxury goods group, is looking to invest in promising challenger brands in India, rather than adopt the traditional strategy of focusing on established names.

The company, with a portfolio spanning categories from handbags and jewellery to cosmetics, recently set up L Capital Asia, a private equity unit charged with identifying attractive targets in the region.

In India, L Capital has already taken a 25.5% stake in Genesis Luxury Fashion, via which it hopes to create a range of apparel products with a distinctly "Indian ethos".

"[We are] convinced that the South Asian markets in general and Indian markets in particular are the strongest," Daniel Piette, president and managing partner of L Capital, told the Business Standard. "The fears of a slowdown will not impact our investments."

In formulating a detailed strategy for making progress in India's nascent luxury goods sector, L Capital Asia has decided against replicating models used elsewhere.

"In European markets, LVMH has a focus on taking over established global brands, whereas in India, L Capital will look forward to join hands with potential Indian brands," said Piette. "We will try to give them a global exposure and recognition."

More specifically, L Capital Asia's aim is not simply to take over young brands and parachute in external expertise, but rather to support them with best practice guidance covering everything from logistics to marketing.

"We are here to lend our experience in building global brands to the immensely rich talent and entrepreneurship in India," Piette said.

"We will do that by sharing our network, management resources and delivery platforms ... We will move gradually with companies with high potential."

L Capital plans to pursue around four or five more tie-ups in India over the next five years, Piette added.

Data sourced from Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff