Luxury in India: key drivers of a growing market

Pradeep Krishnatray and Himanshu Dandotiya

When Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan's youngest and only female foreign minister visited India recently, The Times of India, the country's largest circulated English daily, declared: "Hina made up for all Pakistani ministers in the past. Apart from that winning smile, which has had India tied up in knots since she touched down here, the attractive Pakistani foreign minister proved to be a spot-the-brand delight for the fash frat this side of the border" (The Times of India, 28 July, 2011). The front page story then went on to present her to readers through the idiom of the brands she carried on her: oversized Hermès black Birkin, prohibitively priced South Sea pearls, and Roberto Cavalli shades.

This wasn't just editorial bling. The newspaper was applauding class, style and luxury. Implicit in its rather exuberant testimonial was the belief that its readers were familiar with the expensive accessories.