The international arm of the British Luxury Group, the World Luxury Council (WLC) officially launched its entry into India today.
His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent visited the Capital and added his stamp of approval to the project. The networking company, which provides marketing and strategic advice regarding new markets to industry in the UK, is now spreading its wings across the India, Middle East, Russia and China. Apart from servicing its 150 members in the UK, the company's mandate is to assist companies in the countries it is basing itself to find markets or partners in other parts of the globe.
In India, the World Luxury Council will assist India-based luxury businesses and leading Indian brands and services to foray into the global arena using the WLC platform. "Our footprint out of Europe has been from this side of the globe and not the US because the growth rates are far greater than elsewhere. For instance, in some cases, it is even greater than what Britain achieved during the industrial revolution - our heydays," said the WLC Chairman, Mr Geoffrey Chamberlain.
The WLC, which has based itself in Mumbai, expects to pick up 15 to 20 Indian founder members who will provide the backbone for itsIndia operations. "We will start talking to Indian companies now. We've recently launched in Dubai and have found that a lot of the companies there are interested in addressing the Chinese market. In the same way, we'll find out the method by which each luxury products company wants to go in all the regions. In April, we will open office in Moscow and in June in Shanghai, " informed Mr Chamberlain.
The Indian operations is also going to be looking at niche products from the fine dining business, luxury resorts, heritage art and craft, fashion gurus, prominent companies in the textile business and jewellery houses. "Size is not the sole criteria for assisting a company - devotion to product or service quality will be the principal consideration," said Mr Alan F. Judd, Chairman of the British Luxury Council. He gave the example of a marble artisan in Agra who produced marble tables of `exquisite quality' - here he would get £600 for it, while in Europe he could get as much as £6000. We could assist him in branding and selling his product as we look at its potential in the global market," said Mr Judd.
WLC, which is worth £50 million today and has 70 high networth shareholders including venture capitalists, hotel owners, publishers and celebrities, expects to double its worth in two years following the forays. By 2006, it expects to list on the UK's stock exchange.