TIFFANY could enter India by the end of the year

Tiffany boutique, new concept

American jeweller Tiffany is in talks to enter India through a 51% joint venture with actress-turned-luxury entrepreneur Reena Wadhwa, who already has a joint venture with Italian luxury brand Gucci. (Reena Wadhwa, who is married to investment banker and Ambit Group CEO Ashok Wadhwa)

Wadhwa confirmed she has been in talks with Tiffany’s, but said nothing has been finalised. Tiffany & Co Vice President, Emerging Markets, Laurent Cathala said: “We have been pursuing discussions with potential partners and will announce the details of a business structure in India when we have finalised our plans and have signed the appropriate agreements.”

The company is fighting falling sales in the US and most European countries. During the festival season, better sales in Asian countries helped Tiffany’s post a 7% rise in worldwide sales.

The company’s management recently identified India as one of the key markets for the future. “We view India as an attractive long-term growth opportunity for Tiffany’s,” said Cathala, who heads Tiffany’s emerging markets business, which covers the Middle East, Gulf countries, Europe, Africa, Turkey and India, and is based in Dubai.

Cathala is leading Tiffany’s negotiations with Wadhwa being held out of Dubai, said the unnamed person quoted earlier.

Wadhwa had converted her company Luxury Goods Retail Pvt Ltd into a joint venture with Gucci in 2009, with the Italian firm holding 51% share. Gucci ended a franchisee deal with the Murjanis to form the joint venture.

Most international luxury jewellery brands which are present in India have been underperforming, considering market size, the main reason being the highly developed local luxury jewellery market and the failure to develop product offerings as well as marketing strategies adapted to the Indian market. However, given Tiffany’s wide product range, some of democratic luxury level, it might be the exception among luxury jewellers, with the potential to actually perform very well.

adapted from Economic Times