World luxury market – a view from the Sustainable Luxury Conference by International Herald Tribune in Delhi, India

24th March, the first day of the Sustainable Luxury conference kicked off at the famous Imperial Hotel in Delhi, India. Organizers were pleasantly surprized the level of attendance was 30% higher than initially expected, over 150 guest having turned up for the opening day. Among those present, we have noticed:
Francois Pinault (CEO, owner Gucci Group), Roberto Cavalli, John Hooks (Group Deputy Managing Director, Giorgio Armani), Piero Braga (Commercial Director Worldwide, Gucci) and legendary fashion journalist Suzy Menkes who is also hosting the event. Since the event takes place in India, we have also noticed a large number of Indian executives.
Although the international crisis is not formally the main topic of the event, the word crisis could be heard in every conversation.
Those I interacted with, have expressed a genuine interest in Central and Eastern Europe, addressing pertinent questions and making interesting remarks, especially on Czech Rep, Hungary and Ukraine, also the most affected economies in the regio, but also on Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, which are still one country in the CEE region. That is why, we are pleased that, this occasion, will give us the opportunity to present the real data and implicitly the potential of these markets. Least known market is Serbia, which has seen an incredible growth in the past 10 months.
As far as India is concerned, crisis is still not officially recognized, yet, many of the Indian executives as well as luxury brands already present in the Indian market have firmly confirmed a decline in the economy, especially in the past 5 months. Most affected luxury industry sectors are hospitality and auto.
All those present who we interacted with, have unanimously confirmed that India is a much more challenging market in comparison with China, Russia and Eastern Europe.
We shall keep you updated twice daily on this blog.