India has decided and chosen its new government. NDA, the winning coalition will soon get busy reviewing past policies. The last five years were a mixed bag for the luxury industry. There were a few hits and a few misses. Real estate, automobile, jewellery, beauty and hospitality sectors did well in parts and suffered losses during the end of the year. The prediction of an upcoming global recession has created quite a stir in the Indian luxury sector. The players hope that the new government makes it easier for them to do business and eliminate all the challenges faced by them last season.
Rahil Ansari, the Head of Audi India, hopes that people’s dreams of owning a luxury car become an achievable reality and taxes on affordable and luxury cars are evaluated. “Moderation in taxes is much needed as this will lead to more volumes and in turn create larger tax revenues for the government in the long run, making it a win-win situation for all.” Supporting Audi’s global campaign towards greener mobility solutions with their e-tron electric and hybrid car series, Ansari says, “Tangible measures by the government towards e-mobility infrastructure and adequate support for introducing the electric vehicles import in India market would be a welcome move as this also increases the local knowledge on global EV technologies.”
Anil Madan, Director of Johnson Watch Co., voices his concern about the higher rate of duty levied on luxury products. “Since the rates of import duty are very high, Indian consumers find it more economical to purchase products from foreign brands when they are abroad,” he says. “Customs duties on luxury products should be lowered to attracted more foreign customers to buy from India. They should also be allowed to claim GST rebates.” Madan would also like to see banks operate round the clock.
Blaze Arizanov, IMBesharam.com’s Marketing and Communications Director, hopes that the new government is more reform based in terms of economic liberties and entrepreneurship. “The RBI Deputy Governor has already argued on revisiting India’s capital controls and letting companies invest overseas. The past has taught us that no matter which government; progress in India is incremental because of broken state bureaucracy system. Too much governance will remain a primary issue, and that must be dealt with immediately.”
Traworld’s Tushar Jain, Founder & MD of High Spirit Commercial Ventures Pvt Ltd knows that brands thrive on positive consumer sentiment, which needs a reasonable economic growth rate along with more employment opportunities. He says, “The new government needs to create confidence among consumers about job security and generate opportunities.” He suggests that the government work towards cluster-based manufacturing and create a stable environment for domestic and international companies to expand base in India. Jain views India’s demography as a huge positive, resulting in total consumption of the local production. “The government should spend more and bring reforms in the private sector to enhance the confidence among corporates eventually,” adds Jain. According to him, the liquidity bar should grow, and capital be available easily. These will derive the demand for brands.
Remarking on the Indian real estate scenario, Reeza Sebastian Karimpanal, President – Residential Business, Embassy Group, says, “The Indian real estate market is expected to jump fivefold, to $650 billion by 2040, and will become the second largest employment generator in the country.” She sights examples of government’s reforms like RERA & GST, which led to a high growth rate and demand for offices and residential spaces. According to her, a boost in infrastructure requires a partly diversion of maintenance costs towards the public and private companies to lessen the burden on the government. Easing the liquidity crunch is also integral to make funds accessible to home buyers. She also expects a simplified online approval process with a single window clearance and emphasizes on digital transformation through blockchain technology to modernize the real estate sector. To control the prices on raw materials, she suggests that the government take draconian measures against hoarders, black marketers and the sand mafia.
Fashion Designer Paresh Lamba strongly advocates sustainable fashion. “Designers in today’s day and age require that the government set up committees and launch an inquiry into the domestic impact of the fashion industry, and examine factors such as carbon emissions, waste, resource and water use, and clothing lifestyle as a whole,” says Lamba. He also believes that the government should spend some time thinking of ways to revive small scale industries associated with fashion/fabric industries and try to rekindle the love India once had for its jute and khadi industries.
Light designer Vibhor Sogani of Sogani by Vibhor says that the country’s immense untapped potential must be recognised. The enormous talent pool needs to be harnessed under a single collaborative effort, with the right spirit and intent. “As a nation, we need to contribute to the luxury segment in the international market,” says Sogani. “The world of luxury market is huge and investment in this domain can prove to be lucrative. Thus, if recognized and addressed at the government level, it would yield positive results.”
Compiled by Husein Haveliwala