In a good way (yes, there is a good sort of impatience, more on that some other time, hint- Blink by Malcolm Gladwell), but impatient, no doubt.
But I have realized that sometimes there is simply no substitute for time- not genius, not efficiency, not multi-tasking, not a better technique – some things need time, period.
I am realizing this more and more, as I am teaching myself oil painting , see my third oil-painting attempt coming along below…as you can see I’m not a terribly gifted artist, but with time I could be a competent one.
Oil painting is my planned hobby, for when I’m old and rich and I get to spend summers at my vacation home on the Amalfi Coast, more on that some other time too…
Anyway, the three stages you see below have taken me nearly a month-and-a-half to get through, which is a fairly long time, even given the fact that I probably work on the painting for not more than 2-3 hours every week…
As you can see the painting is far from complete yet. It’s probably going to take me another month to finish it, this is because when you are trying something new, you try, mess up, paint over and start again, several times, before you get the desired effect, or something halfway decent.
You just have to wait in between for the paint to dry, literally!
How can you hurry that? By blowing on it? (hey, I should try that…)
So you see Patience is a Virtue…sometimes, okay- mostly.
And, it takes time to create something half-way decent.
You know how we keep hearing that India is the next Super-Power, and that our Growth is Northward bound for the next, God-know-how-many decades, how we have a growing number of Billionaires on the International “Richie Rich Lists” blah, blah… and how, therefore , the Luxury Market in India is bound to grow at some crazy rate over the next 5 years? There are reports galore, by respected consulting companies, and the Luxury Segment Gurus spout stats that can drive you dizzy…
But here is the problem, how much of all this is high level speculation and hype, and how much of it is going to actually materialize, and how, more importantly, do you actually make future business plans for your Business Idea?
To put it bluntly, there IS no sure way of knowing, because I don’t know of anyone who can claim to be clairvoyant. Like in any other Industry, keeping a constant eye on the Indian Luxury Consumer’s Behavior Trends, Global and Indian Market Research Reports, and listening to the guys who are building the Indian Luxury Market today, is a good place to start (studying the “Status Quo” forever will not help you launch your disruptive idea, will it?) at least so that you know what the prevalent mind-set is, and what you are up against…
Eventually, this stream of information starts making sense, especially if you keep checking back to see if there are patterns in which (and who’s) past predictions have come true and to what extent, and you begin to get a sense of how things might shape up, tomorrow.
Once the flow of information starts making sense, you could add another layer of information/research to narrow down on your specific need: by studying what sorts of businesses are starting to emerge in the West, you can get an fair idea of what business ideas will emerge in India in the near-to-midterm, because for sure savvy entrepreneurs back here will customize some of those ideas that are working in the west, for India.
By adding all of the above together, you will surely start noticing opportunities and gaps in the current Eco system. But you won’t be the only one…which is Okay.
Strategy suggests that you need to start working on a business idea that is a little ahead of its time (but not too much, that could be fatal), so that a) the biggies aren’t all over it already, and b) by the time you are ready with your operations you are (hopefully) riding a natural wave of consumer interest in your business idea (or at least the market dynamics aren’t totally stacked against you) and the momentum will help you grow faster.
And that is the best one can do, strategize based on available information, but be adaptive to the emerging realities. Oh,and you should know, you could go horribly wrong and all the mangoes may fall where you haven’t spread your net!!
But that is a risk one has to take, especially if you don’t have a sugar-daddy-angel-investor backing your billion dollar Luxury Franchise Boutique idea (?) , Yawn…no offense, I love Brick & Mortar Luxury Retail more than anyone I know, but one can hardly claim that its a hot new-age idea, can one?
So, those of us who are dreaming of breaking new ground in Fashion & Luxury Services, have a formidable adventure (scary business struggle) ahead of us, let’s arm ourselves with the one thing that can help: Knowledge.
Here is some 2013 “gyaan” that I have gleaned so far from the web, and no doubt, there is lots more out there:
Sanjay Kapoor, Managing Director at Genesis Luxury, one of the earliest movers in the segment, estimates the Indian luxury goods market is at about €1 billion (around Rs.7,000 crore) and is set to grow by 20% in five years. “This is an encouraging future for luxury brands in India and those planning to enter,” said Kapoor. Genesis represents luxury brands such as Jimmy Choo, Burberry and Canali. So an average growth rate of 20-30% is what most luxury Marketers and expecting realistically.
**Insight No 1 :Yes, Luxury is growing fast but let’s not go crazy with the numbers it’s a healthy 20-25% rate, that’s about it. But the good news is disruptive Luxury ideas have a better chance of grabbing the latent demand for Luxury**
According to Amitabh Mall, partner and director at Boston Consulting Group, the relaxation of norms in single brand retail “has definitely heightened the interest of global brands in the Indian market”. Mall feels that although queries from European, American and even Asian brands are flowing in, “overnight conversion” is unlikely. In his view, experiential luxury is on the rise, making the market attractive to hotels, spas, salons and residences that cater to this segment.
**Insight No 2 : Experiences are more Powerful than Things.**
But before you start thinking it’s all about “feeling good”, here is a tidbit from the Bain Report that puts things back in perspective: A psychological shift in the mindset of the Indian consumer, brought on by greater wealth, has also contributed to the increase of luxury retail. Bain expects that the upper middle-class Indian consumer will be more “status-driven”with a greater aspiration for “visible” luxury — where the brand is obvious. And this is more true in the Tier-2 towns.
** Insight no 3: Luxury has always been and shall remain, first-and-foremost, about setting oneself above the masses.**
Here is a bit of information from the Bain report that I think is very exciting: Judith Leiber decided to tap into India’s burgeoning bourgeois even in Tier-2 cities with an exclusive trunk show in Indore. The luxury handbag brand, which typically sells about 300 bags in India a year, sold 30 pieces ranging from US$500 to over US$6,000 in one event. It’s not just one-off trunk shows, explains the Bain report. Luxury retail is moving out of five-star hotels into “hybrid” malls, with a mix of luxury and non-luxury stores with customized service. All the brands realize that five-star hotels are not the way to go.
** Insight no 4: Tier two cities are Important, and expensive retail spaces aren’t the only way to go, innovative ways to market Luxury are most important.**
Add to the above some of the overall Luxury Marketing insights (see awesome 2013 Luxury Marketing Outlook Report below) and you have pretty fair idea of what Gaps are available and lucrative, for some smart entrepreneurs to innovate themselves into. Luxury is a hard segment for someone with not much capital to get into, but it’s no longer impossible to penetrate.
It all depends on how sharp your insight and business savvy is…
You could make combinations using two or more insights/trends:
Experiences + Mobile + Exclusivity = Mobile exclusive experience, Is there a niche where you can provide a “Members only” mobile luxury experience? Maybe mobile auctions of luxury goods? Just an example, there could be many such combinations, and then you need to refine those options further before you decide on the final business idea.
Everybody says “do research”, but I feel when an idea is one of a kind, detailed quantitative research is nearly impossible, but still you could ask for qualitative feedback from a few potential customers to get a sense of their response to the idea itself…
Who knows, you could discover a serious niche through your conversations.
Those are the real and immediate niches waiting to be filled. No one is saying that by doing so you will meet with instant and stellar success, but the odds are, that over the next few years occupying a “Future Gap” in the market, even if it isn’t a huge one right now, and making people believe they need you, will help you grab the first mover advantage, differentiate yourself and capture mind-share, all of which leads to good stuff later.
I am on the lookout for innovative Fashion and Luxury Business Ideas, that have been created for India and are working here.
If you know of any cool fashion/luxury business startups that are trying to put a dent in the Universe, share the details here on the comments section and I shall be happy to do a detailed post on the interesting ones!
PS: I also found this Video recently (after publishing this post) so I just added it here:
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