Source: Times of India
MUMBAI: With luxury companies setting up base in India, there is a growing demand for managers armed with specialized management degrees in luxury. Looking at the growth in career opportunities in luxury, leading business schools which offer management courses in luxury brand management – such as ESSEC in Paris and SDA Bocconi in Milan – are witnessing an increase in demand from markets like India.
The trend, said industry experts, is expected to grow further as luxury expands its scope in India. Looking at the potential, SDA Bocconi has started an Indian branch named MISB Bocconi in Mumbai to leverage its experience within Indian executives. Luxury, which covers a broad range of products and services such as fashion, food, arts, movies, cultural industry and hotels & tourism, is estimated to become a $15-billion industry in India by 2015.
“Indians with luxury business school degrees are sought after in India. This is because luxury is seen as a sector with a big opportunity over the next few years. It’s a noticeable trend that more Indian students are opting for MBA degrees in luxury because there is a growing demand for managers with such specialization,” said Tulika Tripathi, managing director, Michael Page, India, a specialist recruitment firm.
ESSEC business school was the first school to launch an MBA in international luxury brand management in partnership with LVMH and L’Oreal Luxe, specifically to recruit and train high-potential managers to develop their luxury business, particularly in Asia. The business school has assigned its top officials to frequently travel to Delhi and Mumbai to monitor the growth of the industry and interview prospective candidates.
“As the luxury industry grows in India, more career opportunities are becoming available. Since 2009, the programme has seen its graduates being hired by Genesis Luxury, Reliance Brands, Burberry, Gucci, Remy Cointreau, Richemont and L’Oreal Luxe. However, some Indian graduates have preferred to gain international exposure before returning home and have gone to work for companies like DFS in Hong Kong or Chalhoub in Dubai where there are multiple opportunities,” said Anthea Davis, director, corporate relations and career development, ESSEC.
At ESSEC, the MBA in international luxury brand management is a specialized programme that accommodates up to 40 students per year from 20 different nationalities. While there was only one Indian student in the programme in 2007, today there are seven.
Davis said the first recruitment needs initially came from Japan, China and Korea. Bbut in the last eight years, ESSEC has seen an increasing demand from Brazil, Russia, India and South-East Asia. The number of partner companies the programme works with and supplies talent to include luxury groups such as Richemont, Kering, Estee Lauder Group as well as single brands such as Burberry, Chanel and Zegna.
“With the luxury goods market being largely retail driven and now saturated in Europe, companies are looking to open stores in new locations and markets which are not yet developed. This generates job opportunities for graduates both in running retail operations and in the back office with an increasing number of subsidiaries being set up abroad. For example, Richemont recently opened a subsidiary in Delhi in October 2012 where one of the graduates has been hired as brand manager for Vacheron Constantin watches,” said Davis.
Bocconi, on the other hand, has an MBA class in partnership with Bulgari which was started in Rome last year. “Foreign students are increasing. In the last five years the Indian audience became the first in terms of enrolled students, getting to a percentage of 20% in MBA and executives classes,” said Stefano Caselli, vice-rector for international affairs, Universita’ Bocconi.
While there is a strong increase in demand for skilled Indian MBA graduates who are able to blend knowledge of the Indian market with an international background, Caselli said placements are going up as the Indian market is becoming more attractive and developed for luxury industry.
The London School of Business & Finance, however, has only recently introduced its luxury management programmes following good demand from all countries it operates in.