Event report

A Conversation on Decoding Affluence in India

IFCCI inaugurated the IFCCI Luxury Committee with its first event, a Conversation on ‘Decoding Affluence in India’ on Wednesday, 13th September 2023.

Date: 13th September 2023

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The Indo-French Chamber of Commerce & Industry inaugurated the IFCCI Luxury Committee with its first event, a Conversation on Decoding Affluence in India on Wednesday, 13th September 2023 at Oak & Cru, The Quorum Gurgaon.

Ms. Payal S. Kanwar, Director General, IFCCI, welcomed our prolific guests, esteemed experts from Indian luxury landscape, French luxury companies working in the Indian market and the speaker for the event, Ms. Shefalee Vasudev, Editor in Chief of The Voice of Fashion.

The event began with opening remarks for Ms. Payal S. Kanwar and an introduction by Ms. Shrimoyi Bhattacharya, Chairperson of the IFCCI Luxury Committee. This was followed by a presentation by Ms. Shefalee Vasudev on ‘Decoding Affluence in India’ with regards to her book ‘Atlas of Affluence 2022.’ Through the course of her presentation, Ms. Vasudev highlighted various intricacies of the Indian luxury market and its evolving consumer base. The presentation displayed the science of storytelling to build a relevant and compelling luxury narrative for Indian consumers, various aspects of luxury, like material, social, emotional, abstract, and personal and the difference between wealth and affluence. It explored the covid and post pandemic impact on luxury consumer behaviours, anxiety and boredom driven luxury buying, and the way mental health landscape is changing luxury consumption patterns. The hero making narrative was presented as vital to engage luxury consumers. Along with ascendance of homegrown luxury and its role in cultural documentation, the deepening role of consumers’ value matrix, individuality, recruiting luxury brands for self-expression and purpose driven luxury consumption was also focused on.

The presentation was followed by a fireside chat with Ms. Payal S. Kanwar and Ms. Shefalee Vasudev, which illuminated the mindset transformation of Indian luxury consumers and increasing category distinction in the curation of an elevated luxury experiences in India. The Indian luxury buyer as not coming from the economic elite of India, the increasing value appreciation that has led to an intersection of luxury, art and culture was also highlighted. The persisting preference of brick & mortar store experiences especially by male luxury consumers, an increase in digital luxury buying as seen in gen z and luxury consumers from nonmetropolitan cities in India, the potential of personalized experiences, enhanced value, and brand understanding in mono-brand luxury stores that is perceived to be absent in multi-brand stores, and the rising role of artificial intelligence and metaverse in curating digital luxury experiences were spoken about. From the collapse of male stereotypes and an evolution of the more refined and aesthetically oriented male luxury buyer – coined “Man-Affluence” and the still ongoing preference of traditional and recognizable luxury brand logos in the new centres of luxury - the tier 1 and tier 2 Indian cities, to the role of gen z consumers challenging existing notions; the changing landscape of Indian luxury buyers was delved into in detail. Consequently, the need for overseas luxury brands to engage cultural and linguistic anthropologists to set base in India and appeal to the Indian luxury consumer was discussed. The chat concluded with a re- emphasis on the difference between luxury and good taste, touching upon earlier discussed aspects such as affluence vs wealth, climate consciousness, and materialism vs experientialism and an interactive Q&A session with our guests and speakers.

The event was concluded with a spirited networking hour over cocktails and canapés with our over 60 esteemed guests.

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