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Panerai CEO sees India as key market for luxury watches

While early movers like Rolex, Omega and Tag Heuer entered India in early noughties, a clutch of global luxury watches like Panerai are now placing bets on the Indian market, keeping in mind a longer investment horizon. In a bid to create a deeper connect with the Indian consumers, Panerai launched two MS Dhoni special edition watches on Wednesday.

, ET Bureau|
Nov 29, 2019, 07.25 AM IST
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Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Jean-Marc Pontroue, CEO, Panerai at the launch of Panerai watches in Mumbai.
MUMBAI: India will become a top 10 market for global luxury watchmakers in the next 5-10 years, Jean-Marc Pontroué, chief executive at Italian luxury watchmaker Officine Panerai, said on Wednesday.

While early movers like Rolex, Omega and Tag Heuer entered India in early noughties, a clutch of global luxury watches like Panerai are now placing bets on the Indian market, keeping in mind a longer investment horizon.

In a bid to create a deeper connect with the Indian consumers, Panerai launched two MS Dhoni special edition watches on Wednesday.

“Cracking the Indian market is like running a marathon; it takes time and patience,” Pontroué said. “In our geographical mix, there are mature markets which are growing at 3-5%, a few markets are shrinking, and there are promising markets where it’s time to grow now. For a brand like ours, India will be a big market in the next few years. Today, India is not part of top 10 countries in the world but in the next few years it will be in our top 10 markets,” he said.

In 2018, Swiss watch exports to India grew by over 30% over the previous year, catapulting the country into one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

Though Panerai entered the Indian market six years back, it launched a concentrated effort to grow the brand at a faster clip only a couple of years ago. As part of the strategy, it hired cricketer Dhoni as a brand ambassador last year.

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