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Shift to digital is all pervasive and luxury is no exception: Arpita Katyal, Roperro

Online marketplaces, tier 2 markets, brand extensions are all examples of luxury brands moving out of the high street culture and making an attempt to get to the consumers doorstep.

Shift to digital is all pervasive and luxury is no exception: Arpita Katyal, Roperro
Indian brands are doing a great job in combining luxury with Indian tastes and preferences.

A 2017 report by KPMG valued India’s wedding market at $50 billion, second only behind the US. A clear beneficiary of this has been the luxury market in India. Global fashion majors have rated India one of the fastest growing markets in global luxury. India market is forecasted to be worth $8.5 billion this year, up by an impressive $2.5 billion in 2021, according to estimates by Euromonitor International. However, post pandemic, several new trends have emerged such as the growth of online marketplaces. Another trend has been the emergence of newer categories within luxury such as ‘everyday luxury’. Additionally, Indian brands are coming up with globally competitive offerings under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. A combination of these makes the luxury market a vibrant and exciting space. FinacialExpress.com got in touch with Arpita Katyal, CEO, Roperro, to understand India’s luxury market and her work. Excerpts:

What according to you are the key drivers for consumption of luxury products?

In more ways than one luxury is synonymous with quality and authenticity. Consumption of luxury goods and services helps people break away from the clutter of mass market products and form a grouping of their own. Those buying luxury often look beyond the functional value and give importance to social value that the brand association will bring for them.

In the Indian context, the millennials are the key growth drivers of luxury – they are 34% of our country’s population. Indian millennials are better connected to global trends, have disposable income and with India’s growing global stature they’re not inhibited about making bold choices.

Globally too, Bain & Company reports that millennials will represent 45 per cent of the global personal luxury goods market by 2025, and Gen Z could be responsible for 40 per cent of global luxury purchases by 2035, up from 4 per cent in 2019.

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Luxury has traditionally been an experiential and high street retail concept. Is there a shift to digital post pandemic?

Yes, the shift to digital is all pervasive and luxury is no exception. Growth markets such as India are competitive markets for global luxury brands. In order to build long-term association with consumers, brands are reaching out to prospective buyers in unconventional ways and digital therefore is a great medium. Online marketplaces, tier 2 markets, brand extensions are all examples of luxury brands moving out of the high street culture and making an attempt to get to the consumers doorstep.

Additionally, the consumers of luxury are a lot younger than they were in the last decade, and their buying habits are more digital friendly compared to the previous generation of buyers.

Are Indian brands matching up to global luxury manufacturers in quality and appeal?

The number of wealthy Indians has grown substantially over the last decade. There has been an 11 percent increase in people with incomes above $30 million since 2011. That number is expected to climb to 39 percent by 2026. Clearly, in order to cater to this burgeoning local demand, Indian entrepreneurs and manufactures have started to compete with global brands. This trend picked up during the pandemic when consumers were forced to look at local products in the absence of imports.

I personally think that Indian brands are doing a great job in combining luxury with Indian tastes and preferences.

As a young female entrepreneur, how did you come up with the idea of Roperro and introduced the concept of “everyday indulgence”?

I came up with the idea for Roperro in response to the gap I saw between high-quality and expensive fashion products and the aspiration of our young population. Additionally, I intended to create an Indian luxury brand that could compete with the world’s top fashion houses. After researching the market, we observed that there was an absence of high-quality fashionable products that could be used every day without being a drain on the pocket. We sought to strike a balance between aspiration and affordability. Thus, the idea of “everyday indulgence” was developed.

We want to establish a premium but approachable category. We also wanted Roperro to be a household brand when it comes to handbags, high-quality leather goods, and trendy apparel. It should not be difficult to indulge, and the quality should not have to be neglected!

Brand presence on e-commerce platforms is imperative for any brand these days. Do you plan on collaborating with online stores and e-commerce platforms?

We do understand just how important an online presence is for a young brand. We have a prominent website presence, and we are active on social media as well. As of now, we are operating online and driving sales via our website. However, we are not far from having offline presence and a flagship store is in works. Going forward, we will certainly look at collaborating with other e-commerce platforms to increase our reach.


Arpita Katyal, CEO, Roperro

Arpita Katyal, CEO, Roperro

Could you share the longer-term plan for Roperro?

We plan to make “everyday indulgence” a global phenomenon. We envision Roperro being able to compete with global brands when it comes to quality and being the benchmark brand for luxury products that are not outrageously expensive. We will actively be launching new collections and adding more product categories, such as plus-size clothing and a sustainable collection. As our end goal, we intend to create a mark in the international market with a “Made in India” label.

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First published on: 18-11-2022 at 11:25 IST