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WMR - July 2017

Conversation

MONTBLANC

In conversation with Eric Vergnes, President, Mont


Can you talk about the partnership with Titan?

We have a strong partnership, a joint venture with Titan. Titan has 49% and Montblanc has 51%. we are into manufacturing of beautifully crafted lifestyle products, mainly for men. we are grateful to enjoy a fantastic awareness in India. The idea was now to find a local partner with solid knowledge of the retail scene in India. That would help us to develop at a past pace. Titan is indeed a key partner. in December 2015 we opened 2 stores and as of today we have 7 boutiques. The latest one opened few days ago in Bengaluru. By the end of March 2018 we expect to have between 12-14 boutiques. We are developing fast. we have new locations coming up in Bengaluru and Pune in the near future. Titan is a strong retail player in India.

The recent Montblanc Association with AB De Villiers…What makes him the perfect Ambassador for the brand?

When we choose an Ambassador it is not because he or she is a famous person. it goes beyond that. AB De Villiers is joining a fantastic line of ambassadors. not only is he one of the most successful cricketers, but he shares key values of the maison. He is a genuine person. He has strong values about challenging himself and about family. We thought about expanding his role in India as he has a huge fan base here. He has been playing for the IPL for some years now.

A market specific launch you would like to highlight?

We worked with AB De Villiers for a very specific item for the Indian market, or rather for sale only at the latest Bengaluru boutique. It is a bracelet for men, a leather woven red bracelet. It matches the jersey of the Royal Challengers Bangalore team. We designed this in collaboration with AB De Villiers. It is also a way of celebrating the launch of the new boutique. It is a limited to 118 pieces.

Right now the luxury market is challenging. What are your thoughts on this?

We have been enjoying amazing growth and this part of the world is no exception. We are very confident about the potential of the market and in terms of the return on investment. We resumed business here with our wholesale partners as well. We have more than doubled our turnover in India last year. We are further expanding our network with some solid investment. Every new boutique is a huge investment. But, we are confident of the success we can enjoy on this market.

In India, what is the proportion of the watch market vis a vis your other lifestyle products?

Historically we are known for writing instruments and in India we have a loyal base for that. Thanks to the redeployment with boutiques and solid partnerships with retailers, the watch business is also developing fast. It is a fast-growing segment for us. It is a double-digit market growth for watches as well. We are also doing well in accessories. We have ensured that the watch collection has space and position that it deserves. If you enter our boutiques you will see that. We are starting to roll out the new concept of retail, the first example of which will open in Bengaluru soon. It will allow us to better transmit the feel of the maison.

The complete interview is in Watch Market Review - July 2017 from page no. 30 to 32.