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Luxury retail companies are looking for talent across levels to drive country expansion, omnichannel strategy and marketing, according to placement and search firms Korn Ferry and Stanton Chase.

India is emerging as a strong market for luxury retail, and the sector is expected to reach $8.5 billion in valuation this year, according to data from Euromonitor International.

The country already has the presence of Louis Vuitton, Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, and Burberry, while Valentino and Balenciaga are set to launch in India this year. Many more brands are likely to follow, as well as look at scaling up their operations in India directly and/or through franchises, said Rajat Wahi, partner, consulting, Deloitte India.
Luxury retail companies on a hiring spree to help drive expansion: Report
Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail’s luxury retail vertical The Collective, which houses brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren and Ted Baker, will see expansion this year with the opening of four-five additional stores across the country, according to Amit Pande, business head of The Collective and international brands, Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail.

“We are looking for talent in purchasing, logistics, ecommerce, marketing, as well as senior talent in retail operations. We are also ramping up our customer service teams as we gear up to launch our 24/7 call centre,” Pande told ET. The company hires fresher talent from institutes such as Birla Institute of Management Technology (Noida) and ICFAI Business School (Hyderabad).

New-age luxury product company Darveys is also looking to scale up operations and headcount, said founder Nakul Bajaj.

The ecommerce firm, which sells luxury items at discounted prices, is looking to hire talent in machine learning, website development and marketing.

“With reduced international travel, consumers are doing most of their luxury shopping online, and we are seeing strong growth due to that as well as the upcoming festive season,” said Bajaj. The company is also looking to set up subsidiaries in Italy and New York.

Jewellery and watches are projected to be a big driver for the growth of the segment, which is betting big on tier-2 and tier-3 markets such as Ludhiana and Indore by reaching out personally to high-net-worth individuals, driving sales through Instagram and other digital means, said Deloitte’s Wahi.

“With the rise of so many unicorns and soonicorns, the disposable income levels have risen thanks to rising salaries and stock options among employees. Much of this is converted into the buying of luxury products,” said Wahi.

Salaries start at Rs 4-5 lakh per annum at the fresher level and go up to Rs 4 crore and above with variables for the CXO level. Expatriate talent from mature markets such as Singapore and Dubai command even higher pay packets.

Surge In Hiring For Senior Talent
“In the last six months or so, we have seen a spurt in demand for senior talent at luxury brands. The hiring is mainly for country heads and senior marketing roles,” Navnit Singh, managing director – India, Korn Ferry, told ET.

A major part of the sector’s growth is due to luxury retail firms’ penetration into tier-2 markets, where increasing disposable incomes have created a demand for high-end products, said Amit Agarwal, managing director, Singapore & India, Stanton Chase.

The company is currently running 10-12 searches for senior talent, nearly double the number last year or so, said Agarwal.

The managing director of a leading executive search firm, who asked not to be named, said there is demand for top talent that can engage with and build long-term relationships with customers. “Luxury retail firms generally tap the hospitality segment for potential talent that can engage with high-net-worth individuals, who are their main target audience,” he said.

Companies Hiring Across Profiles
The demand isn’t just limited to senior levels. Online job portal shows multiple job openings for product designers, catalogue executives, category managers and business development executives.

“The adoption of new technology in the sector has led to double-digit job demand in the segment. We are seeing a 23% month-on-month growth in the demand for luxury retail jobs since last month,” said CEO Sekhar Garisa.

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