Rado Watch Company Ltd., a part of Swatch group of Switzerland, feels that a top line growth of 20-25 per cent is a realistic possibility during 2010 in India.
In an interaction with this correspondent on Thursday ahead of the launch of the Rado boutique here, Olivier Cosandier, Vice-President (Sales) and Member of the Executive Management of Rado Watch Co. Ltd., said Rado saw a big deceleration in its growth last year. In 2009, the company grew its sales by 10-15 per cent, a far cry from the 40 per cent sales growth in 2008.
The deceleration in growth was primarily attributed to the global financial meltdown, though many others factors too had impacted the sales growth in India. Fielding a range of questions, he said the biggest Challenge for the luxury watch maker in India was in finding right geographical spots to locate its boutiques without compromising the Rado brand image.
He said there were about 158 points-of-sale (PoS) in India. This number would go up to 175 by the year-end. At the moment, there are 12 Rado boutiques in India. Rado would add another five by year-end, he added.
Though Rado had been doing servicing in India since the `80s, it appointed its first distributor in the country in 1999. It set up its own subsidiary in India in 2003. Mr. Cosandier said that India had the highest duty on watch imports among the countries in the world. Consequently, prices of Rado watches in India were somewhat higher. To a question, he said, “we absorb it in our margins.’’
The luxury watch segment (in the Rs.10000-plus price category) comprises one-fifth of the Indian watch industry, which is estimated in the vicinity of Rs.3,000 crore. Rado officials said the company commanded a dominant share in the Indian luxury watch market.
A ranking official said Rado represented an aspiration value for GenNext, which looked for younger-looking, design-oriented and futuristic watches. Since Rado had been known especially among the upwardly mobile professionals in the 40-plus age category, the GenNext was aware of brand Rado.