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|September 22, 1999||
Swiss watch-maker Christian Dior launches 100 models in India
The Switzerland-based Christian Dior today announced its entry in Indian market with a range of fashion watches, targetted at the top end of the country's population .
The range includes about 100 models, including the latest trendy watches for females, Robert Sessa, Christian Dior sales manager said in New Delhi. Besides, Randiora and Lady Dior are also in the company's launch kitty, he said and claimed that Lady Dior was the favourite of Lady Diana.
The Swiss-based company has made marketing arrangements with the Bombay-based Finex distribution, he said and added that the company will operate in India only with Finex and does not plan to float a subsidiary.
Finex managing director Raouff Ansari said his company has six retail networks in New Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore, Madras, Bangalore and Cochin. Next month, another network will open in Ahmedabad and by this year-end, there will be 15 retail networks. Within one year it will be extended to 25 retailers.
Only last week, another watch major Tissot, also of Swtizerland, announced its entry in India. However, Dior does not see any competition from Tissot as the Swatch group company has introduced watches in the price range of Rs 3,200 and Rs 23,500, whereas Dior is mainly targetting upper strata of Indian society with its price range between Rs 24,000 and Rs 70,000.
Evading direct reply on the company's target for India, Sessa said Dior is looking at capturing half to one per cent of India's population over a two-year period. Even that segment amounts to about ten million people, which is much larger than population of many European countries, including Switzerland.
He said the company is approaching the Indian market with conservative outlook and does not want to brag about its intentions.
The first step would be to create niche in the market and then to build on that effort. It would take the company about two years to tap about half to one per cent of India's population, he said.
Stating that Trendy was launched two months back worldwide, Sessa said the company would have India in its mind whenever it comes out with the new model worldwide. Dior would launch Art Deco within next two months worldwide, including Iindia, he said. The company launches around two models every year.
The company does not have any plan to indegenise manufactruing of any component for these watches, which are exlusively designed in Paris and manuactured in Switzerland.
Besides, the company also announced launch of writing instruments, including ballpens, roller balls and fountain pens with the same target in mind. The price range of these instruments is between Rs 4,000 and Rs 15,000.
The watch segment of Christian Dior registered turnover of $ 120 million last year and the Far-East and southeast Asia contributed 40 per cent, Sessa said.
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