HOT chats with the Managing Director at Johnson Watch Co to get a bird’s eye view of the luxury watch industry in India.
Johnson Watch Co was founded in 1950 as a family run business in the heart of New Delhi- Connaught Place. The company is running into its 3rd generation currently. With a view to having showrooms that provide an exquisite contemporary feel to the customers and that showcase some of the world’s finest Watch brands, the group has indeed made a mark on the Indian Watch industry.
Excerpts from a conversation with Ankit Madan, Managing Director at Johnson Watch Co:
How do you think the demonetization move and requirement of giving the PAN card number for purchases above a certain amount impacts the watch market in India?
The demonetization move obviously was seen as a boon at first. Things looked positive. But, since then, I would say that the industry has had a negative impact. Sales have gone down. Profitability has been affected. The economy is fragile right now and it is not helping. The PAN card rule has been active for a year now. It is reducing sales.
What are the changes that you have seen in India’s evolution as a market?
Brands are coming in. Availability is much better than before. India has become a lucrative market. But buyers here somehow defer to spend due to the limelight. No other country asks for so much data from buyers! People are ready to buy officially but they don’t want to be harassed! But yes, people are changing as well.
Is India really a big market?
Maybe not as big as China, but we are growing at a steady pace and reaching somewhere. In a few years we will be very big! Delhi and Mumbai are indeed prime markets for luxury.
What trends and brands are working well here?
In Delhi, it is still the same: bigger dials are in fashion. People from south and from Mumbai gravitate towards classical brands.
Future plans for Johnson Watch Co?
We would like to expand to other cities and replicate our model there.
Your views on Independent watch brands.
After sales service is an issue with them. It is not easy to send the watches back. The client does not wish to wait for long.
How do you perceive the next few months of the year?
We are optimistic. We are hopeful that things will improve. The festive season is coming!
Johnson Watch Co is raring to meet the changing demands of the Indian watch industry. With a legacy of over 65 years, they are indeed in the perfect position to do so!