Kolkata: Former senior journalist-turned-communicator Mahul Brahma launched his debut book “Decoding Luxe”, which is a definitive guide to luxury, in an audience-packed Starmark bookstore at a city mall on August 17, 2017.
The book has received praises from industry leaders like Mr Ratan Tata (Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons), Mr D Shivakumar (Chairman, PepsiCo), Mr Sanjiv Goenka (Chairman, RP-SG), Mr Harshavardhan Neotia (Chairman, AmbujaNeotia), and Mr Hemant Kanoria (Chairman, SREI); authors like Dr Bibek Debroy (NITI Aayog), Mr Kunal Basu and Mr Sarnath Banerjee. (A few quotes below).
Panelists with the author at the launch:
Jawhar Sircar, former CEO, Prasar Bharati
Jonathan Ward, Principal Commercial Officer, US Consulate General Kolkata
Vinaya Varma, CEO, mjunction
Arnab Chakrabortty, India Director, United Nation’s Empretec Program
Kounteya Sinha, photographer and journalist
Anchor: Saira Shah Halim, poet and social commentator
The launch was attended industry leaders and prominent personalities from all walks of life. The event witnessed a free-flowing and engaging discussion with the panelists talking about the book and luxury from their perspectives with numerous anecdotes.
Mr Jawhar Sircar said, “Decoding Luxe is a well written, informative and timely book.”
The author Mahul Brahma said: “Decoding Luxe to me is an expression of freedom from the myopic view of luxury, which is confined to price-tags. My aim was to deconstruct that centuries’ old school of thought and look at luxury in a more holistic way, exploring its various facets. This book is for those liberated thinkers who do not alienate luxury because of prohibitive pricing. More than affordability, it is question of freeing the mind to embrace luxe in its holistic avatar, looking beyond the dazzle, decoding the luxe. Thus Decoding Luxe, a fruit of four years of research and writing, is born out of this sheer need to pen a book that captures the true, more inclusive essence of luxury. Decoding Luxe is a result of a quest for luxe on which I had embarked and it has been a great adventure. I want more and more people to set sail. Let your quest for luxury continue.”
About the book:
Decoding Luxe narrates the story of the origin of luxury in India. In the 1920s, 20 per cent of Rolls Royce’s global sales were from India. In 1926, the Maharaja of Patiala commissioned Cartier, its largest till date, to remodel his crown jewels, which included the 234.69 carat De Beers diamond. The result was a breath-taking Patiala necklace weighing 962.25 carats with 2,930 diamonds. Not to mention that a certain Nizam had procured 50 Harley Davidsons for his postmen to deliver his messages.
The book is a myth-buster of luxury, questioning the age-old notions that still are very dominant but not relevant any more. One myth-buster is how the middle class is driving the luxury market and not the Richie-rich. All international brands thrive on volume game and that only comes from the Great Indian Middle Class. The book also states that e-commerce has done more harm than good in luxury, boosting sale of luxury fakes or counterfeit and thus hitting the genuine luxury brands. Growing at a compounded annual growth rate of almost 40-45 per cent, the counterfeit luxury products market in India is likely to more than double to INR 5,600 crore from the current level of about INR 2,500 crore.
With the ebbing Chinese luxury story, most luxury goods providers are shifting focus to the growing luxury consumer base in India, which is poised to grow at 25% from 2013 till 2018, and is likely to touch $18-billion mark from the ongoing level of $14 billion.
The book aims to benefit all stakeholders of luxury brands – owner, custodian, retailer, connoisseur as well as student – helping them understand and formulate, with a historical perspective, an effective strategy for conceiving, positioning, placing, promoting and pricing these luxury products.
The book is published by Srishti Publishers.
About the author: Mahul Brahma is a luxury commentator and columnist. He is also an award-winning communicator, heading corporate communications and branding for mjunction, a Tata group company. He has been a senior journalist for a decade with Economic Times, CNBC TV18, Reuters and India partner of NYT. His debut film as an actor was screened at 69th Cannes Film Festival.
Praises for the ‘Decoding Luxe’
Ratan N Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons
My best wishes for Decoding Luxe.
Bibek Debroy, Author, Economist, Academic and Member of NITI Aayog
This is a delightfully-written book. It is rich in anecdotes and you will discover facets of luxury consumption that you didn’t know about. A wonderful read.
Sanjiv Goenka, Past President CII & Chairman, RP-SG Group
Mahul has a great love for luxury watches and had almost twisted my wrist a couple of times to check out my watch. Decoding Luxe has been able to address some of the core issues that any luxury retailer needs to know to do business in this country. I believe this will be a good manual for luxury retailers and will be able to create tangible value for them.
Harshavardhan Neotia, Past President, FICCI & Chairman, AmbujaNeotia Group
Mahul is a gifted writer. I loved the way he has been able draw a parallel between the life cycle of a luxury brand and Shakespeare’s description of the Seven Ages of Man. The book gives a very unique perspective to luxury. Decoding Luxe is a great read and I am certain it will be a success.
D Shivakumar, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo India
Mahul has crafted a lovely story around luxury in India from the Maharajas to the newer rich. This is a great read for anyone interested in the science of vanity and what makes luxury tick.
Hemant Kanoria, CMD, SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd
I liked the way he has been able to introduce some unconventional ideas and thoughts.
Kunal Basu, Author of The Yellow Emperor’s Cure and Kalkatta
The romance of luxury has waited long for such a deft rendition of insight and eloquence.
Nirvik Singh, Chairman and CEO, Grey Advertising APAC
In ‘Decoding Luxe’ Mahul has been able to bring in new thoughts, ideas and perspectives.