Ex Sotheby’s India Chief Gaurav Bhatia’s tryst with luxury marketing

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India’s economy and luxury market are growing hand in hand after witnessing a decent growth over the last few years. Fueled by the rapidly growing urban middle class, the Indian luxury market is catching up with other global luxury hubs. India offers the most unrivalled demographic dividend on the back of more than one million young adults entering the job market every month.

On the other hand, many young and passionate perceptive marketers are shaping the country’s luxury market with a renewed vision. Gaurav Bhatia, one of the most sought-after luxury experts in the country comes with more than two decades of experience in the luxury segment.

Born and brought up in Mumbai, Gaurav Bhatia completed his education from Middlebury College and began his  career at  Young & Rubicam as an adman.  Bhatia also managed a host of brands with top blue chip clients in the industry among them Kraft, Sony, Heinz, AT&T, Singapore Tourism, Tata Motors, Taj Group of Hotels and Aventis.

In 2007, Gaurav Bhatia came back to India where he was appointed Marketing Director of Moët Hennessy part of the luxury conglomerate LVMH. He spearheaded marketing the company’s wines and spirits, and shared the magic of Champagne in an otherwise brown spirits market creating new consumption patterns and trends.  Bhatia then steered the launch of Chandon to foray into the Indian market, introducing a premium sparkling wine made in India for India, while tapping core business development opportunities for the firm.

After tasting success as a luxury marketer, Gaurav Bhatia was appointed as Managing Director of Sotheby’s India in 2016. Shepherding the world’s oldest auction house in the world, Bhatia aimed at opening doors of the international auction house and dived into the currently thriving art scene in the country.

Under the leadership of Gaurav Bhatia, Sotheby’s made its debut with its auction “Boundless: India” in Mumbai. The inaugural sale featured 60 artworks, which included some of the most sophisticated works of art, photography and sculpture of artists from South Asia as well as those inspired by South Asia. The auction witnessed a total sale of INR 554 million.

In conversation with Gaurav he humbly attributed the reasons behind the success of his various stints to an inherently sophisticated Indian consumer and the superiority in the brand and product offerings.  He learned the art of building strong customer relationship and showcasing the magic of his brands. Bhatia claims “In luxury you don’t cater to specific needs of the customers; instead you enthrall them with a superior product offering and experience. I was fortunate to have been given an opportunity to work with some of the best brands in the world. Creating magic with them was a sheer privilege.”

Gaurav went on to conceive the idea of his own luxury and lifestyle advisory cell and is today the Founder and CEO of MAISON INDIA. With unwavering focus and a two-decade long experience behind him, he succeeded in establishing a holistic brand and business development advisory for clients in Luxury and Lifestyle in India. “We are business catalysts and brand storytellers.”

Maison equips its clients with innovative marketing solutions, business development ideas, branding and rebranding solutions, communication and content creation along with PR and digital strategy. The firm jumpstarts brands in recognizing opportunities to build, grow and sustain their business.

“MAISON is in the business of ideas. We like the simple way of looking at things, wiping away the marketing drivel that brands tend to get caught up in. Consumers are smart and hyper-connected. Engaging meaningfully and creatively is important. We like to think strategic. And we like to think passionate. Brands today need to be disruptive, immersive and tell stories,”,” says Gaurav.

MAISON believes in a long-term vision that builds on the legacy of brands, encouraging creativity and business excellence. The firm aims at creating disruptive ideas and solutions to challenge the existing state of affairs in a complex and hyper-connected world. It also intends to make the brands alive and suggest continuous solutions to create visibility and open new markets. It will also manage and strengthen the customer relationships of brands and create a brand voice, while wiping away the marketing drivels that brands tend to get caught up in.

After a fruitful stint at Sotheby’s and LVMH Moet Hennessy, Bhatia intends to establish a new benchmark while leading his own venture. Bhatia’s journey with MAISON is all set to test his know-how, while extending a new tryst with luxury marketing.

Last modified: February 26, 2020

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