Interview by Swati Mishra
Mr. Abhay Gupta, the founder and CEO of Luxury Connect LLP, Luxury Connect Business School & Luxury Cruxx, is a brand leader, luxury retail expert, philanthropist, author, and an MGSCC certified leadership Coach. The visionary, having a multitude of expertise is widely recognized as India’s foremost authority in luxury retail and brand strategy. With over two decades of experience, he has been acknowledged and has received recognitions for his contributions for the same across India, South East Asia and GCC regions.
Apart from this, he is on the panel of jury members for 'Luxury Lifestyle Awards, Asia and GCC, President of the Center for Education Growth & Research, Delhi NCR and an advisor to ‘Promising Indians’, Behind the Ramp & Mode street Fashions. Black book has listed him in “The Top 100 of Luxury” for the sixth consecutive year in 2018.
Mr. Abhay Gupta on pioneering his way in luxury education in India
Being a part of this industry for almost 20 years, I have thoroughly understood the need of certain skill sets which are required in a manager. Currently, a lot of institutes are not able to deliver and produce such professionals, and here at LCBS we have created our own education vertical in terms of grooming and educating the aspirants to live up to the luxury standards. Our B-school is moving ahead, with a 100 percent success rate.
Mr. Abhay Gupta’s take on leadership
My leadership is pretty hands-on and industry driven. I do not micromanage things and let my team manage their areas of expertise. In today’s world, one has to be flexible and alert enough to adapt to the changes. Further, it is necessary to be open to new opportunities and fresh challenges as they appear in the market. The same values are embedded in the minds of the students at Luxury Connect.
Programs are outlined as per the pain points of customers
As the name suggests, Luxury connect focuses on challenges and needs of the luxury industry. Hence, we try to serve the entire value chain from strategy to operations. At our B school vertical, we select students who are willing to be groomed in every aspect. We engage and deliver lectures via industry faculty, and restrict our in house strengths to scheduling, IT team & admin. Having a right blend of faculty and facilities at our disposal, we are able to groom our students in the best way possible.
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LCBS preparing the future leaders
With emerging challenges in the markets today, more and more opportunities are available in the Asian markets. More or less, the cultural behaviour of people in Asia can be clubbed in a similar manner. Yet, while there is homogeneity, there is also a heterogeneity. Whereas, if someone from European background enters into the Asian region, there are a lot of problems in the social & cultural adjustments.
However, since most luxury brands are European, it is prudent to understand the European mind-set which created the brands. We hence encourage our students to also undergo a three months session at our international partner school, Academia Del Lusso, Milan. That's the advantage that we provide to the students of knowing the Indian markets as well as international markets.
We believe that as more and more of job markets are being created in the emerging markets, it is feasible to invest time and understand not only the physical locations but also understand the local leaders, which are leading the markets currently. Our students travel overseas to get a sense of what global luxury is all about and that’s the model we have built.
Our curriculum includes specific learning standards and authentic examples
We keep updating our curriculum not only monthly or weekly but on a daily basis. As & when we find any exciting development in the global luxury space, it is instantly updated in our course flow. We try to embed the latest concepts in our curriculum to keep our students updated. Majority of our faculty being from the industry, they help the students by sharing real-life experiences and examples.
LCBS symbolises the phrase “Unity in Diversity”
Luxury connect business School welcomes students from different backgrounds and justifies the phrase “Unity in Diversity” in its spirit. Students enrol in our college from far stretches of our country. For example, not only from small cities like Kota but large number of students from Mumbai also enrol every year in our Program.
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Theoretical knowledge is complemented by application of the same
We ensure that the knowledge is concise and our students are able to apply that knowledge practically through projects, field works and market research. We believe in imparting the knowledge that justifies different market values and is used in real life scenario. Our students are able to fix the different Gordian knots arising in the market, which is an essential need of the modern era.
Challenges faced by LCBS
One of the most difficult challenges we face is low awareness about the luxury industry and the career opportunities it offers. Being a new stream of management, not many people are in know of this lucrative career opportunity. They do not know the sense of luxury, whereas it is prevalent all over the world.
Luxury worldwide is a niche space, and it is sold through niche boutiques, and we have created the same environment in the college for the bona fide learning of the students.
Belief in the statement- “There is no shortcut to success”
Students need to understand that there is no shortcut to success. Many teams work relentlessly behind all the glamour on the facade. The shortcut may look easier, and you may reach the goal quickly, but it is at the cost of learning. Nothing worthwhile happens that fast, so we believe in working hard our way to reach our goals.