Favre-Leuba Conquering new frontiers with Vijesh Rajan
Anita Khatri met up with Favre-Leuba CEO Vijesh Rajan for a tête-à-tête during Baselworld 2019.
Vijesh Rajan is the CEO at Favre-Leuba AG, which is part of the Tata Group – a 100-billion-dollar conglomerate. Vijesh manages the watch business while leading an expert team of watch specialists who passionately create masterpieces that connect the rich history of Favre-Leuba to an exciting future.
What do you find different at Basel this year?
It seems lighter, spacious, a slower paced show as what it was in the past. I have been going around the fair but haven’t seen that many new brands. I am eagerly waiting to see how the new format of the fair evolves in its bid to stay relevant to the brands and visitors given the changing realities of businesses today. We need to see whether the organisers provide value to the exhibitors. However, we have done two or three regional events in key markets to meet up with our partners and showcase the new products in the past three months. And the response to these regional events has been phenomenal for us. We do not have a large global footprint and have been managing it effectively.
Did the brand intrigue you?
I have known Favre-Leuba from my father’s generation. Favre-Leuba has been a well-known brand to that generation. The brand’s history and legacy has been very intriguing- as the brand was run by the family for 280 years. The watches have had a wide appeal in diverse markets, whilst pioneering some breakthrough technological innovations since its inception. It is for us to make the brand relevant to watch connoisseurs today as well.
What is your mission?
Our mission has been to develop the line-up of watches by creating unique styling and branding, furthering our aim to take the brand to great heights. We have been in the market now only for two years and now is the time for us to do some hard work and bring the brand alive on lots of wrists. I have a very capable team and will be driving brand awareness and business development along with my team, which is very passionately driven to make it successful. Each team member is so committed to the brand, which is what is unique to Favre-Leuba.
Where do you see the brand in the next two years?
I want the brand to be well-known, popular and well accepted in the markets we currently operate in and especially in home markets like Switzerland and India. These two markets will see a lot of action from our end. Increasing visibility of the brand is crucial to us with the right marketing mix. I want the brand to be seen on the wrists of genuine achievers in life.
What is your plan for India?
In India, we will focus on distribution and visibility given that we are part of Tata Group, which has created a marketing history with watches in India. We will continue to focus on quality of distribution and back it up with marketing initiatives.
What is your one favourite piece from Favre-Leuba?
We have a line-up of 50 novelties for this year. My current favourite is Bathy - a divers mechanical watch. Favre-Leuba has been producing watches in 45 and 46 mm but this year, we have lined up in 42 mm and I am sure this will find greater acceptance in the markets. We find a great potential to serve markets like India and Middle East with a new offering of Favre-Leuba.
Bathy 120 MemoDepth ©
Favre-Leuba is the second-oldest Swiss watch brand and traces its origins to the workshop of Abraham Favre in Le Locle, which was first officially mentioned in 1737.Find out more >
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