One of the first-generation luxury marketers in India, Gaurav Bhatia, is credited for taking the luxury industry to new heights.
It all began with a drive to build his brand in Luxury one day. Soon after graduating from Middlebury College, Gaurav Bhatia, Sotheby’s Ex MD started his career in advertising in one of the most powerful markets in the world — the United States.
He worked for almost a decade in New York at Young & Rubicam Advertising, creating communication strategies for companies such as Sony, AT&T, Kraft, and Aventis, amongst others, “creating differentiation and relevance of brands among consumers spoiled for choice in one of the leading markets of the world.”
His education in Liberal Arts with a double degree in Economics and Film-making was the tipping point to establish his illustrious career. Always keen to come back “home,” he moved to India months before he turned 30. “Luxury was a nascent industry, only a few years old, and I joined LVMH Moet Hennessy, becoming one of the first generation of luxury marketers in the country,” he recalls.
In the early 2000s, the luxury industry of India started getting traction as the economy flourished.
He is credited for creating the category of Champagnes and premium spirits, taking it to new heights while he worked for LVMH.
Gaurav Bhatia says, “It was a wonderful world to be a part of, and my role at Moet Hennessy was to share the magic of Champagne in India, or simply put create relevance of bubbles and wine an otherwise brown-spirits market, largely used to whiskey, rum, and brandy.
An incredible learning experience to open new markets, create new consumption patterns, and share a legacy of brands, some of which were over 300 years old. It was an incredible experience, one I enjoyed for a decade.”
A decade-long successful career in LVMH made him an eminent persona in luxury brands.
Gaurav Bhatia left LVMH to join Sotheby’s India head, a tenure celebrated as a milestone in the history of one of the oldest auction houses in the world. “Sotheby’s wasn’t just a company; it was a culture.
As one of the oldest auction houses in the world, it was a privilege to helm Sotheby’s India.
My role was to build a client base, create the art market and celebrate artists such as V.S. Gaitonde, F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza, Tyeb Mehta, and M.F. Husain, and create a price differentiation for them.”
“My role was largely to recruit newer and younger audiences and to make them believe in the passion of collecting and sharing the incredible artistic legacy of the sub-continent. He adds that I also helmed its first auction in Mumbai, which created some record prices,” he adds.
Finally, he made his dream come true of being a luxe entrepreneur after a long and bright career in the corporate world.
He founded Maison India at the beginning of 2020, which he calls “a gift to me after two decades and some of being in the corporate world.”
“I wanted to create my entrepreneurial venture. Maison India is a consulting cell that works with luxury and lifestyle brands to create business development, marketing, and communications solutions. We work across categories from fashion and accessories to jewellery to real estate and hospitality, among others.”
What does Luxury mean to a seasoned Luxury marketer and now entrepreneur?
“Luxury is living a life of elegance and generosity. True luxury brands are like art.” His ideas and vision make him stand apart from his peers. Known for his ingenuity and commitment, he is expected to revolutionize the indigenous luxury market, which Gaurav Bhatia calls “something that enhances my life and adds meaning to it.”