SHARE
COPY LINK

INDIA

Switzerland’s Swatch to open stores in India

Swatch has applied to set up stores in India, a report said on Saturday, as the Swiss-based watchmaker moves to tap a growing and increasingly accessory-conscious consumer class.

Switzerland's Swatch to open stores in India
Photo: AFP

Swatch, with $10 billion in annual sales, has made a formal proposal to the commerce ministry under which the company would have 100 percent control of its business, the Business Standard daily said.

The watchmaker would be the biggest international group to seek entry into India's 100-percent-owned single-brand retail segment after furniture-maker IKEA and fashion clothing firm H&M, both Swedish companies.

Swatch watches, including Omega, Longines and Tissot, are currently are sold in India through dealers and third-party stores.

Neither Swatch nor the Indian government could immediately be reached for comment.

Experts say the move is a sign that Swatch wants to create a stronger Indian brand identity.

The Indian watch market is forecast to rise to $2.7 billion by 2020 from $898 million now, according to a recent industry report.

India's new right-wing government hopes foreign investors will start looking closely again at the country after turning away in the face of a sharp growth slowdown and corruption scandals under the previous left-leaning Congress government, ousted at the polls in May.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to improve India's investment climate, ease bureaucratic red tape and create a more predictable regulatory and tax climate.

But introducing free-market change is politically fraught with many politicians, unions and civil society groups favouring government spending and protectionism over economic liberalisation.

The Modi government, despite its pro-business tone, has already said it opposes a law passed by the previous government allowing foreigners to own stores selling more than one brand of products because it wants to protect India's many small shopkeepers from supermarket giants such as Wal-Mart, Tesco and others.

Swatch's reported application comes soon after French supermarket chain Carrefour's announced its departure. Carrefour, which operates five wholesale stores in India, made the announcement after the government reiterated opposition to foreign investment in multi-brand retail.

Wal-Mart last year ditched a plan to open retail stores to focus on wholesale activities and e-commerce.

The Economic Times separately said the government was unlikely to formally reverse Congress's decision allow 51 percent foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail for fear of sending negative signals to the foreign investor community.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

INDIA

Where to celebrate Diwali in Switzerland

Diwali is the five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. Here’s your guide to where festival events will take place across Switzerland.

Where to celebrate Diwali in Switzerland
Image: Rajesh JANTILAL / AFP

Diwali is the name given to the five-day long festival of lights celebrated in autumn in India, and by Hindus, Sikhs, and some Buddhists around the world. 

In 2019, Diwali Day, the final day of the celebration, falls on Sunday, October 27th. The celebrations however take place throughout October, with some happening well into November. 

It takes its name from the clay lamps or deepa (the event is sometimes called Deepawali) that many Indians light outside their home. 

With the days shortening in Switzerland, there's all the more reason to celebrate light, and for the country's Indian community in particular.

According to the Indian Embassy in Bern, there are 24,567 Indians in Switzerland, including around 1,000 Indian students. 

Switzerland’s Indian community is concentrated in the country’s big cities of Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Baden, Bern and Lausanne. 

How do Indians celebrate Diwali?

As reported by The Local Germany, there are a number of diverse ways in which Indians will celebrate Diwali. 

Exactly what is celebrated differs in different parts of India; for example, many northern Indians use the day to mark the return of King Rama to Ayodhya after defeating demon king Ravana, while in southern India it marks the defeat of demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna.

READ: For Indians, the silence in Switzerland can be deafening

The festival lasts five days, with specific rituals and activities assigned to each day. They begin with cleaning your house on the first day and decorating it, usually with clay lamps and patterns of coloured sand, on the second. 

The third day is when families meet for prayer and food, and the fourth day is seen as the start of the new year, with friends and relatives visiting each other with gifts.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica}

Image: Rajesh JANTILAL / AFP

On the fifth and final day, it's traditional for brothers to visit their married sisters and for the sisters' family to welcome them with a meal.

Food is a major part of the celebrations, which originated as a way of marking the year's last harvest before winter.

Bern

The Indian Association of Bern is holding its annual Diwali celebration on November 2nd in Bern’s Bürenpark.

The celebrations are set to include music, lights, cultural events, an Indian buffet dinner and prizes. 

Zurich

In Zurich, the Indian Association of Greater Zurich has planned an event for Sunday, November 10th at the Stadthalle Dietikon.

The event will include dancing and other performances, Indian cuisine and opportunities to network. More information is available here

Geneva

The Indian Association of Geneva is holding their Diwali celebrations on the 16th of November, which feature musical performances and dinner

Showing the reach and influence of Diwali across the world, the Malaysian Association of Geneva will also be holding a Diwali celebration, to take place on October 26th. 

Aargau

In the town of Frick, Aargau, cultural organisation Padmapada is holding a Lichterfest (festival of lights) on Friday, October 25th. 

Not far away in the town of Wettingen, Aargau, the Indian Association Wettingen will hold Diwali celebrations on the 10th of November, with tickets available here

Basel

Kalasri, an Indian art and culture organisation based in northern Switzerland, will hold a Diwali event on the 2nd of November.

The event will showcase a variety of diverse Indian dance styles, followed by a meet and greet with Indian snacks. 

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px}
p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica}
p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 14.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px}
p.p4 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 14.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica}
p.p5 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 14.0px; font: 12.0px Times; color: #0000e9; -webkit-text-stroke: #0000e9}
span.s1 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none}
span.s2 {font: 12.0px Times; text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none; color: #0000e9; -webkit-text-stroke: 0px #0000e9}

 

SHOW COMMENTS