What will Genesis Luxury’s next step be?
By : | November 7, 2013

The Indian luxury industry is agog with the news that LVMH-owned L Capital Asia is looking at snapping ties with Genesis Luxury, one of the biggest luxury conglomerates in India, with a portfolio that includes marquee brands like Armani and Jimmy Choo. As a crisis brews, Kapoor, reportedly is shopping around for a new investor.

Sanjay Kapoor

India, one of the fastest growing luxury markets in the world, is agog with the news of LVMH-owned investing company, L Capital Asia, is keen about walking out of its deal with Genesis Luxury, India’s biggest luxury conglomerate which represents marquee luxury brands in India. Among Genesis Luxury’s latest launches were Villeroy & Boch and Sephora. However, the make-up brand is reportedly unhappy with Genesis Luxury as its franchise partner and is reportedly in talks with DLF Brands.

According to reports, L Capital Asia, a major investor in the company, has decided to snap ties in October this year, and has demanded that its founder, Sanjay Kapoor, either buys out its 40 per cent stake or sell the luxury brands marketing firm completely. To add insult to the injury, L Capital has also instructed Genesis Luxury to get its financial accounts audited by one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms.

Genesis Luxury was founded by former Citibank executive Sanjay Kapoor, and retails and markets several top luxury brands in India including Jimmy Choo and Armani. Besides L Capital Asia, three other private equity funds – Sequoia Capital, Henderson and Mayfield are investors in Genesis Colors, the parent company which owns 60 per cent of Genesis Luxury.

Kapoor, reportedly, is looking at investment by Sahara India Ltd. to tide over the crisis. He appeared rather nonchalant about the development at the launch of Villeroy and Boch.

Always turned out perfectly dressed, preferably “in a dark Canali suit, a white shirt, a nice tie in a bright hue and brown shoes”, 43-year-old Kapoor gave up a job at Citibank to set up a business, Genesis Colors in the early 1990s.

In luxury circles in India, the man is known for his smart marketing moves. He is said to have made it easier for global luxury brands like Jimmy Choo, Paul Smith, Canali, Etro and Bottega Veneta to break through in India. And his sharp business acumen has transformed Indian labels like Satya Paul and Samsaara into much sought-after home grown brands.

In an earlier interview he had said, “One of the key challenges that any international brand faces in a new market is the understanding of the local nuances, the customers and their preferences. Genesis has an advantage of being in the premium fashion retail business for the past decade with its own brands such as Satya Paul and Samsaara. We have an in-depth understanding of the Indian consumers in the premium and luxury space. This is an advantage that most international partners find Genesis offers over new entrants into the space.”

However, after the latest development, and the walking out of L Capital Asia, not many are sure how Kapoor will deal with the crisis.