Pointless to ask your immediate free association to the words “luxury” and “Switzerland”: the answer will undoubtedly be “watches”, while your mind will conjure up a list of prestigious legacy brands. But the journey at the heart of the Swiss manufacturing élite that EMILUX - Executive Master in Luxury Management participants are going to make goes far beyond the commonplace. For many reasons. The first is precisely the choice of exploring the new frontiers of the luxury industry starting from some of its traditional cornerstones: Cartier, Omega and Panerai. To discover, for instance, that heritage is not sacrificed but on the contrary enhanced by digital innovation, care for sustainability and the new global commercial strategies.
The Swiss stopover is one in several “itinerant” EMILUX modules. The title – “Strategic Diagnosis and External Environment” – reveals its objectives: understanding the impact of global transformations on the luxury industry and how to frame its new commercial and “experiential” strategies. Accompanied by EMILUX Director Gabriella Lojacono, by Alberto Grando, professor of Operations Management and former Dean of SDA Bocconi, together with Yajin Wang, professor of Marketing at CEIBS - China Europe International Business School, who is hosting the module, the participants will closely interact with the manufacturing and commercial structures of the three maisons.
The five-day module will open with two class courses: “How people buy & sell in China”, to better understand the potential and the new marketing paradigms enabled by digital technologies in one of the emerging markets for luxury goods at a global level; and “Sustainability, craftsmanship, innovation, on the way to Paris”, with the participation of Vaishali Shadangule, the Indian fashion designer who presented her collection in the French capital this year.
The following two modules are looking to Asian markets as well: “New thinking on digital marketing & new retail” focuses on China, the major e-commerce market in the world at present, and “Retail environment in India: the importance of strategic alliances”, held by Darshan Mehta, President & CEO of Reliance Brands (the top fashion and luxury player in India, with a capitalization of 125 billion dollars), already known and appreciated by EMILUX students.
The following three days are devoted to company visits. Cartier is the first with La Chaux-de-Fonds manufacture, one of the capitals of the Swiss watchmaking industry, followed by the headquarters in Meyrin (Geneva), where Alberto Grando, professor of Operations Management and former Dean of SDA Bocconi, is going to speak about “Operations strategy and focused management”; a workshop by Gabriella Lojacono and Cyrille Vigneron, President & CEO of Cartier International, will follow on the “Resilience of Luxury Companies in Times of Change”, which is also the topic of a recent book by Lojacono and Laura Pan, the Master’s coordinator. The next two stops on the journey will visit another two iconic maisons, Panerai in Neuchâtel and Omega in Bienne.
“Experience” is certainly the key word for this module and for EMILUX in general. It means getting to know the most representative brands in the various sectors hands-on, as well as an idea of luxury in harmony with the present cultural context and emerging topics. After all, considering that these are markets where the value of brand experience is key, the training approach could not be different.
SDA Bocconi School of Management