The Regional Watch & Jewellery Industry to officially band together under one Association to combat piracy and minimize the availability and sale of counterfeit items.
This is the clear and unanimous message that emerged from industry bigwigs who assembled at the Arabian Watches & Jewellery (AWJ) Roundtable Discussions.
The Second Edition of the recently hosted Arabian Watches & Jewellery (AWJ) Roundtable Discussions, held at the Al Fahidi Conference Centre at the Emirates Towers Office Building was yet another initiative by MPParabia to forge a new industry partnership and promote closer industry-consumer interface. The AWJ Roundtable Discussions will now be a regular annual fixture and next year’s event will hopefully be elevated to the level of a Luxury Summit where we hope to once again congregate the industry’s top heavy hitters to discuss the current state of affairs, the future and the challenges on the road ahead for the industry.
MPParabia convened a very distinguished assembly comprising a cross section of leading, selective, by-invitation only professionals from the premium watches and fine jewellery sectors in the Middle East to provide a media platform to deliberate on the broader issues concerning the industry in the region. Also joining us was a select non-industry group of watch and jewellery connoisseurs and collectors whose input and insights into the business embellished and electrified the discussions.
The discussions were orderly, interesting, lively and enthusiastic. There was an electric and collegial atmosphere as participants faced-off and squared with each other on a plethora of issues facing the industry. The distinguished participants provided their unique insights from their respective vantage positions and brought expertise, professionalism and experience to the table.
MPParabia empanelled Moaz Barakat, Managing Director, The World Gold Council for the Middle East, Turkey and Pakistan to chair both sessions which examined the various issues confronting the industry, provided a forum for exchange of ideas, identified constraints and difficulties, explored new growth avenues, offered collective suggestions for improvement and initiated solutions to pressing concerns.
Following fruitful discussions by a cross section of senior industry officials at the Second AWJ Roundtable Discussions, there was now a chorus of calls from attendees to create an association to combat counterfeit merchandise, curb parallel imports, replicas and duplicates and to enforce current laws and regulations and protect intellectual property rights.
MPParabia rightly believes that the time is now ripe to create this industry body and provide it teeth to counter the growing menace of piracy which has been taking its toll on the industry, eating away on the profitability and eroding the reputation of the industry.
The Topics & Questionnaire for Second AWJ Roundtable Discussions centred on the following:
Branded vs. Unbranded Jewellery:
- Is unbranded jewellery (accounting for as much as 80—85 % of the retail market share) eroding the shine of the industry in the Middle East?
- Is this a threat to the established big brands?
- Why should customers be encouraged to buy branded jewellery?
Watch & Jewellery Ambassadors:
- Is there a payoff in the use of Brand Ambassadors / Ambassadresses in promoting watch & jewellery brands? To what extent are customers influenced by them?
- Pros and cons in the case of international Vs regional Brand Ambassadors?
- Do they represent real value-for-money? How does this translate into benefit to customers?
Copyright, Patents & Grey Markets:
- Does the Middle East have adequate copyright and patent laws to deter sale of counterfeits?
- Are the rules enforced effectively?
- How are consumer’s interests protected in this context?
Institutional Sales / Special Orders:
- How big is the corporate luxury segment in the Middle East? (Market for gift items & institutional sales?)
Retail, Advertising & BTL promotions:
- Are special / end-of-year sales effective and beneficial to customers?
- How effective is POP (Point of Purchase) Promotion? How do these promotions entice customers?
- What role do BTL promotions play in watch / jewellery sales? To what extent do they induce the customers to buy?
New generation X consumers in the Middle East:
- Who or what is Generation X in the context of the watch / jewellery sector? Can we draw a profile? What are the demographics / psychographics?
- What are the changing trends? What are the customers’ new preferences? What is hot and what’s not?
How to influence Generation X:
- How do we influence Generation X?
- How do we convert potential customers of today into tomorrow’s buyers?
Consumer Education through Advertising & Editorial:
- How can media help in moulding opinion and influencing readers and customers?
- What are readers looking for in specialist magazines such as Arabian Watches & Jewellery?
The following is the list participants in alphabetical order of the companies they represented:
1. Fouad A. Jabbour—Area Manager, Al Tayer
2. Mona Taghadous—Area Brand Manager, Al Tayer
3. Suzan Samaha—Marketing Operations Manager, Al Tayer
4. Haitham Chamsine—VP, Watches, Jewellery & Accessories, BinHendi Enterprises
5. Amaury La Fonta—Marketing Director, Cartier
6. Georges Sofia—Commercial Executive, Chalhoub Inc. FZE
7. Chady Jreige—Managing Partner, David Morris International
8. Sabah Mousa—Managing Partner, David Morris International
9. Philippe McGarry—Managing Director, De Beers
10. Amit Dhamani—CEO / Managing Director, Dhamani
11. Cedric Burel—Regional Brand Manager, Ebel Swissam
12. Omar El Chaoui—Marketing Manager, Harry Winston Middle East
13. Daniela Ufken—Managing Director, Precious Times DMCC
14. Nader Elmir—Brand Manager, Dunhill, Richemont
Jordana Brewster wore Carrera y Carrera Jewellery to the cocktail party in California
Carmen Electra wore Carrera Y Carrera to the premiere of ' This is The End'
Linda Evangelista dazzled in Harry Winston Diamonds
Exhibition & Events
Swarovski showcased the new Fall Winter 2013/14 “Secret Treasures” event
Visconti won three RCA Awards
Stars dazzled in Chopard jewellery at the ‘In Love with Cinema’ Event
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