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Bernheim CEO RAYMOND WEIL

What is the fi rst thing a consumer looks for in a brand?
Customers are more and more looking for a great value for money and an understated product which is still beautiful and highly qualitative. They are also looking for a Brand that corresponds to their personality and lifestyle. RAYMOND WEIL offers a wide range of products to please the taste of each of its client. Our different collections allow us to address the needs of all our markets.

In managing a brand where does leadership come into play?
Leadership is key to give the good direction and necessary impulsion when managing a brand. Just like the conductor who gives the rhythm to the orchestra so that everything runs harmonious.

Was there any particular challenge your brand faced in the market initially?
Historically, India has always been an important market for the Brand. This market has a bright future ahead but we need to go step by step.

Who do you see as your major competitor? Is there anything that inspires you in them and you would want to adopt?
We do not have one major competitor. Every brand that offers classic and elegant products at the same price point as ours is likely to be a competitor. However, we have our own identity and DNA and are proud of our history. Our strength lies in what we are and that is what makes us successful.

What is the toughest challenge you have faced in building up your brand?
My grandfather, late Mr Raymond Weil, decided to found his own watchmaking company in the middle of a watch industry crisis in 1976. This was defi nitely the fi rst challenge! Today, as an independent Brand, our constant challenge is the distribution and the fi ght for space against big groups in the points of sale. The current economic situation worldwide is obviously another big challenge for us. We need to be cautious but I’m optimistic. Being a family business gives us a lot of opportunities. We can react much quicker and count on our very reliable partners with whom we have built long term relationships since the beginning.

What/Who is your inspiration and what keeps you going?
My grandfather was a fantastic example for me and he still is a constant source of inspiration. He had a fascinating ability to build personal and professional relationships that last in the time; he also had strong entrepreneurial skills and I do my best to take advantage of this precious learning. In terms of product design and marketing, music drives my inspiration and the Brand’s creativity.

What are your favorite pastime activities to keep away the work pressure and deadlines?
Like all members of the Weil-Bernheim family, I am a true music-lover. I play both piano and cello. In addition, my love for gastronomy led me to open a restaurant, the “Café des Banques”, in 2008, and a wine bar, “Chez Lucien”, in 2010, in Geneva. It is my pleasure to plan the menu with the team every week.

For your brand, how important is digital advertising in present day scenario?
As a family-owned company, it is very important for us to be close to our community and engage conversations on our brand and products. We fully embrace digital media as it enables us to nurture a very close and dedicated relationship with our customers and fans. We will intensify our digital presence in the coming months and try new ways to reach out to our community.

The future of luxury watches in India/Asia. How is the market expanding?
India has a great potential for the Swiss watchmaking industry, subject to favorable cultural, political and economic factors. Just like for all emerging markets there are different stages and India is currently in a consolidation phase. It is necessary to ensure the country a sustainable growth built on strong foundations.

How are new tech developments enhancing the market for luxury watches?
It is always wise to remain informed, updated and sensitive to new developments and innovations. The challenge forces us to do our best. In regards to smartwatches in particular, it might actually attract new customers who were not that interested in watchmaking

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