It’s worth noting that, for many of the years I’ve been reporting on travel retail, India was dismissed as the industry’s ‘sleeping giant’. It was obvious the country was an enormous market with huge potential, but it was held back by multiple challenges – dilapidated airport infrastructure, bureaucratic red tape, a crumbling, state-run duty free monopoly (India Tourism Development Corporation), and a customer base who preferred to shop abroad.
Of course, in opening the new Luxe Boutique Pernod Ricard is only following in the footsteps of Diageo, which opened its first Johnnie Walker House in India at Chhatrapati Shivaji T2 in 2014. Where Diageo and Pernod have ventured, I suspect others will follow. After many false dawns, I believe 2016 could be the year Indian travel retail finally starts to live up to its undoubted promise.