Mercedes, in India has always been the chosen one for hardened businessmen, for the 3-point star is more associated with maturity and real wealth. Globally too, the sense of ownership has been somewhat similar. Audi & BMW have shed the image of “luxury” and instead associated themselves more towards “premium & upscale” automobile, symbolising early age success.
The Mayback S680 from the house of Mercedes was launched recently and the first buyer of the vehicle is a 33 year young entrepreneur from Mumbai. Abhishek Agarwal is also the youngest owner (on paper and for ownership records of the company) of a Maybach in India. The images of Abhishek’s delivery were shared by celebrity photographer Viral Bhayani on Instagram.
Based on the standard S-Class, the Maybach S-Class gets a 180mm longer wheelbase. The added space goes to the rear passengers. The car is nearly 5.5-metres in length, making it one of the longest cars in the market. The Mercedes-Maybach gets some of the most advanced and unique features. It gets a “doormen” feature that allows the rear passenger to do a hand gesture and close the door automatically. Even the driver of the car gets a button to operate the rear doors. The rear seat is where the Mercedes-Maybach offers most features. The car gets rear seats that can be adjusted between 19 and 44 degrees recline. There is a retractable leg rest as well.
Currently, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is positioned as the flagship sedan from Mercedes-Benz in India, and it takes on expensive full-size luxury sedans like Bentley Flying Spur and Rolls-Royce Ghost. The prices for Mercedes-Maybach S-Class start at Rs 3.80 crore, which goes up after selecting the optional extras.
In Jun. ‘22, Abhishek’s company Purple Style Labs raised USD 10 mn from various investors including popular actress Madhuri Dixit Nene led by Angel Investor Akash Bhansali, among others. The company was established in 2015 and primarily operates pop-up shops across the world at leading star hotels and exhibitions, selling premium and luxury designer wear clothing. The company also incubates young and aspiring designers and helps them in sales & marketing. The company boasts of over 800 designers under its kitty including Anita Dongre, Rohit Bal, Tarun Tahiliani, etc. The company’s annual sales for FY 23 is estimated to be Rs. 750 Cr (USD 100 mn approx.) and recently acquired designer label Wendell Rodricks.
While owning luxury cars and SUVs of prominent business persons and entrepreneurs is nothing new, the buzz around Abhishek is because he has acquired newest Maybach. Also, the model of setting up Pop-Up shops is gaining attention globally. Most of the luxury designer wear stores do not attract a steady stream of customers everyday like regular fashion apparel. The trend is extremely seasonal while the collections are also not sent tp stores in batches. Rather, they are designed for occasions and seasons, so it only makes more sense to set-up Pop Up stores when there is a buying season with a reason.
Aditya Birla Retail and Reliance Retail are hotting up this space with their brands Tasva and Avantara, which hold premium designer wear. These stores are located at high-end malls and premium high streets in upscale neighborhood areas in mega cities like New Delhi, South Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Incidentally, Purple Style Labs’ Pernia Pop Shop is planning to open stores in London & New York in 2023.