CEO Speak – Alexander M Bennouna

CEO Speak – Alexander M Bennouna

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Alexander M Bennouna, CEO, Timepieces, Victorinox Swiss Army, tells Hiren Kumar Bose that their timepieces represent the very same values that their renowned army knives stand for…

Victorinox is known the world over, including India, for its Swiss knives. How does the equity translate into watches?
We are translating the same values that have made Swiss army knives successful. Victorinox is known for functionality, reliability and innovation and we translate the same values into our timepieces too. These values find an echo in the watch industry as well. We make watches that you can pass on to your children. As far as knives are concerned, we have an absolute monopoly. There is no competition whatsoever. The watch market is very dynamic and competitive and our watch collection is the result of a long process of design and engineering.

Can you profile your ideal customer?
We do not exclude any age or social demographic category. We try to make watches that hold their promise. This enables our end user to enjoy a trustful relation with our timepieces. The highlight of our collection is that it is diverse. While some models are technical, some are classic, some are a bit sophisticated, some economic and still some others feminine. We offer an assortment of watches that is accessible to a larger audience. We make watches for people who are self- confident and appreciate the quality and durability of our timepieces.

In March, Victorinox launched ‘Time to Care’, an year-long initiative that fosters sustainable practices. In the near future do we see Victorinox watches that harness alternative energy?
We don’t rule out the use of alternative energy to power our watches. We are actually exploring alternatives to quartz and electrical power. But it will be too early to say anything concrete.

How has been your growth in the Indian market? Are you focusing on expansion with more point of sales?
India is the fastest growing economy in the region. We come from a situation wherein we depended completely on America.
Now we are focusing on Europe and Asia, which includes India. It has been just three years since we launched our watch brand. We have been quite consistent, with a systematic approach to marketing. I will not be able to articulate the numbers, but I can say that it has to go side by side with the services we offer our end consumer. It will be a natural progression.
We are mainly focused on the metros but in the near future we plan to address the secondary cities too. But that will not happen immediately.

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