< CEO SPEAK >
Roland Streule, CEO, Rado, in conversation with Hiren Kumar Bose says that the association with Jasper Morrison, who designed new product lines, is here to stay
Tell us about the launches of the year.
Well, besides our existing product lines like Sintra, Integra, Ceramica and True, we have added r5.5 and the limited edition Jasper Morrison-designed Ceramica Chronograph. The objective was to have a new product line, with the DNA of Rado, and at the same time really complementary to the existing successful product lines. I think Jasper Morrison has achieved this objective. Personally, it’s more design-oriented and targeted at a younger group.
Can you go into the details of Rado’s association with Jasper Morrison?
Well, we started with a slight modification of Ceramica for the brand’s 50th anniversary, a limited edition. It was being sold outside the normal distribution network of Rado. And with the success of this limited edition, we thought we should also do a totally new product line, which we have done with our r5.5. The chemistry between Jasper and Rado is so good that we feel we should continue the relationship. He has the same philosophy as Rado. So, it’s a perfect match. But obviously, we will not introduce new product lines every year.
Will you also take us through the brand’s association with Miami Art Basel?
We are not really related to Art Basel. But, we are participating in an event called Design Miami, which is closely related to it. We feel this is the right match for Rado, because we are more and more associated with design, art and architecture.
Well, we have seen launches of Rado boutiques in Cochin, Gurgaon, and Ahmedabad. Any more additions in the coming years?
Yes. Some more boutiques will come up in India. We would like to go from the present 12 to 20 by the end of the year.
Has recession really affected you?
Of course. Who can avoid it? But the impact is different from one country to another. If you talk about America, it’s really at a loss. If you talk about India, we are still growing. We have seen a decrease in the growth rate. This is also true for a country like Italy, where we have not achieved the full potential yet. We are still growing, but not at the speed we would like to.
You mean things are not so bad in India, right?
In India, Rado has a solid foundation. We have an excellent after-sales service, a higher brand awareness, a good network of retail stores, and confidence in the population.
From black ceramic you have gone to grey ceramic. Do we see any more introductions in the coming years?
If we talk in terms of materials, yes. We have black ceramics, white ceramics, platinum-coloured ones and the matte, which we call the satin brush. We also have yellow ceramics, which is an important step forward. The concept watch uses the hard metal, the tungsten carbide, as a base. We are also using hitech ceramics, which are very light.