Francis Gouten entered the luxury watch market over thirty-five years ago in a career that connects him to most luxury watch brands.
Until July 2006, he was the CEO of Richemont Asia Pacific, which owns some of the most prestigious international luxury brand names that include Cartier, Piaget and Van Cleef and Arpels. His entry into the Asian luxury market began in 1981 as the CEO of Cartier Asia.
Following his recent retirement from Richemont, Gouten has developed his own company, Gouten Consulting Limited. Gouten Consulting offers corporations a chance to benefit from his years as a luxury industry leader.
There are a number of facets to this enterprise which include training sales forces of luxury companies in the region and serving as consultant for brands new to or considering expansion in the region. The luxury world and his expertise are not limited to watches, but include clothing, bags and other fashion accessories.
As Gouten explains, “Hong Kong is the starting point for regional growth in the luxury world. The Hong Kong market has a growing thirst for luxury and the local consumers see brand names as important indicators of personal success and wealth. For a company to be successful in China, Hong Kong is the benchmark whereby Chinese will judge the company’s authenticity and status.”
With luxury markets also continuing to grow and develop in Japan, China and Taipei as well, Gouten Consulting has an endless pool of clients.
As if this is not enough, Gouten has also entered the real estate development market as a consultant. He is advising two companies that have purchased prime property in Taipei and Shanghai that plan to develop the property to include retail space for some of the world’s finest luxury brands.
Gouten is far from retirement. For Asia and worldwide, he continues to define luxury and refine even the luxury world itself.
(Issue July / August 2007)