A doctoral scholar in marketing, Rubal Rathi’s journey began with a lure and fascination towards luxury brands. “Having had an inclination towards fashion and luxury since high school, when asked about the dissertation area, I was certain that it has to be around luxury brand management,” she says.
The idea made even more sense when she explored luxury research in Asia, only to learn that it is an under-researched discipline. Countries like India and China are emerging markets for luxury and hold immense growth potential. To kick start her research journey in luxury, under the guidance of her supervisors, she undertook a project to map the current state of luxury research; understand how the field has progressed in the past few decades, identify the most prominent institutions, authors, & countries, and explore the existing major themes of in the discipline. “This in-depth analysis serves as a preliminary literature review and paves way for future research,” she says, while talking about her recent bibliometric project. Moreover, to contribute her share to this growing industry, she regularly writes op-eds, blogs and book chapters to disseminate knowledge, while learning perpetually.
With this constant urge of learning and now forging into finalizing the thesis topic, multiple themes fascinate her. “We are living in a digital age and technology is transforming the luxury world, retail and online channels are not how they were 5 years back. At the same time, sustainability concerns are paramount. Even the beliefs and values of Indian consumers differ from their western counterparts, which opens avenues for cultural investigations,” she noted, while contemplating potential dissertation themes, the locus of which will be the Indian luxury market and consumer behavior.