December 1, 2020

CEO TALKS: Samsonite’s Ramesh Tainwala Sees Global Uptick in Travel as an Opportunity for Big Business

Millennials may be prioritizing travel over handbag purchases, but one accessory is thriving as a result — luggage.
The sector — valued at more than $30 billion — is experiencing steady single-digit growth, buoyed by an increase in travel worldwide. A shift in spending culture — away from material objects and toward experiences — is not the industry’s only stepping stone. Populous regions where newly minted members of the middle class have begun exploring travel for the first time have provided the luggage industry with a host of new markets.
Samsonite chief executive officer Ramesh Tainwala, sees this shift in consumer culture as a big opportunity. The company is luggage’s category leader, with a market share including Tumi estimated to be in the low- to midteens. It is far outpacing the industry’s 6 percent-or-so annual growth, reporting 15.5 percent sales growth in the 2016 fiscal year. The executive appeared unfazed by luggage start-ups like Away, noting that at $10 million in annual sales, they are “relatively small players.”
“We are continuously growing double digits over the past couple of years because travel is a priority for people — food, entertainment, travel comes to the top of the list of priorities. Even if people

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