MasterCard and ESSEC Business School Launch Scholarship Programme to Develop Talent Base in Asia’s Luxury Retail and Services Sector
Rising Affluence and Consumption in Asia Pacific Spurs Need for More Professionals Specialized in Luxury Brand Management
Auckland, 22 May 2007 - As the affluent consumer market across Asia/Pacific is expected to continue to grow significantly over the next decade, businesses are faced with an enormous opportunity to meet the needs of this fast evolving and unique customer base. Recognising that talented individuals are key to business success in addressing this demanding demographic, MasterCard Worldwide, in association with ESSEC Business School, today launches the MasterCard-ESSEC Luxury Brand Management Programme.
The aim of the programme, open to New Zealanders, is to provide professionals in the luxury retail and service industry with an understanding of current branding, management and consumer trends. It comprises 15 scholarships to a four-day intensive course run by the prestigious ESSEC Business School, one of the world’s top business schools in international management education.
The renowned French institution runs the world’s only luxury brand management MBA program, which has become a reference point for the global luxury industry. This unique curriculum had previously only been taught at ESSEC’s campus in France. Through the MasterCard-ESSEC Luxury Brand Management Programme, selected modules will be made available to students in the Asia/Pacific for the first time at ESSEC’s recently established Singapore campus and research centre – The ESSEC Asian Centre.
"There is a real demand for executive-level talent in the Asia/Pacific luxury retail and services sectors,” says Christian Koenig, Director of ESSEC Singapore. “Affluent consumers represent a critical market segment – they set industry benchmarks in terms of product and service standards. We felt it was important to have a program that draws on our established and proven curriculum while providing a uniquely Asian perspective. The MasterCard-ESSEC Luxury Brand Management Program will give executives the edge".
Market liberalisation in China and India is unleashing new sources of growth and business opportunities. A rejuvenated Japan with its younger generation of business leaders will change how Japan competes. Regional economic integration will shift into high gear, making Asia an even more attractive market for investment and production. The number of Asia’s affluent consumers is expected to reach a new critical mass, making the region a glittering jewel in the crown of the world’s consumer markets.
"MasterCard Worldwide remains committed to staying at the heart of commerce, by contributing to education and research that is relevant to industry," says Georgette Tan, vice president, Communications, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard Worldwide. "With this latest MasterCard-ESSEC Luxury Brand Management Programme, we are hoping to help high-end retailers and luxury service providers gain insight into the latest world luxury trends. This will give them the skills to effectively reach out to their target markets."
The size and the spending power of the affluent and rich consumers of Asia are expected to expand rapidly over the next decade. Discretionary spending of the mass affluent households in 12 key Asian markets, over 70 million households strong in 2015, will exceed $600 billion.1
"Over the next decade, the affluent consumers of Asia are expected to reshape markets with their enormous purchasing power and trend-setting lifestyles. Their changing demands will recast products and services and offer up lucrative opportunities for businesses to innovate and succeed. It’s crucial that professionals in the luxury industry be equipped with the right tools to ride this wave," says Tan.
The group of 15 scholars will receive an intensive and hands-on learning experience over four days of lectures and training. The course will cover the key challenges and dynamics of the luxury industry, different models of luxury brand development and unique challenges in managing services for competitive advantage. The Chinese luxury market will be a special focus of the MasterCard - ESSEC Luxury Brand Management Programme, with a whole day dedicated to the study of its enormous growth potential. This will incorporate an analysis of the luxury consumer market, the geographic distribution of China’s affluent consumers and the different regional characteristics.
China’s affluent consumer market, defined as those earning an annual income of $50 000 and above, was estimated to have close to 48 000 households with a collective income of almost $3 billion in 2005. Assuming a trend rate of real GDP growth of 7.5% per year over the next 10 years, it is expected there will be over 400 000 such households in 2015, averaging an astonishing annual growth rate of 23.8%. Their collective income will also grow by about 10 times, exceeding $29 billion by 2015. Research shows the rich in China are spending on everything from cars, to dining and international travel.2
Admission to the MasterCard-ESSEC Luxury Brand Management Programme is based on a rigorous selection process. Professionals currently employed in the luxury industry in Asia/Pacific are invited to apply. All applications will be reviewed by a MasterCard-ESSEC academic panel, which will determine a select group of 15 scholars. Course graduates will be awarded internationally-recognised certificates by ESSEC Business School. The program will be conducted in English at ESSEC Business School’s Asian Centre in Singapore. Applications open on 22 May and close on 30 June 2007. Successful applicants will be informed at the end of August 2007. Those interested in more information on the scholarships and course components can log onto www.essec.edu/Mastercard-ESSEC.
About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 16 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard Worldwide serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to www.mastercard.com.
1 "Succeeding Like Success, The Affluent Consumers of Asia", Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd 2007.
Note: The 12 key Asian markets in this study are Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.