Judging by the explosion in South Asian fashion runways around the world, the South Asian fashion market is growing by leaps and bounds.

Someone who knows about the business of style is Darshan Mehta, President and CEO of Reliance Brands Ltd. It compiles one of the most authoritative annual surveys of the state of the Indian fashion industry. The popular Indian catwalk event, Lakme Fashion Week is conducted under the aegis of the Reliance group. The event is organized and managed in India by Reliance group entity, IMG Reliance. For Lakme Fashion Week, Mehta works closely with his counterpart, Sundar Raman, CEO of Reliance-Sports.

“The Lakme Fashion Week held twice a year in Mumbai now ranks amongst the top 10 fashion weeks in the world in terms of footfall and media interest and the creativity of fashion,” Mehta says.

Indeed, bridal wear plays a big part in driving this business trend.“The South Asian bridal fashion market is estimated to be approx $100 billion,” Mehta says. “If you ignore jewellery (given that this is real gold and diamond jewellery and hence seen as an asset class and not expense), it is still a $60 billion-plus market.”