Advisory May, 15 2015

How to keep skilled workforce intact in services business

The growing attrition rate of skilled workforce is the major challenge that beauty and wellness industry is undergoing these days so, it’s essential for franchisors to come up with new strategies to retain their qualified staff. Let’s find out what st

By Yamini S Verma, TFW Bureau
Sr. Sub-editor
How to keep skilled workforce intact in services business

Irrespective of gender and age, everyone loves to be pampered and wants to look good. Well, beauty salons and spas are the one-stop- destination for all those who desire for a relaxing session of beauty treatment and rejuvenate oneself from the stressful routine of life. Not only, these salons and spas offer holistic tranquility to their end users but their demand in every nook and corner has led to the segment’s growth year-on-year (YOY).

However, the lack of skilled staff and a high attrition rate are the main hindrances in the success of the industry. The industry needs a large pool of skilled labour across the country. As per the Skill Gap study conducted by IMaCS - the consulting arm of domestic credit rating agency ICRA - on behalf of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) had projected a likely shortage of 545,000 beauticians alone by 2022.

Market at a glance 

As per the market report, the beauty and wellness industry is growing with the rate of 30-35 per cent per annum. In 2011 itself, a study conducted by FICCI-PwC had projected that the Indian Wellness Services industry will face a likely shortage of 600,000 skilled personnel by 2016. The same FICCI-PwC report had forecasted that the number of people employed in the Wellness space could potentially almost treble from over 1 million in 2011 to 3 million by 2015. It also says, the wellness market in India is about Rs 490 billion and wellness services account for 40 per cent of this market. However, spas, alternative therapies, Ayurveda treatments and beauty services are expected to grow by 30 per cent. Also, a large number of new and leading players in the beauty and wellness industry are penetrating into tier-II and III cities from metros and mini metros via the franchise route.

Dealing with roadblocks

With more and more salons and spas fast opening in India, the demand of already crunched staff is growing manifold. The extent of the problem has moved the industry majors to open their own training centres to train and employ the skilled staff. South India’s biggest salon chain Naturals that boasts itself to be the best in the industry and its franchise system is the most unique also feels that the lack of trained staff is the biggest challenge for the industry. C K Kumaravel, CEO and Co-founder of Naturals believes: “Training is very important since it is a skilled job and we are now working on digitising the training module. We feel technology can be a great enabler of quality education.”  Naturals has five academies as of now, two in Chennai, one each in Bangalore, Coimbatore and Hyderabad. It is also in the process of setting up India's biggest training facility near Chennai. “This we are doing in collaboration with Godrej who are going to be our partner for content and certification.  Criteria to select a staff are they should know to smile well, the rest can be thought,” adds Kumaravel. 

Training academies, route to success

In the wellness and beauty industry, VLCC boasts to be among the first companies in the country to articulate the need for skilled manpower to ensure the sustainable growth of India via its wellness and beauty academy. VLCC believes that the challenges faced by the Indian beauty and wellness domain on the skill development front are akin to that faced by other sectors in terms of the inadequate availability of training infrastructure, standardised training curriculum, the absence of quality trainers in sufficient numbers, easier financial access to outcome-linked skills training initiatives, as also a general misplaced notion about the benefits of vocational training.

Sandeep Ahuja, MD and Group CEO, VLCC Health Care Ltd says: “Today, the VLCC Institute of Beauty and Nutrition has grown to become Asia’s largest chain of vocational education academies in Beauty and Nutrition with its 59 campuses imparting training to nearly 10,000 students annually. VLCC also runs several skill development programmes in partnership with various ministries and departments of the Central and State Governments. We have a comprehensive selection process in place for hiring staff at all levels of operations, including that at the salons.”

Also Kiran Bawa, MD, IOSIS Wellness asserts: “Training is constant in the beauty and wellness industry. “We do it at two levels, one for new joining staff and second is the refresher training and new introductions as well. We also have an in-house team of certified trainers for each of our fusions. Our trainers are certified by various international bodies like CIDESCO training our staff in Slimming services, Beauty Facials, Spa Massages and Hair Styling techniques. Constant refresher training for new developments in each of the fields is given to all the staff to keep them up to date with the latest trends.”

Related: Man behind the franchise success

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