Health and beauty Aug, 08 2009

Soothing business proposal

Stressed? Tired? Feeling drained out? Well, a spa is what you need. But a spa is not just for those who wish to rejuvenate; it is an apt business proposition too for those who wish to take up a franchise in a different sphere. The spa culture is really co

By Neha Malhotra
Sub Editor, Franchise India Holdings Limited, Web Division
Soothing business proposal

The steadily growing Indian economy seems to have opened doors for new sectors, which were never heard of.  Spa is one such sector. Now you don’t need to wait for vacations to enjoy a spa at a resort, it can be a part of your daily routine at a spa near you.

Growing numbers

According to figures of the Spa Association of India, the spa industry in India currently boasts over 2,300 spas, generating a revenue representing approximately USD $384 million annually. Commenting on India’s spa industry figures Rajesh Sharma, Founder, Spa Association of India says, “While the Indian spa market is still a modest sliver of the overall $60-billion-plus core global spa economy, India is poised to attract significantly more western tourists (particularly on the medical/wellness travel front) as well as continue to develop its own vibrant, indigenous spa market at a heady pace.” India tops the list along with China and Montenegro with the growing demand every year at a rate of 7.9 per cent.

Validation for growth

The Spa industry has observed strong growth with the rise in the annual disposable income among individuals, growing level of health awareness and the changing lifestyle of consumers etc. Supporting the same Sharma says, “More spending power and awareness among the people of India is making this industry expand.” As more people are becoming aware day by day, the number of Spa goers is on the upswing.  Shahnaz Husain, Chairperson and MD, Shahnaz Husain Group of Companies opines, “With the concept of “total well being” gaining ground, spa treatments are becoming popular. There is an increased interest in health and fitness. Health and beauty have become two sides of the same coin. Concepts of yoga and meditation have become popular all over the world, as people are more aware of the fact that body and mind are interlinked and interdependent. Spa treatments have caught on because of increased awareness of the “wellness” concept and its benefits, especially in terms of stress removal and rejuvenation.” Also the entry of various foreign players has led to the growth and integration of the Indian spa industry. All these factors collectively are driving more people to the spa centres.

Franchising its way

Franchising in the spa industry accounts for a meagre percentage. According to Sharma, “Franchised spa is not more than 5 per cent in the country.” A major share of the pie is not franchised; it poses a great opportunity for you by giving you the first mover advantage in cities with no spas and also gives you an edge over the competitors which won’t be many.

Those into the industry are quite content with their franchising model. Husain tells, “Franchising is at the core of the success of our brand. The fast paced extension of the Shahnaz signature salons is due to the franchise system. We have also extended our other ventures like beauty institutes and spas on the franchise system. Today, the Shahnaz Husain franchise has become a successful business model, with tremendous international goodwill and demand.” So probably if you wish to franchise your business, this might be the right time to give in.

Franchise Brands

The spa industry has created strong opportunities for existing and new entrants. Various international players like Spa Siam and Body Spa International have entered through the franchising model to attain success in the country. Indian players like Lambency Chandan Sparsh, The Four Fountains Spa have also laid down great expansion plans for the coming years.

Impediments in augmentation

As the spa industry is at a nascent stage it is bound to encounter hurdles. The major stumbling blocks include lack of standardisation, lack of accredited spas, lack of awareness among certain sections of the society, lack of trained personnel and therapists and the usage of non standardised products.  Acknowledging the same Sharma says, “In the last decade, the spa industry has faced difficulties in meeting the market demand for experts, academic instructors and training schools that have high academic standards required.”

Future

With over 700 spas predicted to open doors in the next 2-4 years, there’s no doubt that the spa industry in India is growing fast. Predicting the future Sharma says, “The future of the spa franchising is great, the more professionalism and awareness is going to come, more people would like to go the franchised spa’s and the reason would be: quality, professionalism, trust, better service, new products and technology and accredited spa therapists and facility.”

With such immense prospects it is definitely a business option to delve into.

Related: Beautifying biz of making profits

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