Realising the growing demand for hair care and beauty services in both men and women in India, Wig-O-Mania has recently, entered the Indian market. Hasnain Mohamedali, CEO, Wig-O-Mania shares brand’s expansion strategy in India
Namita Bhagat (NB): What is ‘Wig-O-Mania’ all about?
Hasnain Mohamedali (HM): Headquartered in the United Kingdom, Wig-O-Mania are the manufacturers and promoters of Wigs and Hair pieces without the need of a chain of distributors and middlemen. We have factories that work exclusively for our brand - be it necessity wearers or high fashion individuals - we are able to cater to their requirements. Our team includes a wide range of professionals from the hair industry and outside. We were selected by UK Trade & Investment – the Business arm of the British Embassy in India to introduce our brand into India. Wig-O-Mania boasts of being the 1st European brand to enter into India.
NB: What is the market potential of the concept of ‘Wig-O-Mania’ in India?
HM: The guiding force for Wig-O-Mania and me over the past many years is; ‘All the forces in the world are not so powerful – as an idea whose time has come’. There is a growing awareness for hair care and beauty in both men and women in India. It is reported that the Beauty & Wellness industry is worth more than 5,000 crore with a steady growth rate of 20 percent - more than twice the annual growth. I am told the unorganised sector if added the figures would be six times more. This has given rise to high end quality beauty care treatments and spas that cater to the demand by a widening section of the population. The potential in terms of numbers along with the continuous growth of urban population and mass media at our disposal can generate a multi-million dollar corporate business.
NB: Could you share the brand's current presence via own/distribution or franchisees?
HM: As a brand whose clientele’s worldwide are retailers and salons, based on our global policy, we cannot be seen on the ground level dealing directly with end user clients. Hence we chose to appoint exclusive distribution partners/agents/agencies to selective corporate who have the potential to work in their market. We wisely appointed Franchise India to become our core marketing partners and introduce us to such distributors. Presently, we have concluded an exclusive tie-up with Naturals for South India that boasts of 150 salons and another 45 coming up in the next two months. We have offered a similar exclusive agency to JCKRC Spa Destination for North India. In the Western Zone we are working with Enrich Salon that boasts of 50+ salons to-date and a few other high end salons along with JCRKC.
NB: Elaborate on your brand strategy in India?
HM: Our focus in India is three-dimensional: Supply of complete range of High End Hair Extensions and Hair Pieces to Salons, Supply of Hair Pieces for the mass through Home Shopping Channels – we have a tie up with Star CJ, Offer our wide range of Wigs to the Medical Sector to cater to Necessity Wearers i.e. ladies suffering from temporary Hair Loss, being the after effects of Chemo, Alopecia etc.
NB: What is your overview of wig market in India?
HM: In India wig trends will be different from the West. While the West is a matured market, the East needs time to nurture itself. No sooner do the young ladies become acquainted with wearing wigs and hairpieces and not feel self conscious about it, it will take off.
NB: What is the approximate requirement in terms of capital and area to partner with you as a franchisee? What kind of training and support is given to them?
HM: Now, Wig-O-Mania is also offering franchise partnerships for opening its exclusive brand stores. A potential franchisee will require an area of 500-600 sq. ft along with an investment of Rs 24 to 30 lakh to associate with Wig-O-Mania.
NB: What are the challenges and competition in the market? How will you deal with it?
HM: To date we boast of being the 1st UK/European brand of its kind to enter into the Indian market. The local wig makers or human hair clip in extension makes that work in a cottage industry concept do not pose a threat to us as they cannot match our quality and style along with our expertise that befits European standards. We believe it is only a matter of time that foreign brands will enter the market and hence we need to capitalise our share and ground ourselves with exclusive partners. We will always require to be one-up on competition and that is our forte – we have senior management who boast of more than 45 years in the Hair Industry and hence our strength lies in bringing the West to East.
NB: What are your further expansion plans in India in the coming years?
HM: Since a year we have worked primarily in Mumbai region and recently started in South. We need to focus in North with special emphasis to Delhi and Punjab. We are already in talks with a chain of salon in Amritsar for II tier cities in the region. Our target is going to be II and III tier cities in India especially in North and West Zone. This is our plan for the next two years to be achieved by mid of 2014.