beauty and wellness May, 11 2012

Winning over hurdles in beauty biz

Beauty industry has emerged tremendously over the years. However, monopoly still remains with the unorganised players. Organised players are facing numerous challenges that restrict their growth to an extent. Read on to know mor

By Abha Garyali
Sub Editor
Winning over hurdles in beauty biz

With people becoming more conscious about the need ‘to look and feel better’, Indian beauty industry is thriving as never before. The consciousness is not just among fairer sex in fact men are equally becoming conscious about their looks. As a result beauty salons and spas are not only flocked by fairer sex but men too are pampering themselves in salons and spa’s. Another trend that has emerged recently is that the clients of all age-groups visit salons. Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that the salons are no longer gender or age specific.

Acknowledging the need and demand for expert beauty services players in the industry are making every possible effort to make their services available far and wide. Franchising is believed to be the best model for business expansion and majority of the brands are expanding via franchising. However in spite of all these factors for development, the organised salon sector still suffers from some serious challenges.

Roadblocks stalling growth

No doubt the beauty industry is emerging with newer trends but still the domain is largely unorganised which hinders the growth of branded players as well. There are certain other factors as well which staggers the success of franchised beauty industry. Let us have a look at these:

Domination of unorganised players: Till a few years back there were very few branded players in the salon sector. Women would also prefer going to their nearby local beauty parlours which were in abundance. This scenario has slowly changed with both the genders preferring to experience the hygienic and good ambience of franchised salons. However the unorganised parlours with their reasonable but unhygienic offerings put up strong competition with the organised players.

Price conscious clients: Indian customers being price sensitive restrict the demand and offering of luxury and high end services offered in branded salons. Mostly the middle aged men and women consider it sheer wastage of money to spend on salon services. This poses a big challenge to the popularity of the organised domain.

Unawareness among customers: No doubt people are getting aware of the need of specailised and branded salons but this awareness is limited to few only. Majority still remains with the unorganised players. Most of the people are not knowledgeable about the services and the benefits from branded salons. This affects the horizontal growth of the players.

Increasing cost of maintenance: Running a franchised salon is not an easy job with the rising costs of equipments needed and sky-touching monthly rentals. Franchise owners have to spend a lot on these. Moreover capital needed for advertising and promotions locally also pose another big challenge on the success of franchised salons. Many aspirants are unable to incur all these high costs and cannot realise their dream.

Wide regional differences: India with its many cultures, regions etc also pose a shortcoming on the success of franchised salons. Regional differences in the expected salon and beauty service offerings lead to a non standardised approach for offerings in the franchised salons. A flourishing brand of north may not prove as successful in the south due to the difference in the beauty treatments of clients there. This also poses a big challenge on the success of a franchised salon.

Lack of skilled and certified manpower: This is the key challenge faced by franchised beauty and salon players. Organised salons cannot satisfy consumers only with comfortable ambience or expensive products and services. The most essential requirement is skilled staff who is master at their job. However in India there is a dearth of such workers leading to inefficiency of franchised salons as well.

Players like VLCC, Jawed Habib etc have opened their training centres but still there are limited students there due to lack of awareness about the importance of this education. People prefer to be a graduate or educated in other streams, such as ccience and commerce rather than being a graduate in beauty and salon specialisation.

Overcoming the challenge

The various challenges faced by the franchised beauty industry may be turned favourable by changing the mindset of people. However the biggest challenge of limited skilled workers may not be tamed by the people but by the players and government. The branded players and the government should spread awareness about the need for skilled workers. The government can give more recognition to the beauty industry by opening good training institutes in this section. This would surely generate interest in youth to opt for a career in beauty industry as well. This would ultimately lead to more growth in the franchised domain.

To conclude it can be said that it is time that the various flaws in the franchised beauty sector are taken care of. It has an incredible future growth once the shortcomings in the organised domain can be sorted and cleared.

Related: Beauty lies in the hands of biz holder

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