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Jan, 06 2014

Of beauty and benefits

With six salons under its brand's umbrella, Spa Treat, a high end salon & spa brand has recently made its foray into franchising and is now all set to strengthen its brand's presence. The brand has plans to tie up with 500 franchisees in the next five yea

You know, why Beauty and wellness industry is the fastest growing industry?  Why business of beauty salons and spa is brimming with numerous opportunities? It's because of the growing consumption patterns that have exponentially augmented with the entry of plethora of brands. In fact, rising wealth of middle class segment has undoubtedly raised the consumption of beauty products and services in almost every part of the country.

Everyone wants to look good and willingness to pay for beauty services has become quite a rage among all age groups. As per  a recent industry report, Despite the slowdown in economic growth in 2012, the wellness industry has shown little signs of downturn as consumer spend on wellness products and services continues to be resilient. While industry prospects still remain bright, companies are fine-tuning their business and operating model in order to drive sustained revenue growth and ensure profitability. The Indian wellness industry is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 15-17% to touch one trillion INR in the next 3 years.

Collective action from multiple stakeholders to address challenges can enable the wellness industry to live up to its trillion rupee potential. Considering the varying preferences of customers, the top notch brands have started spreading their foothold in tier II and III cities besides tapping metro cities. Nowadays, people love to experience multiple services under one roof. They are no more worried about spending extra bucks when it comes to stylish hairdos, makeovers or experiencing rejuvenating spa therapies in a comfortable yet serene ambience.

Spa Treat, a high end-salon and spa brand from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, started its journey in the business of beauty way back in 1982. Later in 2008, they moved into fitness, spa, hair replacement and advanced beauty treatments. The brand targets to cater to customers from all walks of life. Talking about the entrepreneurial journey, company's MD, Rajan Bawa proudly says: “We have seen tremendous growth, goodwill, sales and reach within the length and breadth of Bhopal city. In these 32 years, we have only grown from strength to strength and have consolidated our position as market leaders in the niche market.”

Spa Treat boasts of offering international standard bridal makeup and celebrity hair stylists. The company's Founder Nikky Bawa is trained from Dominic Cruise (USA) and Tony & Guy (Australia). For hair styling, the company has Tarun Atankar and Shaan who are personal stylists to Bollywood stars. For providing Spa treatments, the company hires mainly the internationally acclaimed therapists, who come all the way from Moscow, Ukraine and Thailand. Spa Treat would similarly make the franchisees maintain standards at par in terms of products and services pan India.

Building a successful relationship

For building a successful relationship with their franchisees, the company finalises project expense, provides equipment vendors, provides product vendors, and provides consumable vendors, check that build is as per brand's guidelines, develops design for all promotions and marketing materials, recruit and trains staff, sets up billing system, sets up all operating systems, tests operating and billing system before launch, devise PR and marketing strategy, develops utilities and/or support mechanism. The brand also offers guidelines for managing the facility, staff, guests and also aids its franchisees in growing their business by conducting all ATL and BTL marketing activities.

With an intention to provide information to their staff, related to new products and services, Spa Treat focuses on providing training through their in-house training institute running for 32 years with trained professionals in all areas of specialization. The same is readily available to all its franchisees. To make sure that quality is maintained, mystery customers and account audits are done by their audit teams.

Associate to earn beautiful profits

Currently, Spa Treat operates six company-owned outlets, five in Bhopal and one in Indore. By jumping on franchise bandwagon, Spa Treat now plans to cement its position beyond the length and breadth of its parent city. The company now wishes to get instant brand recognition from people across the country. The brand has huge expansion plans in terms of franchising and brand building. So far, the brand has finalised franchisees in Chennai, Madurai, Bangalore, Ahmadabad, Surat, Baroda and Jabalpur. Throughout the country, the company aspires to open 500 franchise salons in the next five years. The target locations on their radar would be major metros such as Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Calcutta. Spa Treat looks ahead for standalone properties with huge signage visibility with easy parking facilities and accessibility to the cross section of customer base. For international expansion, Spa Treat is on the verge of finalising one outlet in Australia.

For franchise enquiries contact: Rajan Bawa at 09752000158.


Rejuvenating ‘Spa’ces

In an interaction with TFW Bureau, Rajan Bawa discusses in detail his entrepreneurial journey so far.

What kind of challenges did you face to refurbish your business model and what is the consequence?

The first challenge faced was funding, for which some financial institutions came forward in good measure to give wings to our dreams.

The second challenge: Negative mindset of some customers about cross gender therapies.Talking about the franchising opportunity there was a lot of stress due to travelling, staying away from family was also tough.

What kind of growth do you see for your brand in the next five years?

Going by the acceptance of the brand in the franchising sector, I see a minimum of 500 outlets of Spa Treat across the country in the coming five years.

How do you see franchising contributing towards the growth of your business?

We look at more outlets, more revenue, more sales, high profit margins, along with 15 per cent royalty from the franchisee in question.

Manpower is a challenge in this industry. How do you manage the same for your company owned and franchise centers?

As far as our manpower is concerned we have sub divided it into the following categories. Hair stylists, Beauticians and Body Spa therapists. We have in house celebrity hair stylists from Mumbai, Delhi and best ones from local market and we provide one celebrity hair stylist to each of our franchisees. About our Beauticians, we provide in house training in Bhopal to the recruited professionals in our training academy which we are running from last 32 years. Our Body spa therapists are further classified into three sub categories: Moscow, Thailand and North-East staff, the parent brand has all of these specialists and we provide the same to our franchisees.

Discuss in brief your entrepreneurial journey?

Post MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune, I took work experience with advertising companies like O&M Delhi, where I worked with Brand Hutch and at JWT Delhi, on Brand Pepsi. I decided to launch my own brand with the experience and expertise gained over the years and  that is exactly what I did with Spa Treat.

What criteria do you follow to select the franchisees?

We are looking at people with experience, financial muscle and those who take the business in question as their main stream revenue generation scheme and not as some side kick.

Franchise facts

  • Investment: Rs 15 lakh for interiors & Rs 5 lakh for franchise fee.
  • RoI: 100% in 10 months.
  • Area: Minimum 1,000 sq. Ft
  • Break-even:
    • (A) Operational break-even from 1st day
    • (B) Capital expenditure break-even in 7 to 10 months
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