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Jan, 06 2014

Spectacular business, ‘Spa’rkling returns

Since everyone from politicians to activists is going all out to please the 'aam aadmi' this season, how can the brands stay behind? Recognizing the rise of middle class, various spas are customizing their services and formats to make them more inclusive

Growth drivers

+ Rise of the middle class

+ Rising disposable incomes

+ Growing awareness about preventive healthcare

+ Changing lifestyle

This is truly the age of revolution in the Indian spa industry. As the country witnesses rising disposable incomes and growing awareness about preventive healthcare, the spa industry is gaining prominence.

Enjoying this new found relevance in the lives of Indians, even the industry is responding with equal enthusiasm. With the agenda of 'welcome one, welcome all', the industry players are customizing themselves to enchant more and more categories of customers and tap maximum market available.

Welcome to the new age spas; that cater to different needs and demands of their customers, with an aim of providing them 'value for money'.These spas also offer fantastic franchise opportunities that are sure to flourish in time to come.

Franchise Opportunities

Jet Set Go Spa!

Body Spa Express, from Body Spa International is a concept that was developed by Body Spa International to match the fast-paced life in the metropolitan cities, where everything is on a fast-track. Without compromising on quality, Body Spa Express provides rapid services to customers at affordable prices.

“Positive results of regular foot reflexology and body massage treatments led us to think about a format catering to such needs. We wanted it to be available to maximum customers, running short on time,” says Jatin Walia, MD, Body Spa International Pvt. Ltd.

Body Spa Express' parent brand, Body Spa International is a 100 per cent FDI company headquartered in Singapore. It entered the Indian market in year 2005, pioneering in the concept of neighbourhood spas. At present it has seven company owned outlets and three sub-brands under its umbrella, namely, Body Spa, Body Spa Express and Aradya.

It is looking for dynamic and visionary entrepreneurs to partner with; promising them full support and training.

Benefits of Ayurveda

Another spa brand that caters to the needs of today's fast paced life is Ganga Ayurvedic Retreat and Spa, bringing you the benefits of Ayurveda; the ancient Indian system of healing and the conventional Thai message therapies - all at affordable prices.

“Ganga Spa- Xpress model caters to those who don't have much time in their busy routine but still wish to experience fast massage service in busy places such as airport's waiting area / metro station, shopping malls and  road side where it can attract walk-in crowd for a short, relaxing and rejuvenating therapies such as reflexology,” explains Dr G D Singh, Director - Marketing, Ganga Spa. Established in the year 2005, Ganga Spa has over 37 centers across India.

The touch of gold

“With leisure time being a constraint and a perceived need to live a healthy and active life on a rise, a vacuum is being created in the express spa arena. To fill this space, Gold Leaf Spa - Bodyworkz has been envisaged,” says Deepak Mittal, MD, Gold Leaf Spa.

Elaborating further on the concept, Mittal says, “Pleasing the evermore time and budget-crunched consumers is becoming more and more necessary. Express spas are here to stay and will grow exponentially in the next five years. With the New York minute culture of 'on-the-spot' buying decisions coming into the psyche of Indians, Express spa will dot the high streets in this country.”

The brand which is an Indo-Thai venture has three company-owned and seven franchisee owned centers. Looking for partners with entrepreneurial outlook and requisite financial strength, Gold Leaf Spa has ambitious plans of expansion for the coming years.

Value for money

With a vision to make every individual free from the mental stress and health issues by revitalising mind, body and soul, Moh Spa came into being. Coming from the house of Aura Thai Spa, Moh started out in October 2013 and already has 10 upcoming units in Delhi - NCR with a master franchisee, two units in Chennai and many more in the pipe line.Moh helps customers discover affordable, authentic spa experiences and aims to become the largest chain of affordable, value for money spas in both India and abroad.

The brand aims to have around 90 day spas across India and abroad by October 2014. In India, it is focusing on metro cities and Tier II cities.

Growth drivers

Growing awareness about preventive healthcare and stressful lifestyles (where time and peace of mind are a luxury) are compelling a huge chunk of the Indian population to sit up and take notice of the spa culture.

Also, rising disposable incomes are leading to a change in the customer mindset, wherein they are not scared of experimenting new phenomenon and loosen some purse strings for relaxation and rejuvenation.

According to Winds of Change wellness report created by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), health and wellness, which until recently was a relatively niche concept targeting a select few, has now gained a mainstream audience.

The report goes on to state that the wellness market in India reached roughly $9.5 billion in 2011, which was a whopping 20 per cent increase over 2010. PwC recently also estimated that only about 2 per cent of Indian consumers are “active” participants or “believers” in the wellness industry, indicating a huge potential for growth in the coming years.


Shortage of skilled personnel

The spa industry faces a critical shortage of skilled therapists, spa managers and organised training institutes. Since there is tight supply of qualified staff and management within the industry, this issue needs to be addressed immediately to ensure there are no bottlenecks in the coming future.

High attrition rate

“After intensive training of freshers in the industry, we find poaching and staff turn around to competitors a real problem. The only practical solution is to try and keep the staff satisfied monetarily and keep them proudly associated with the brand,” opines Walia of Body Spa Express.

Rising property rentals

The rising cost of property rentals, especially of locations suitable to spa business also poses a problem. However, associating with a recognised brand name in the industry will help franchisee negotiate better and for longer lease period.

Fragmentation of the market

Fragmentation of the market and lack of standardisation of practices lends an unregulated structure to the spa industry; that needs to be organised in the time to come, for better industry growth.

Untapped rural sector

“Difficulty of development in rural areas due to a particular mindset and pricing also poses a hurdle in the overall growth,” explains Dr Singh of Ganga Spa.


India's wellness sector is evolving really fast. And market players predict a bright future for the 'value for money' segment spas. So the time is just right to take advantage of this booming opportunity and associate with a recognised spa chain to enter the market.

Jatin Walia, MD, Body Spa International Pvt. Ltd.

“After intensive training of freshers, we find poaching a real problem. The only practical solution is to try and keep the staff satisfied monetarily and keep them proudly associated with the brand.”

Dr G D Singh, Director–Marketing, Ganga Spa

“Ganga Spa- Xpress model caters to those who don’t have much time but still wish to experience fast massage service in busy places like airport waiting area, shopping malls etc.”

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