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May, 04 2015

Of make up, money and man power

The mushrooming of salons and spas has helped the beauty industry bloom by leaps and bounds. Let's browse the business opportunities it offers to potential franchisees in the fraternity via franchising way and how skilled manpower can prove to be win- win

The mushrooming of salons and spas has helped the beauty industry bloom by leaps and bounds. Let's browse the business opportunities it offers to potential franchisees in the fraternity via franchising way and how skilled manpower can prove to be win- win situation for both the franchisee and the franchisor.

With strong awareness for beauty and wellness among women and men, beauty salons have their toll increasing year- after-year. Not only this, the changing lifestyle and disposable income has led the Indian beauty industry towards tremendous transformation in the past few years and has created new avenues for investors looking for potential opportunities in beauty salon and spa industry.

Industry insight

The beauty and wellness industry is growing with the rate of 30-35 per cent per annum. This exceptional growth is making new waves among the leading players that are in the segment of salons and spas. Beauty services like haircuts, pedicures, facials, waxing and other treatments delivered at salons alone (excluding treatments at spas) is the second largest sub category. There are several openings of new avenues for entrants as franchisees, specially from tier-I and II cities.

Blushing opportunities offered by salon leaders

Jawed Habib Hair and Beauty Ltd has planned to launch two new salon brands-'Jawed Habib Beauty Parlour' and 'Jawed Habib Barber Shop' this year.  The company is looking for state-wise franchisees in the country to achieve the target. In this unique concept, the two brands, which will be neighbourhood beauty parlours and barber shops, will be transformed into Jawed Habib Beauty Parlour and Jawed Habib Barber Shop. The company also plans to launch a range of hair care appliances and taking its salon count to 10,000 in the next few years.  The brand started franchise operations of its salon chain in 2008. At present, the brand has presence in 92 cities of India with 484 outlets. The brand also has global presence with outlets in Singapore and London.

Citing the great demand of beauty salons in India, Britain's beauty brand, Uber, forayed India by opening its first outlet in Bangalore. The brand's expansion in India will be executed by Uber Beauty Products India Pvt. Ltd, the Master Franchisee of the parent company Medichem International. Uber has a presence in 17 countries. It forayed in India and Thailand simultaneously.

Neha Ahuja, Associate Director, Uber Beauty Products India Pvt. Ltd says: “The company decided to make a humble beginning in Bangalore before considering other cosmopolitan cities. After getting feedback for our latest outlet we will be opening four to five stores in other metro cities in future. By 2020, we are planning to open about 600 salons in other metros and tier- I and II cities.” The brand is keen to shift to the company-owned franchisee operated (COFO) model after building a strong foothold in the salon operations through its flagship stores.

South India's biggest salon chain Naturals, boasts itself to be the best in the industry with its franchise system as the most unique. As of now, it has total 454 outlets across India and plans to add 250 more vying all metros and mini metros as the targeted locations. Meanwhile VLCC vouches for being among the first companies in the country to articulate the need for skilled manpower to ensure the sustainable growth of India Inc.

How can a non-brand salon become a brand in a day?

Service sector witnesses huge scarcity of skilled manpower and a humungous size of unorganised players' in the market. On the same lines Jawed Habib, Chairman of the company, says, “As per our findings there are five lakh unorganised salons in the country. Out of them, three lakh are barber shops and two lakh are beauty parlours. We found they are looking to be associated with a brand, but have no funds for that. We are approaching them to ask if they are interested in becoming a part of Jawed Habib."

Skilled manpower, a challenge yet an opportunity

Skilled manpower being the biggest challenge in the beauty salon industry, many salons and spas have now come up with their own training academies. VLCC boasts itself to be among first companies to realize that the lack of skilled manpower could come in the way of the growth of the beauty and wellness domain, and, thus, as far back as 2001, set up a dedicated training academy for this arena under the banner VLCC Institute of Beauty & Nutrition. “Today, VLCC Institute of Beauty & Nutrition has grown to become Asia's largest chain of vocational education academies in Beauty & Nutrition with its 59 campuses imparting training to nearly 10,000 students annually. VLCC also runs several skill development programs in partnership with various ministries and departments of the Central and state governments. We have a comprehensive selection process in place for hiring staff at all levels of operations, including that at the salons,” says Sandeep Ahuja, MD & Group CEO, VLCC Healthcare Ltd.

Similarily, Naturals has five academies as of now, two in Chennai, one each in Bangalore, Coimbatore and Hyderabad. It is also in the process of setting up India's biggest training facility near Chennai. “This we are doing in collaboration with Godrej that are going to be our partner for content and certification. Criteria to select a staff is that they should know to smile well, the rest can be thought,” adds CK Kumaravel, CEO & Co-Founder, Naturals Salon & Spa.

Kiran Bawa Managing Director, IOSIS

What is the major challenge of spa industry and how is training and support important?

Spas and wellness centers have not yet been recognised as an industry, which is a challenge we collectively face. Training is constant in our industry. This is done at two levels, one for new joining staff and second is the refresher training and new introductions as well.

Do you have a training academy of your own?

We do have an in-house team of certified trainers for each of our fusions. Our trainers are certified by various international bodies like CIDESCO, that train our staff in slimming services, beauty facials, spa massages and hair styling techniques. Constant refresher training for new developments in each of the fields is given to all the staff to keep them up to date with the latest trends.

With so many unorganised players in the wellness industry, what stands you out?

The involvement of a celebrity always has a positive rub off on the brand and the image. A celebrity lends a credibility to the brand image and assures the customer about the quality. Shilpa Shetty Kundra being a Wellness Icon herself gives an incredible impetus to IOSIS and we have, time and again proved that our standards are second to none. Our Brand offers one stop shop for wellness to an individual. The fusion of four arrangements which encompass all treatments of spa, skin, salon and slimming offers advantage of turning the dream of beauty and wellness of individuals into reality.



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