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May, 06 2016


The craze to look-like-the-girl-on-the-magazine-cover has fuelled growth of many business formats within the beauty & wellness segment, Let's take a look at what make this industry tick with the growing demand to look good

The craze to look-like-the-girl-on-the-magazine-cover has fuelled growth of many business formats within the beauty and wellness segment. The prime of them all has been the slimming centres. Targeted at customers within the 25-45 age bracket that forms a sumptuous chunk of the country's population who would go to any extent to find the easiest way to shed those extra flabs, slimming centres are here to stay. Let's take a look at what make such formats tick with the customers and investors alike.

Over the years, the slimming industry in India has witnessed a remarkable transformation due to the changing lifestyle of the urban middle class. The segment is expected to witness the inflow of several foreign health club chains in the near future in the urban areas. A segment which was dominated by female taker even a decade back is now pulling in male customers as well. From roping in celebrities as the face of brand to international therapists and fitness trainers, brands leave no stone unturned to tap the pulse of the consumer.

Getting the Edge

In this competitive market, everyday revolutionary slimming techniques are making waves in the market. Unique Slim Point and Beauty Clinic have 10 different techniques to weight loss and body contouring that includes German techniques, Lipo laser, Cellulite machines, Diode Laser, Cellulite therapy, R/F Ultrasonic, interactive inch loss, power body slimmer, crazy fit, steam bath of body wrap.

“Our focus is building the brand and earning trust of our consumers by providing superior offerings, which will add value. We believe that our customers are our best brand ambassadors and that's what helps us stand out”, said Sandeep Ahuja, Managing Director, VLCC Health Care Limited.

Why franchise?

“The move into franchising was driven by the realisation that there was a latent demand for quality beauty and wellness services in tier II and tier III cities, but growth has been limited due to lack of presence of organized brands. Franchising helps us to partner with local people who understand the consumers in that region”, shared

What franchisor seeks?

“While selecting franchisee we look into the matter that how much the franchisee appreciates the services. One important thing that the franchisee should keep in mind is that this is medical line of business. The other parameters include the choice of location, the area available, their investment capacity and their eligibility to manage the business,” stated Dr. Rekha Gonsalves, Dr.Rekha's Skin and Slim Centre.

The success of a business lies in leadership and demonstrating excellent people skills. “A franchisee is expected to lead from front. While a growth-oriented attitude is important, one has to be passionate about the wellness industry and about making a difference in people's lives. As it is a dynamic industry which is evolving rapidly, so one has to keep educating and training himself with the new trends”, Ahuja opined.

Franchise support

“We provide complete training, slimming machines operative manual, treatment technology, certification, knowledge about diets nutrition, Xerox Copy National Award,” Jain explained.

VLCC offers both pre-operational and operational support to enhance and measure its franchisee's performance. They regularly upgrade and train franchisee staff to uplift, maintain the service delivery standards and also provide marketing support to the franchisee, whether digital or print. Ahuja points out, “We provide our own customer management systems (CMS) software to all franchised centres. This helps to capture all information of the consumers and the execution of services provided to them. Our teams regularly visit franchisee owned centres and monitor the quality of their services through observation and training, meeting with consumers, review of data collected by the CMS software and other similar methods.”

Looking ahead

“The biggest challenge in this business is to make people join slimming centres. The weight reduction part is rather an easier task,” Jain opines. She adds, “We have received a very good response on our first day in our slimming centre. So, there are no risks to open these clinics. These private clinics are open in nearby market, mainly resident area.” Ahuja: “I am pleased to share that our business model has been widely accepted by our partners as it has generated good returns for them. To illustrate, we have over 70 franchisee-operated beauty and wellness centres and over 25 franchisee-operated VLCC Institutes pan-India, in cities as far apart as Darbhanga in Bihar, Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh, Batala in Punjab and the like. We have found that the North and West markets have been growth drivers even as the East and South are fast catching up.”

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