Mushrooming of med spas and laser treatment centres in Indian wellness industry shows a promising future of aesthetics market in the country backed with huge opportunities to unleash.
‘Age is just a number’ a popular TV commercial tagline promoting non-surgical beauty treatment claims to fade all unwanted signs of ageing like wrinkles, dark circles and lose facial skin. So do med spas and laser treatment clinics spread across India that are alleging to offer youthful skin, lustrous hair and toned body to the consumers.
Introduced in Indian market by global brands and aestheticians, Med spas and Laser treatments have been tried and tested significantly by consumers in India. The procedures showcase surprising transformation in the ageing looks of celebrities, which has opened avenues for growth in wellness industry and brought promising business options for Indian aestheticians.
“The awareness among people about laser technology is increasing. There was a phase and time in India when people were scared of the side-effects of laser therapy of any kind, be it for cancer, eyes, hair removal or hair loss. But, today things have changed a lot. The kind of technology which is developed in different fields, I believe that the future of laser treatment is looking so much better,” said Sanket Shah, CEO and Owner, Advance Hair Studio Indian Subcontinent and Middle Eastern Region.
Sharing the same thought, Dr. Naveen Taneja, Director of The National Skin Centre, New Delhi says, “The laser hair reduction, laser hair rejuvenation and laser for pigmentation are in demand. We need to choose laser as per the Asian skin because Asian skin is more prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIHP). We need to be very specific about the kind of laser to be used and the parameters to be used on Asian skin.”
“The driving factors are increased awareness of options available for permanent self-beautification, celebrity and socialite openness about procedures they have done, increased desire to look young, attractive and fit, rising social pressure to look perfect and high disposable income,” suggests American Celebrity Dermatologist, Dr Kiran Lohia, who is the Medical Director and MD at Lumiere Dermatology, New Delhi.
Likewise, a United States Board Certified Cosmetologist, Roopa Ambekar, who is the Managing Director of Uber Medspa & Style Lounge, Bengaluru said, “A Medspa is equipped with a combination of latest technology and trained medical professional to perform effective and advance non-surgical procedures on the skin, to restore the youthful look. Thus, age reversal and skin lightening treatments are on the highest demand.Stimulation of collagen is a great side-effect for most advanced facials at med spas. Therefore, the lasting firm and glowing skin, which the patrons experience, keep them coming again.”
Moreover, these advance procedure service providers ensure the requirements and concerns of the clients, and provide desired results to the consumers, which is a well defined reason for the progress of these treatments in India.
Statistical business growth
Estimated to reach $178 million by 2015, overall, the market for cosmetic surgery, aesthetics procedure and laser treatments is expected to grow significantly in India in the next five years, with some segments including laser treatments and Med spas set to hit double digit percentage growth.
“As per the FICCI report, the aesthetics market would add about $165 million between 2012-15 that means its growing at a CAGR of 20 per cent. Similarly, Med spa business globally adds about $65 million, growing at a CAGR of 15 per cent. The non-invasive procedures in 2009 were 25 per cent, however, in 2011; it was 65 per cent of the total procedures happening in the country. In fact, according to rough industry data, India performs 1.1 million procedures every year and ranks fourth in terms of total number of cosmetic procedures,” shared Sanjay Bhutani, Managing Director India and SAARC for Bausch&Lomb Eyecare (India) Pvt Ltd, while addressing the 4th Indian Salon & Wellness Congress 2015.
Indeed, the challenges pertaining to existing myths and lack of awareness remains, says market experts.
“The challenges also come from clients who have experienced low standards and lower quality centres which gave them poor results or side effects. Then counseling and education becomes very difficult because they believe it’s the same everywhere. Unfortunately, the client doesn't understand that what they saved on price, they lost on quality and results. So, offering quality in a price sensitive market gets quite complicated. But, I think Indian clients are realising more and more that the initial cost-cutting ends up more expensive and time taking in the long run,” shared Dr. Lohia.
Adding to the list of challenges are the myths, on which Shah added, “The biggest challenge in India is the myth that hair oils can bring back hair loss which vendors are selling and the doctors, who are misguiding consumers. It’s been 70 years, but medical science does not cure a hair loss problem. There is no drug, formula, or treatment, which can rest a hair loss problem for life and revive dead follicles and grow your hair back.”
The future roadmap
The scope and future of Med spas and laser treatments in the country looks bright with evident rise in the number of clinics of new and existing brands. In fact, the brands foresee many small opportunities available in Tier II & III cities, where reach of such high-priced laser procedures was almost nil a couple of years back. As per an estimate of iData Research, the aesthetical and laser treatments being carried out in India should exceed by 5.5 million in 2017, which shows a promising future roadmap.