Wellness Franchise Opportunities

SalonJun, 11 2015

Open to collaborate with big salon chains like Bounce or Toni&Guy: Hyatt Gurgaon spokesperson

Vishal Sapra, Director of Rooms, Laundry, housekeeping, spa, Front Office as Core departments talked to Wellness India and disclosed the plans and strategies to woo local and in-house guests.

By Niharika Verma

About Shvasa Spa
Shvasa spa is an urban day spa which has three treatment rooms. The name has been derived from Sanskrit word ‘Shvas’ which means breath, which is life and this basically promotes the culture of wellness, which is very important in our day-to-day life. This (Hyatt Gurgaon), being a corporate hotel and with our lifestyle being so busy, this (Shvasa spa) is a small relaxation area where after work or before work, guests can utilizes the services of the spa where we offer international as well as Indian Ayurvedic treatments.

Progress since its inception
It’s been a year and two months since the spa has opened and the hotel has been opened longer than that. Currently, we are open for in-house guests; some of them long stay, some of them are from Corporates who stay for few days. We also have a sizeable amount of guests who come over the weekend from the Delhi/NCR, over Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to avail services. In frequently, we do get enquiries and bookings from locals who are residing within Gurgaon from online sites with whom we partner and they try and book the spa treatments. Currently, at this point of time, the footfall is higher from the in-house guests and there is an opportunity to add in that number from locals. Also, for off week days we offer special discount, packages etc to lure footfall.

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About the treatment rooms
It is a mice hotel traditionally, so at the time the construction was going on, we had 451 rooms in this hotel, huge banquet space, but at the time the spa was developed, there were plans by Hyatt to open minimum of 6 treatment rooms to cater to the hotel of this size. But for some reason, with the design team felt prudent to have banquets, meeting rooms and break way facilities more. So I think, most of the space was utilized for that and the treatment rooms were limited to three rooms.

Plans in pipeline to open in-house salon
We currently have four rooms and the opportunity of exploring that in future is always open to develop one of them into a salon, if the demand kicks-in and someone external who a Bounce (salon) or  Toni&Guys kind of professional vender who would be ready to pitch in and partner with us. So, we are happy to explore.  So far we haven’t received any such demand. Right now, the demand is more for spa, wellness, body treatments, wraps and scrubs and manicure/pedicure, so it gets managed. Hair cutting etc is not a large requirement at this point in time. When societies around this place would develop, more families started living, than salon would be a more prudent venture.

Corporate offers & discounts
We’ve recently launched a hotel and F&B discount card and that entitles you to have special discounts at any of our food & Beverages outlets including spa discounts in our Shvasa spa as well. Alternatively, we also have proposals for gym and pool memberships which give you discount in the restaurants. So it’s a cross promotion, so we have both the options available. For corporate guests who may like to use our spa for destination weekends or wellness activities, if an proposal comes, we can work around for lunch, for a pool side wellness activity and we also have a tie-up with the golf resorts which is 2kms away from the Karma Lakeland which we have recently explored and such possibilities can definitely be explored.

Staff training & product selection
So, all the employees that work in spa are trained at the hotel, by the hotel staff. Internally, they are hired. So we have fitness trainers, gym attendants, pool lifeguards and therapists and receptionists who are trained on job on sight. As far as product type is concerned, we use Forrest Essentials for treatments and massages, for facials, wraps and scrubs, we have globally tie-up with June Jacobs which is an American company. These are the two major brands we are using for the products.

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Pricing strategy
Although, we are looking at reviving it currently, there is no definite patter to it. I think it’s a supply and demand oriented. I think the, pricing division is one, which is supply and demand driven and one has to be competitive in the market and keep your prices. You cannot aloof and say that we are in Hyatt and we will be only priced at X amount. So, it has to be comparative. However, if you copair us with 1000s standalone spas than from here to Gurgaon, obviously, there is a certain standard in quality and hygiene that we take care of because we represent a brand.

Challenges faced
It would have been ideal if we would have Sauna or Jacuzzi in our wet areas but that’s more comes in a wish list and nothing else. However, we offer Chill Shower. Though, after a treatment, most people are recommended to use steam to open up the pores of the body, but Chill Shower is also a method by which rejuvenation happens because it provides you the energy. So some guests, who do workout in the fitness centre, they normally opt for having a chill shower especially in summers for completion of a relaxation exercise.

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Expansion plans
Area wise, we would like to develop may be a medicure/pedicure stations in one of the spaces available in this property and may be add few therapies. But, basically, just sort of revitalizing and kind of revamp the whole arrival experience of a wellness from start to finish, whereby a guest is coming for relaxation. So, its important for us at the Shvasa spa that we give them the correct welcome experience, right for his/her arrival at the reception, to the therapy selection, addressing queries related with allergies or product preferences and even areas of the body they would like to be focused on by the therapists.

Views over wellness industry
Because of the stress level that people live in today, wellness is here to stay. More and more spas are opening and because we happen to be in a business in millennium city, 1000s of spas are opening up. People are more aware of wellness. They understand that it’s a part of life. Everyone looks over to enjoy an experience of wellness between their busy schedules. So I think, this industry which was very-very sporadic 10 years back in India is hugely expanding.

Related: Success story of legendary hairstylist Asgar Saboo to encourage salon professionals

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