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Expansion 02 Jun 2015

Punjab’s Strands salon chain on an expansion spree; to expand in Western, Eastern region

Wellness India talked to Founder of Chandigarh-based Strands Salon, Naunihal Singh to understand his marketing strategy and expansion plans to acquire improved market presence in India.

Chandigarh based Strands Salon is on an expansion spree in the tier I, II and III towns of western and eastern region of India. In an exclusive interaction with Wellness India Bureau, Naunihal Singh, CEO of the company shared his elaborate expansion plans in the country with target of opening 500 salons and spread the current market presence of the brand in untouched areas of tier II and III.

How salons and spas are complementing the healthcare sector?
Message in spas improves blood circulation and nervous system in the body. In our daily life, we don’t realise the way our health is deteriorating. This leads to physical problems and sometime mental issues in the later stage of life. People come to salon and spa basically to take regular services. However, at the same time, these services are directly related to health as well. Male clients come to the salon for manicure, pedicure and facial with an aim to look good and feel good by getting their dead skin removed. This shows a definite complimenting factor of the salon industry towards the health sector as people wants to live more hygienic, groomed, want to look fresh and relaxed. Basically, salon and spas are the best stress busters, which help in caring your health.

According to you how consumer is evolving?
Consumer has been demanding and disloyal due to availability of ample options. If he doesn’t like service at the spa he goes to, he would immediately switch to some other option with quality services and sure-shot results. Customer experience is the most important part of our trade. If a spa does not change with the customer’s need, it will be out from the market.

What are your plans of expansion in the years to come?
At Strands, we aim to be the first preference of the consumer by 2018 by increase the number of salons in the country by 500 salons. We have decided to support the investors ina bigger way. In our franchising plan, we are asking franchisers not only to invest money in franchising fee but to help us create a partnership model on FOCO (Franchisee-Owned Franchisee Operated) basis, which assures safety of smooth running of the business. We are trying to build in confidence with the investors that working through FOCO model salon will be a success business option.

What would be the area of space for each salon?
The area of the salon will vary from 800 sq ft to 2,000 sq ft. This area would be depended upon the business model and location of the towns. At Strands, we have 3 business models including; Strands Salon and Spa, Strands Lounge and Studio Strands. The Studio Strands is a premium model, which is for bigger towns only.

What will be the amount of investment?
Our investment varies from Rs 25 lakh in tier III towns and between Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1 crores in potent markets like Mumbai.

What are your targeted territories across India?
As a salon and spa company, we are targeting to open about 500 salons across India.  We are eyeing of potent markets in West and East region of the country. Apart from Mumbai, the tier II and III towns like Kolhapur, Nashik and Aurangabad have dearth of good salons. Same is the case with eastern market. We have just finalized two franchisee deals in Kolkata, launching in next month. Recently, we did finalizewith Mumbai where we are planning to launch 10 salons in next 3 months. Thereby, we are targeting Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. There is much scope for salonand spas in the tier II and III cities of the country.

Why spa business is not growing in India with the expected pace?
The reason is spa business in India is not endorsed by female consumers. Spas opened in the past had hanky punky stuffs, which could not flourish in the long run. Moreover, still in India, most of the spas have regular male clients. But definitely, the market is improving. Thereby, to improve female participation, we are launching aesthetic spas soon.

What’s your take on salon and spa industry in India?
I think, the spa industry will grow tremendously in the next 5 years, but for that, the quality standard should be improved, ethics should be stringently followed, while every salon and spa has to make sure that the utmost care of consumer satisfaction is taken care of and the masseur does right job.

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