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Beauty & Wellness 12 Jun 2017

Technology is going to take central place in giving customers evaluated services- Mr. Vishal Sharma

The beauty industry is climbing success ladders and technology and the government has helped it to go further with the latest additions made by them.

By Tanvi Jetly Feature Writer

Technology has helped the beauty industry touch new heights and it is still going to take it a long way ahead. In a conversation with Mr Vishal Sharma, Managing Director, Everstone Capital Advisors Pvt. Ltd, he tells us his viewpoint about the ever growing beauty industry and the support technology has provided to the industry from the very start.

What is your viewpoint on investing in a beauty and wellness company?
If you look at the beauty segment in India, it is going under a transformation. Traditionally, beauty was limited to the rich. Now, people with 10 lakh plus incomes and a growing exposure of the same, people below this segment also want to experience the change. This is great news for the country as this means that the market is expanding and is being explored but it also means that the traditional market player has to evolve the business model to actually get into this market. In addition, there is a technology tsunami that is coming in. People are talking about apps and technology is going to take a central place in giving customers evaluated services. From investment perspective what we are looking at are players which can efficiently leverage technology to provide good solutions. The problem right now in the salon industry is everyone wants to go for the top reach and there are these 50 retail hotspots in the country throughout. This is a market which is done and dusted. International firms absolutely provide an experience which is unmatched and have decades of learning. India is a unique market and the right mix would be if international and Indian firms can partner together to cover up various capabilities.

Which sectors do you feel are the hot sectors for the next five years keeping the fund perspective in mind?
India is such a dynamic country that the preferences change every year. Two years back, the industry was a bad word where nobody was making investments. The private sector was not making any investments and the whole cycle was not good. Now, it looks like next 5 years could be productive as the government is kicking in investments and lot of infrastructure. There is hope that private sectors will pick up again but there are other good industries as well like fintech, healthcare etc. These are sectors which are strong and will always remain safe to invest and one could get very good returns. All the sectors are offering opportunities with their own nuances out there. We are not sector focused fund but we are sector agnostic fund. Therefore, we keep looking at all the sectors, well aware of nuances within that and if a company is able to answer those nuances, we are very happy to invest in that company. The next 5 years will be very interesting for exits and investments due to initiatives like Make in India and the stability on the political sides.

How do you see India becoming digital India keeping in view the steps taken by the government for the upliftment of the same?
Make in India is a great initiative. The goal of out prime minister is to move the share of manufacturing from 15% to 25%. The two fundamental drivers for Make in India are Indian domestic consumption and lot of sectors promoting import. The government is taking active steps to encouraging manufacturing as well as putting duties to make Indian manufacturing viable. India can become an export hub but we need to have the patience for that. We need to have a monthly tracker on how much transitions have improved. In the next 3-5 years, the digital shift will happen and that is going to help us a lot. 

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