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Medical Aesthetics 22 Nov 2017

We are currently looking at India as our No. 1 Priority- Stephanie Sherlock

With the increase in demand for medical aesthetic services, the industry is growing at a good rate.

By Tanvi Jetly Feature Writer

The medical aesthetics market is growing and the brands in the industry are experiencing a rise in demand for the services they provide. Beauty has become a need for many and people strive to achieve it by every possible way. In a conversation with Stephanie Sherlock, CEO, Architects of Skin, she tells us the reason that is driving the growth in the medical aesthetics market and the difference in the emerging trends in India and other parts of the world.

Kindly give us a brief about your brand.
Architects of Skin is a cosmetic health and wellness brand specifically targeting women that are concerned with their skin health and need regular maintenance services like laser hair removal etc. We are also counting in men from the hair loss perspective but they are most welcome to have laser hair removal procedures as well. This is really a luxury brand in an aspirational market that’s providing non-surgical cosmetic procedures in a clinic environment.

What trends can you see emerging in the medical aesthetics industry?
The trends in India are very different to the trends, for example, in Australia or In the US. One of the biggest trends for us in India is the fact that we have an exponentially growing female workforce. More and more women are entering the workforce in India and with that comes increased pressure to look and feel a certain way. They are now in public view and they have to perform. Women are very conscious about how they look in those environments, so more and more women are requesting these sorts of services that we offer which is one of the reasons why it is an exciting brand. The procedures we are offering here are highly commoditised. It’s something that everyone’s doing unlike India, where having a cosmetic injectible is something that not everybody is doing.

How important is franchising today for a brand to expand?
For our brand, it is extremely important, especially from a master franchise perspective. If we are able to find the right master franchisee, then that person is able to grow our brand at a much rapid pace and we would be able to do on our own. Being an international brand, we don’t understand the Indian market as passionately as someone who was born and lives here. So, for us, a master franchisee is key as far as our strategic growth is concerned.

Kindly tell us about your franchise models on offer and share its specifications.
The model is a master franchisee one. Ideally, we are very happy to work with franchisees alone. It is easier for us if we have a master franchise agreement. For us, it is really important to find the right person for the master franchisee. If they have the passion for aesthetics and cosmetics, then it makes it easier for everybody, at the end of the day.

What are your expansion plans for the brand?
Currently, we are looking at India as our number one priority for many reasons. One of it is that the regulations are low. As I said earlier that female workforce is expanding and the population is extensive, the demand for these procedures is very high. So, India is our first priority. We are also focusing on the Middle East. They are very familiar with our techniques and offerings. The Middle East is also a great cosmetic tourist destination. So, the percentage of patients, for example, the ones that live in Dubai, they seek these treatments quite less as compared to tourists that come from all over the world to have their cosmetic procedures in Dubai. The number of patients that we are treating there is much higher but the Middle East and India are two areas that we are paying attention to from a growth perspective.

How has been your experience at the Delhi Show 2017 so far?
The first day we were here, we were bombarded by people looking to understand our new brand in India as obviously, they had never seen us before. I think collecting 250 leads on the first day is a testimony to the sort of marketing that we do as we have quite a modern marketing concept which is appealing to the Indians right now. It has led us to some solid leads. We were here at the show last year as well and I think the time of market entry at that time last year was poorly timed, not because of any one’s fault but because of demonetisation in India. The investors were quite cautious about entering a new brand. So, this year we’ve had a much greater interest in the brand. The economics here is prime for what we are trying to do and hopefully, we’ll be able to close on some deals.

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