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Interview 2016-05-23

We have elaborate yearly expansion plans in India and Middle East: Kaya CEO

Having large strength of dermatologists and keeping technology at the core, Kaya Skin Clinic is successively operating Kaya Skin Clinics and Kaya Skin Bars with Kaya a top line of 330 crore turnover.

We have elaborate yearly expansion plans in India and Middle East: Kaya CEO

Pioneer in specialized skin care, Kaya Limited delivers customized skin care services and products since 2002 and offers a combination of qualified dermatologists and US-FDA approved cosmetic dermatological procedures in India and Middle Eastern regions. Over the past 14 years Kaya has increased its reach to 107 skin clinics across 27 cities and 134 Kaya Skin Bars (including Shop in Shop and Stores) in India and has 21 skin clinics in Middle East.

To find out more about the company’s growth strategy and business plans, WI Bureau spoke to Subramanian Srinivasan, CEO, Kaya India, who unveiled the untold saga of his entrepreneurial journey.

Current market position

There is no qualified or syndicated research available to gauge market share. Our offerings vary and include medical services, products and high-end facials. We are focused to grow in a sustainable/profitable manner through wider range of offering and innovation, to meet customer needs.

Offerings

Kaya is a skin care solution provider, where, we offer services from laser hair removal, to anti-ageing, to fairness, pigmentation, to a set of products to maintenance services and high-end facials. We also have an extensive range of over 50+ SKUs for skin alone. Our Services are available over 100 clinics in India and 21 clinics in Middle-East. Products are not only retailed through our clinics, but are extensively available through our newly introduced product retail format – The Kaya Skin Bar. We have our own stores and kiosks in high street and malls.

In addition, we also have tied-up with Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Central and with wellness chains like Health&Glow, NewU and Religare. The company also has an e-commerce website- shop.kayaclinic.com and has partnered with leading online retailers- Flipkart, Purple, Amazon, Nykaa, Jabong etc.

All products are researched and developed by our dermatologists, are non-drug based and focused on an efficacious delivery, marketed on Kaya brand name.

Technology at the core

We have always tried to be the first mover with respect to technology. We continued to invest and scale-up what is best, keeping in mind the best interests of our customers, to deliver efficacious services.

Factors boosting business

In India, the skin care market is slated for growth as the demographics are favourable with young population, growing disposable income and desire to look good. Kaya is well poised to leverage this- both in products and services along with the renewed focus on expansions, to reach out to our consumers.

New innovations in business

At Kaya, our offerings are centered on Dermatologists Expertise, Customized Approach, Solutions Approach (Products+Services in tandem to deliver best results), Efficacious Services and Great Customer Experience. We continuously invest in the best technology, innovate our own offerings and provide best in class training to meet our customers’ expectations.

Pricing strategy

We have wide range of offerings for different requirements and specific skin conditions. Our services ranging from Rs 1,500 to a few Lakh and our product range falls between Rs 500 to Rs 3,000.

Company turnover

Kaya Limited posted consolidated Revenue from Operations of Rs 369.9 crores for the year ended 31stMarch 2016, a growth of 12 per cent (Same store growth @ 5 per cent) over corresponding year ended 31stMarch 2015.

Logistics for eCommerce supply

Our products are researched and developed by our dermatologists, manufactured and retailed through our clinics and bars under the Kaya brand name. We have third party logistics to deliver products on eCommerce sites to customers.

Online presence

Ecommerce contributes 8-10 per cent of our products business. Through E commerce, we also cater to cities where Kaya is not present.

About Kaya academy

We do have a training center only for captive consumption. We have a unique model and we emphasize a lot on training in ‘The Kaya way’. Our Clinic Managers/Dermats and Beauty Therapists undergo substantial training which span from 30-60 days before they are deployed to the clinic.

Expansion plans

We have opened22 clinics and over 60 Skin Bars in the last two years. These are mostly in our existing cities, before we look into new ones.In India we are represented in 27 cities. Our clinics concentration is more towards metros and mini metros.In Middle-East we have21 clinics in UAE, Oman and Saudi and plans to open 2-3 clinics on a yearly basis.

Current attrition rate

Having seen business for some years we know that, its biggest challenge is to retain good people. There are a lot of reasons why, the company like us have an attrition of around 30 per cent. We are pre-dominantly a women-based organization, and sometimes, our employees do leave us for various other reasons then just switching to other companies. These could also be due to change in family priorities, children and spouse relocations.

Growing market competition and evolving skin care market

There are local chains and individual dermatologists who are also competing in the same space. There is currently no other national player of the size of Kaya in India.Skin market in India is very fragmented. The market compromises of basic salon services worth Rs 10,000 crore, products worth Rs. 18,000 crore and high-end dermatologist led services worth Rs 1,000 crore. Waxing is approximately 5000+ crore and we expect consumers to upgrade their services over time. For example, laser in comparison with waxing offer benefits both in cost and time over the years.

Challenges of skin care business

Kaya skin clinic has unique model of retail amalgamation, hospitality and medical business. Over the years we have our learnings that helped us grow and understand this business better. Currently, we have over 200 dermatologists at our center in India and the Middle-East. This is a very new segment in India; therefore, the onus was completely on us for creating consumer awareness about the segment and services on offer.

The clinic business is a high fixed cost business and requires investment in technology and people from time-to-time. A lot of time and effort is spent on training our people to drive consistency of delivery to consumers. However, with the kind of attrition the industry faces, it’s a continuous on-going challenge. Lastly, scalability brings in its own complexity, especially in a service business.

Creating awareness

Over the years the knowledge and awareness of the need states have become much sharper for the Indian consumers. They are much more specific in what they want. No longer it’s about fairness it is also about de-pigmentation. There is lot of evolution happening in the category, people are getting more aware of not just services offered here but also what is happening outside the country.

Views over Indian wellness industry

The industry is slated for big things and it is growing. There are a lot of players experimenting with various business models giving the customer choice to choose from. Brand strength along with offerings is going to be critical to woo the Indian consumer. Over time the customer’s preference would mature enabling the players to carve a niche for themselves.

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