The spa business keeps evolving and to keep up with it, making changes is a must.
Every brand needs to make changes to their working model in order to serve something new to their customers. This not only provides a variety but also brings in something new for the business to do well. In a conversation with Mr Trent Anthony Munday, Senior vice President- International, Mandara Spa, Malaysia, we get to know the ways and techniques to do well in the spa business.
Tell us about your brand, Mandara Spa.
The company I work for is Mandara Spa which is a part of a larger company called Steiner leisure Limited. Steiner leisure is probably the most vertically integrated company in the spa business. We are a U.S. company and we have a number of skin care companies such as Elemis and bliss which is a well-known brand. We also do a lot of training and academies in the U.S. We have pretty much the whole gamut from top to bottom. The core business here is providing spas on cruise ships in U.S. which is like the bread and butter of the company.
What are your viewpoints about the Indian Spa market?
India is a market for us where we have had been briefly years ago and maybe it was in a wrong way. The core business we have in my part of the world is running spas in hotels. India is a market where we came, like I said, a bit too aggressively and perhaps without doing any research. We couldn’t get some people to work for us who were needed by the business. As we look at the Indian market again, we are not quite sure where the Indian market is right now but the part of my time here in India, I’ll be trying to look around and see what the market is. According to me, the spa business industry in India hasn’t evolved a lot in 20 years. The Spa menu is still the same with massages, wraps, scrubs etc. What needs to be changed is we have to focus on what the consumers want because the markets and consumers have evolved but as an industry, we have not evolved.
How do you see the future of the Indian spa market with the current models in it?
In terms of where the future is, everything will have to be re- imagined from the start to finish. The location is the main point to focus on because the menu is still the same as it was years ago. I think the whole concept needs to change as I am not sure how the model looks right now but we are running around with some ideas. Some of these involve merging spa services with other services in a hotel. We should focus on what the guest actually wants rather than telling them what the spa can provide. The concept of spa needs to have more of an active space like the Starbucks model which involves not being only a cafe but a third place between work and home. So, the spa of the future can certainly be like in this sense. We need to have more such models as the existing ones are flat and this hampering the growth rate. So, we need to go back and reinvent the models from the scratch in order to serve something new.