Bridal make-up studios offer high margins between 60-70% and they promise around 40% returns annually
Less than a decade ago, specialty studios in India were mostly considered a luxury. Today, they are a necessity for every special occasion. So, how did specialty salons like bridal make-up studios become the DNA of the multi-billion dollar wedding industry?
“There was a time when a customer would choose a bridal make-up artist solely depending on her/his affordability. The cost played a major role in the wedding expenditure. But, those days are gone now. Today, it’s the review and feedbacks that run the industry,” observes Shweta Gaur, the celebrity bridal make-up artist and MD of Shweta Gaur Academy.
Gaur rightly points out that from regular salons offering all-inclusive bridal packages to specialty salons the bridal make-up industry has come a long way in the country.
In less than five years of Gaur’s studio launch, she has done over 10,000 make-ups, indicating the popularity of this segment.
According to Sridevi, MD of Chennai-based Bridal Berries, the overall investment for an average bridal studio would be as less as Rs 10L, whereas premium studios like Shweta Gaur Academy could be a whopping Rs 50L.
Sridevi, says, “The Rs 10L investment would include one-time franchisee fee, land rentals, interiors and furniture, marketing cost for launch and working capital for the inventory. The minimum area requirement for the studio would be 1200 sq.ft and the overall investment could vary from location to location.”
Typically, bridal make-up studios have high margins and they promise around 40% returns annually, while the margins are anywhere between 60-70%. The average payback period is between 12-18 months for high investments above Rs 25L. Although it’s not obligatory for franchisees to be a professional in the make-up industry, brands often expect franchisees to have deep knowledge of make-up products, some basic experience in running a business and awareness about the current trends in the make-up industry. A premium bridal make-up studio can earn more than Rs 10L in a month and after all operational expenses like monthly rentals, electricity bills, salaries and inventory investment, a franchise owner can earn Rs 3L profits every month.
With soaring demand, mass affordability and easy access, it has not taken too long for brands to venture into franchising or set foot in new regions. While franchise investors consider it as a profitable investment, franchisees adopt the model to take the brand to new customers.
Commenting about the need for franchise model in this industry, Gaur, says, “Since the students and aspiring franchisee business owners will be personally trained by me and they will get hands-on experience in applying make-up after they complete their course, we were confident that the franchise model is the right way to expand. This way, we are not only maintaining our signature quality, but our service too stays true to the brand.”
The Way Forward
“Franchising and business collaborations with existing salon owners is the way forward for specialty salons in India,” says celebrity make-up and hairstyle artist Vikas Marwah.
He says that beauty salons are one of the most productive franchises of the beauty and wellness industry in India and strategic business collaborations with existing salons will ensure that brands and salon owners grow faster.