Indian consumers are becoming more aware of wellness and healthcare needs. Health and wellness sector is emerging fast in India with presence of some of the retailers like Kaya, Manipal Cure and Care (MCC), VLCC and the like, which are providing preventive healthcare services.
Manipal Cure and Care, one of the leading health and wellness retail chain in India, presented wellness as a retail category on the second day of India Retail Forum 2008 at The Renaissance, Mumbai.
Speaking on the occasion, Somnath Das, Chief operating officer, MCC, said: “Unlike in hospitals, customers expect more than just being cured in a wellness centre, as they are healthy and not sick. This drives challenge in bringing quality to run a wellness centre.”
Discussing about other challenges of health and wellness retailing in India, Rakesh Pandey, chief executive officer, Kaya Clinic, said: “Availability of trained professional is a set back in this segment and we need to employ well-trained front-end staffs, highly qualified educated doctors and back-end staffs to ensure best result and safety to the customers.”
According to panelists participating in the session, there is a dearth of talent in this sector that poses as one of the biggest challenges in healthcare retailing in India. The companies do provide some in-house training but real deliverables is not possible unless there is quality manpower. However, this does not restrict the growth of wellness retaining in India. As one of the panelists Sunil Menon pointed out, “Preventive treatment has to be definitely personalized that is not possible in hospitals and that a wellness centre does provide.”
Nonetheless, these challenges do not stop retailers in expanding their reach from towns to the villages. “There are much better marketing opportunities in wellness than in sickness,” asserted Apollo Health and Lifestyle CEO Ratan Jalan.
– Sanskrity Sinha