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Experts see prospects of overall growth

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International trade show for professional salons and spas – India Salon Pro kicked off amidst optimism that the beauty & wellness service industry will generate three million job opportunities by 2015.

Being held at the Renaissance Hotel, Powai, here, the industry meet was inaugurated by the leading lady of herbal cosmetics who also launched the Salon International Trend Report 2012 at the event. The herbal czarina urged the industry to focus on result-oriented products rather than publicising them through advertisements. Known to own the maximum number of herbal salons in the world, Shahnaz said, “Advertisements only make people aware of
the product but it is not necessary that it will bring business. If the product does not produce better results than any of the others in the market, it won’t survive for long.”

India Salon Pro and Beauty Market India are two super charged days of conferences, workshops, hair and makeup shows and an awards show will bring together professionals from the salon industry under one roof. Welcoming the delegates Jayant Kocchar, CEO and Group Director, Images Group urged the congregation to understand and exploit the infinite opportunities that lie in the beauty and wellness segment. “India Salon Pro and Beauty Market India is a launchpad for new brands entering the market and a platform for those existing to connect with retailers and distributors,” he said.

Industry experts speaking at the event shared that the Rs 490 billion Indian wellness industry has witnessed robust growth over the last three years. Services comprise 40 percent of this market. Segments such as slimming products and services, fitness services and equipment and cosmetic treatments are witnessing the highest growth. The beauty care market comprising salons, cosmetic treatment centres and cosmetic products is estimated at Rs190-200 billion. According to a recent study by FICCI and PWC Indian youth (in the age group 15-34 years) comprise over 34 percent of the total population. This is expected to cross over Rs 400 million by 2015 and form the core target group for wellness products and services.

Speaking at the event , VP-Skincare, Unilever reiterated the rising living standards of Indians and the increased consumption of the youth that resulted in the high demand of cosmetics and salons across the country. He cited an example of the Axe campaign that received 5 million calls from across the country (90 percent of them from TIER II and III cities). “This huge shift shows how people in smaller cities too are contributing to the growth of the industry. If a product has something new to offer with better and out-of-the box benefits, the brand will surely grow,” added Rajan.

Murali Sundar, Country Manager, said, “ India will have 53 percent of its population below 30 years within 5-10 years. This will definitely result in the opening up of the beauty market, as everyone below this age group wants to look good. Even rise in disposable incomes has caused an upsurge in the market.” Talking about the future of this sector, Sundar proudly said that within a span of five years, the number of salons will rise from 20,000 to 1,00,000.

Kabir Lumba, MD, Lifestyle, threw light on the trend of increased space allocation to beauty and wellness retailers in malls and department stores. “When we first started, we only devoted 1,100- 30,000 sq ft to beauty and wellness stores. And withing some years, the space allocated to the beauty section is increasing with new brands coming in and demands of the consumers increasing. This is a clear indication that the industry has not only grown but is sure to bloom more within the next ten years.”

Talking at the pre-inaugural session Rashmi Upadhya, Sr Manager, mapped the diverse components of this industry, key trends that characterize it and the critical growth drivers that are shaping it. Increasing emphasis on a healthy and wholesome lifestyle has been the springboard for the wellness industry in India. Wellness today is not just a ‘metro’ phenomenon. Young consumers across Tier II and Tier III cities and even pockets of rural India are today seeking wellness solutions to meet their lifestyle challenges.

Upadhaya pointed out that the Rs 490 billion wellness industry in India is still less than two percent of the global wellness industry. It is interesting to note how this industry has used business potential of traditional Indian practices and home remedies. Adjacent industries such as retail, healthcare, hospitality among others are assimilating wellness as part of their value proposition, opening up huge opportunities going forward. By 2015 wellness services alone have the potential to generate three million job opportunities. However it is critical for the government and private participants to simultaneously invest in education infrastructure and quality standards to provide further impetus to the industry.

Upadhaya also pointed out the convergence of consumers and health products. Globally, FMCG companies are entering joint ventures with food ingredient manufacturers and pharma companies to leverage on synergies and share investment commitments. E.g., JV between Novartis
Consumer Health and Quarker Oats to form Altus Food Company. This trend is gaining traction in India as well. For instance Avesthagen Ltd, a life science company acquired Good Earth Foods to pioneer the convergence between food, pharmaceuticals and genetics through Avesta Good Earth Foods.

Experts at the event highlighted that rejuvenation which is a Rs 4-5 billion market is a rapidly growing segment. Traditional massages and services continue to dominate and drive growth. Having a scalable business model, ensuring efficient treatment room utilization and yield management are key concerns for players in this segment.

Alternate therapy is a larger and more established market in India, estimated at Rs 110-130 billion. Monitoring quality, safety and efficiency of herbal products is a challenge.While there is ample opportunity in both domestic and export markets, gaps exists in ensuring the quality of raw materials, substantiating the efficacy of products and having a sustainable.

The trend report launched by Salon International magazine saw an overwhelming response from professionals and industry stalwarts present at the event. Meant to educate and inform the reader about popular styles, the report is a collector’s item for this Spring/Summer. Brands like Schwarzkopf Professional, and L’Oréal Professionnel share hair and color trends for the coming season. The report also talks about the make-up themes by Merck Chemicals, Make Up For Ever and .