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Riding the growth wave

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India Salon Pro, the international trade show for professional salons and spas, kicked off today at the Renaissance Hotel, Powai, Mumbai. Talking at the pre-inaugural session, Rashmi Upadhya, Sr Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers, mapped the diverse components of this industry, key trends that characterize it, and the critical growth drivers 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 2 and 3 cities and even pockets of rural India are today seeking wellness solutions to meet their lifestyle challenges.

Upadhaya said: “Wellness today is a Rs 490 bn industry in India. However, it is still less than 2 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, and hospitality among others are assimilating wellness as part of their value proposition, opening up huge opportunities going forward.” She further added that 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.

According to a recent study by FICCI and PwC: “Indian youth (in the age group of 15-34 years) comprise over 34 percent of the total population. This is expected to cross over 400 million by 2015 and forms the core target group for wellness products and services. The Rs 490 bn Indian wellness industry has witnessed growth at a robust clip over the last 3 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 centers, and cosmetic products is estimated at Rs 190-200 bn.”

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, for example, 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, a life science company acquired Good Earth Foods to pioneer the convergence between food, pharmaceuticals, and genetics through Avesta Good Earth Foods.
Talking of rejuvenation, Upadhaya highlighted: “It’s a Rs 4-5 bn market and a rapidly growing segment. Traditional massages and services continue to dominate and drive the growth. Having a scalable business model, ensuring efficient treatment room utilization and yield management are key concerns for players.”

Alternate therapy is a larger and more established market in India, estimated at Rs 110-130 bn. 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 sustainability.

Going further the leading lady of herbal cosmetics launched the Salon International Trend Report 2012 at the event. Meant to educate and inform the reader about the popular styles, the report is a collector’s item for this Spring/Summer. Brands like Schwarzkopf Professional, , L’Oréal Professionnel shares the hair cut and color trends for the coming season. The report also talks about the make-up themes by Merck Chemicals, Make Up For Ever, and .

India Salon Pro and Beauty Market India are two super-charged days of conferences, workshops, hair and makeup shows, and an awards show that will bring together professionals from the salon industry under one roof. The trade show also presents a massive range of professional salons and hair care products.

– Nivedita Jayaram Pawar