Beauty & wellness retail part 2: How top players make it big

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Success Mantras

The beauty and wellness segment in India has carved a niche for itself and the urge to look beautiful has given potential to experts explore new avenues. Salon India spoke with industry go-getters to find out what their success mantras are.
In Part 1, we covered success stories of salon owners and hair stylists. This article highlights the key steps taken by dermatologists and cosmetologists, spa owners and product leaders to scale new heights.

Dr Deepali Bhardwaj, Dermatologist and Owner, The Skin & Hair Clinics

Beauty and Wellness Retail: How Top Players Make it Big (Part 2)
Top changes witnessed in skin treatment trends
More male patients want hair removed from their body and eliminate wrinkles. Patients are aware of several treatments and ask for it by name, unlike before when awareness was minimal and lastly, change is noticeable in the anti-ageing treatments that patients ask for.
Top challenges that the industry still faces
Lack of trust that is prevalent in North India when it comes to trusting dermatologists due to mushrooming of several unauthorised and unprofessional clinics; cost of machines and equipment that’s imported. These machines are not made keeping in mind the need for Indian skin and this again is a challenge we have to overcome.
Amenities that should not be compromised upon
Be careful about what you prescribe – laser for melasma, as rebound pigmentation can happen; do blood tests for hair fall especially in women, and laser technology for hair removal on the face and other sensitive areas, can darken the skin.
Roadblocks faced
Several! When I started out, I could not get a job, but it has proved to be a blessing in disguise. I started my clinic much before I had expected to. I had to face gender and age discrimination, but it did not stop me. Everything only made me stronger.
Survival mantra
I have to give my best and attend to my patients with utmost sincerity.
Lessons learnt from this industry, so far
Be careful, understand what a patient wants from you and deliver the best after taking their consent. Explain the treatment in detail and the possible repercussions

Dr Apratim Goel, Dermatologist & Laser Surgeon, Cutis Skin Studio

Beauty and Wellness Retail: How Top Players Make it Big (Part 2)
Top changes witnessed in skin treatment trends
People, who visit me for cosmetic treatments, are aware of global trends and this make it easy and a pleasure to treat them. The age group is getting younger! We get brides for Botox and non-surgical facelifts and finally, there is an influx of medical tourists.
Top challenges that the industry still faces
There is lack of standardisation, norms and training rules for laser centres, so anyone can buy laser equipment and start treating patients. Pricing is a challenge, as it’s difficult to win the price war created by the low priced machines. Also all machines available in the West cannot be safely used on Indian skins. Usually, companies abroad also are not very helpful when it comes to use on Indian skins. So, you are left on your own. Dealing with the myths and misconceptions that people have is one of the biggest issues.
One should never compromise upon
Safety is paramount; reset expectations to reasonable levels; explain the post procedure instructions well and also follow up that it’s being taken care.
Roadblocks faced
I started at a time when cosmetic practice was just starting in India and I faced criticism from my own colleagues and seniors. I did not have training on these cosmetic treatments during my MD, so I had to undertake them abroad, which was time consuming as well as expensive; laser machine are not manufactured in India and since, they are all imported, they are expensive; if they breakdown, there are servicing issues and lastly, as a startup, it wasn’t easy to take a bank loan for machines.
Survival mantra
We are ‘skin experts with a difference’. At Cutis, we do ordinary things in an extraordinary way. I would like to better it everyday.
Lessons learnt from this industry, so far
No one really likes you and have their own battles to win; stay focused on your quality; keep your clients happy and stay connected with the latest trends and discoveries.

Gunjan Gaur, Permanent Make-up Expert & Executive Director, ALPS Cosmetic Clinic

Beauty and Wellness Retail: How Top Players Make it Big (Part 2)
The beauty and wellness industry
The industry is working hard to make skilled professionals set the global benchmark.
To be successful, one cannot afford to overlook
Customer comfort and satisfaction; way of communicating; knowledge of work; show your employees that they are valued and be visible in order to reach your target audience.
To retain manpower
I believe investing in employees keeps their morale high. If your employees enjoy what they do, their enthusiasm and positive attitude will rub off on the clients and affect the overall growth of business.
Top challenges the industry still faces
Timing is foremost and so one should come with exceptional ideas and concepts to be ahead; training, etiquette and practical exposure for employees is an issue, as many salons select their employees on the basis of their previous work.
Customer initiatives undertaken
Maintaining privacy of everyone in the salon; free doctor consultation before choosing skin or hair care products and advising a lifestyle change to the client for long-lasting effect of any treatment.
Salon amenities that should not be compromised upon
Cleanliness and hygiene; relaxation and comfort of guests and a positive atmosphere.
Survival mantra
Work hard with passion and the success will automatically come to you.
Indian customer enjoys
They want information on new products and their effect; be styled according to trends and above all, pampering.
Lessons learnt from this industry, so far
You have to be in constant touch with this industry, as there is a long queue waiting to replace you.

Anurag Sharma, Executive Director of Baidyanath Group and Founder of Mantra Vedic Spa

Beauty and Wellness Retail: How Top Players Make it Big (Part 2)
The wellness industry
The industry is in a growth phase. With increasing awareness about health and well-being, even in small cities, the industry has registered a robust growth of 18 per cent as compared to last year.
To be successful, one cannot afford to overlook
Consistent service to each consumer; use technology more often and keep the pricing competitive.
To retain manpower
Provide right tools and training so that one achieves better results for himself and for the organisation as a whole. Motivate the staff with achievable challenges, appreciate success and learn from failures.
Top challenges the industry still faces
The wellness industry is highly unorganised with substandard facilities and poor infrastructure, which at times lead to bad consumer experience. There is shortage of skilled manpower and rising costs of inputs, rentals, advertising and promotions. Price sensitivity of the Indian customers, affected by the limited knowledge of wellness service offerings is a concern.
Customer initiatives undertaken
Motivate existing clients to refer their spouses for diet consultation and weight loss treatments. Introduce offers based on seasons and consumer requirements and also offer advanced techniques.
Spa amenities that should never be compromised upon
At Mantra Vedic Spa, we use natural and herbal hair cleansers and body washes. We also ensure proper hygiene with quality disposable bed covers, undergarments and shower caps.
Survival mantra
I strive to achieve my optimum; help to make my team grow by letting them take risks and definitely, give them credit for success and instill learning from failures.
Your vision for the spa
To make available quality international standard treatments and beauty services.
Indian customer enjoys
Indian market is price sensitive so you need to educate a client on the pricing of a service above the perceived value. They are your best spokesperson, if they are convinced about your concept, quality and reputation, they will promote it as their own project.

Gita Ramesh, Joint Managing Director, Kairali Ayurvedic Group

Beauty and Wellness Retail: How Top Players Make it Big (Part 2)
The wellness industry
The wellness industry is growing tremendously as people at large are becoming more conscious about their health and want to look fi t.
To be successful, one cannot afford to overlook
Dedication and focus, an awareness of the market and value addition through R & D.
To retain manpower
Offer incentives over and above a fixed salary.
Customer initiatives undertaken
Kairali Ayurvedic Group is not just a wellness destination, but a curative place, too. We have treated many customer’s for ailments like arthiritis, sinusitis and various skin problems.
Survival mantra
Ayurveda being the key principal, we have gone miles to enrich the body, mind and spirit with Ayurvedic therapies.
Your vision for the centre
To be a synonym for true Ayurveda across the globe.

Kartik Kaushik, Country Head, Henkel Beauty Care India

Beauty and Wellness Retail: How Top Players Make it Big (Part 2)
The hair and beauty industry
We see the ever-evolving consumer adapting to new trends, thereby, offering huge potential to players with a good headroom for growth. Beauty is such an industry where you cannot help, but innovate and come up with something new and better!
To be successful, one cannot afford to overlook
Quality products backed by dependable service and cutting edge technical support.
Top challenges the industry still faces
Skilled manpower is primary, as with the shift in focus towards quality of service, the industry demands skilled labour to sustain growth. There is lack of sound technical education, as each retail product is created for a specific problem or after care, training becomes very important. There is low consumer focus, right now we are pushing services to the consumer, rather than first understanding what a consumer wants. It is essential that the service provider diagnose the problem properly and advises the consumer, accordingly.
Customer initiatives undertaken
As education is critical in our line, we have world class ASK Academies and soon we will have one in Mumbai, too. We strongly believe right quality products at the right time in right quantity can help the salons do business efficiently and effectively. As a professional company we do not believe in directly communicating with the end-consumer. Our philosophy is that if we train the hair dresser well they will help the brand grow by becoming ambassadors.
Innovations undertaken
Product innovation has always been the core focus for Schwarzkopf Professional. This year, we have introduced the BC Repair Rescue range of care products and in the near future, we will launch ‘Fibreplex’. The new BC Repair Rescue comes with a promise to reverse three years of hair damage instantly. Fibreplex, is a solution for those who want to use bold hair colours and constantly try new things.
Salon amenities that should not be compromised upon
Hygiene is the most important aspect. The in-salon floor and restrooms should be clean and hygienic at all times. Also, the equipment, its accessories and most importantly linen should be cleaned thoroughly before and after any service. Similarly, clean and well displayed shelves and a well planned reception area is critical and keeps the client coming back for more. Additionally, good ventilation and climate control and a pleasant fragrance through the day is a must whilst providing any beauty service.
Top marketing initiatives undertaken
The PH Club (Professional Hair Dressers Club) is meant for hair dressers and salons, who want to be attached with the brand for long-term. It provides standardised benefits in marketing and training support. We aim to bring the ‘Catwalk to the Salons’ through Essential Looks. We understand that discounting does not work. Instead,
selling a story works better. We have been promoting our colour brands through specific looks based on seasons and occasions. This helps the hair dresser, too, as he can provide something new to the client.
Survival mantra
Our motto at Schwarzkopf Professional is – ‘Know the client well, focus on their needs, and the business will follow’. Once that is in order, everything else falls into place.
Your vision for the brand
To be a global leader in brands and technologies.
Lessons learnt from this industry, so far
Nothing should be taken for granted!

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