New Delhi: Although some businesses may be slowing down, or right sizing or even downing shutters during these tough times, the wellness industry in India seems to be bucking that trend.
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The organized sector, still considered in its nascent stages, has been seeing exceptional growth over the last few years. The Amatrra Spa in New Delhi, which opened in 2004 and provides high-end products and services, grew about 10% over the last year. Vikram Berry, general manager of the spa, says Amatrra’s target market is less impacted by the slowdown in the economy. “The wellness industry is very self driven by the demand from within the economy and not from external resources”,says Berry. “We’re not looking for outside support. I don’t need tourists to come in to run. I don’t need to bring in footfall. It’s a product which is governed by its own surroundings.”
VLCC, which recently opened 4 more day spas in January after testing out the market with one spa in Vasant Vihar in New Delhi, says he’s filling a gap that was missing in the market. “There are a lot of people out there in the non-super premium category who would want our services if they were available to them based on price, or location or kind of service”, says Sandeep Ahuja, MD of VLCC Group. “Our prices in our Gurgaon day spa for example, are not 5 star hotel rates. I suspect we are attracting a certain segment that wasn’t going to a spa because there was a sense of reluctance because of the price-value equation.” VLCC’s beauty and slimming centers, which have been around since 1989, have been growing 40% CAGR for the last 4 years.
Another distinct trend that has emerged is that men are utilizing wellness services now more than ever before, not just in the big metros, but also in tier 2 and 3 cities. Today, 18% of Kaya Skin Clinic’s customers are men. A company that provides skin services and treatments, it has created a range of men’s products, which now contribute 15-16% to its revenue.
Overall, Kaya Skin Clinic has been growing at 57% CAGR over the last 3 years. marketing head Suvodeep Das says India’s bountiful holidays have kept the industry cushioned from the slowdown. “We’re a land of celebratons and festivals. So occasions when you need to look good are many more than in the West. You have weddings in the family, Holi, Diwali, Baisakhi, in various parts of the country and we have large families, which lends itself to more occasions of looking good. So perhaps that’s what has insulated us from the impact.”