Home >News >India >Grooming sector revival to trim joblessness among the socially weak

The grooming sector, which employs around 700,000 skilled professionals, mostly women from the weaker sections of society, aims to bounce back by re-skilling workers and ensuring social distancing norms, as India starts opening up.

Two out of three employees in the sector are women or migrant workers, according to industry estimates. These people have been the most adversely impacted by the extended lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus. States have gradually started allowing the sector to resume operations as restrictions have been eased.

“The beauty and wellness sector has been a large employer in India and most of the workers belong to lower socioeconomic and educational backgrounds. The lockdown has hit the sector hard with a shutdown of more than 70 days, which has impacted livelihood. We believe that this industry will bounce back in two or three quarters and will contribute immensely to employment creation once again," said Rajiv Nair, group chief executive, Kaya Ltd, which employs more than 1,200 employees across its 90 branches.

“The short-term pain for this industry has been immense. Businesses had to incur these costs despite not having any revenue. The cost of doing business after the opening is likely to be high, adding 7-8% in compliance of new safety norms. We at Kaya believe that we have to reinvent the business and invest in two key areas, customer and employee safety, and technology. We believe these costs are imperative for the success of the business," said Nair.

Last month, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) minister Nitin Gadkari had held a webinar with a group of beauty and wellness industry representatives and assured them that the government will consider some relief measures for the industry.

“The beauty and wellness industry has seen double-digit growth for the last two decades ...According to a survey by Redquanta, salon visits are among the top three activities that people have missed the most during the lockdown, with 56% saying they missed going to salons. We, therefore, expect a good and fairly fast bounce back for the salon industry after the lockdown," said D.P. Sharma, director, professional products division, L’Oréal India. L’Oréal is working on reskilling its workforce, focussing on the new guidelines and procedures, besides ensuring customers get services quickly.

The beauty and personal care industry is estimated to be worth $8 billion and India’s per capita spend on beauty and personal care is growing in line with the country’s gross domestic product growth, according to a report by the economic department of the consulate general of Israel in Mumbai.

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