NEW DELHI: As India moves towards phased exit from the lockdown, the grooming sector could help resolve the country's employment crisis. With re-skilling of employees, the industry is confident it would bounce back in two-three quarters.
The Indian beauty and wellness sector employs approximately 70 lakh skill-based professionals, mostly hailing from the weaker sections of the society. Two out of three employees in the industry are women or migrant workers who have been the worst hit due to the extended lockdown. With restrictions being eased, states have slowly started allowing the sector to resume operations.
“The beauty & wellness sector has been a large employer in India and employs over 70 lakh professionals, 2/3rds women and most belonging to lower socio economic and educational backgrounds. The lockdown has hit the sector hard with a shutdown of over 70 days which has impacted livelihood," said Rajiv Nair, Group CEO, Kaya Limited, which employs over 1200 employees in over 90 clinics. "We believe that this industry will bounce back within two to three quarters and will contribute immensely to employment creation once again."
The short-term pain for this industry has been immense. Businesses have had to incur these costs despite nil revenues. "In addition, 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 on two key areas – customer & employee safety, and technology. We believe that these costs are imperative for business success in future," Nair added.
Last month, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) minister Nitin Gadkari 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, due to demand. Beauty today is an intrinsic requirement, a manifestation of feeling good and confident about yourself, and that is not something that will go away or change due to covid" DP Sharma, Director, Professional Products Division, L’Oréal India said.
"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 post the lockdown," he added
L’Oréal is working on re-skilling the workforce keeping the new guidelines and procedures in mind but also ensuring that customer can get services in lesser amount of time.
The beauty and personal care industry is one of the fastest growing consumer products sector in India. According a report by the consulate general of Israel, Mumbai – Economic Department, the industry is estimated to be worth $8 billion and India’s per capita spend on beauty and personal care is it is growing in line with India’s GDP growth.
The industry comprises businesses such as beauty parlours, barber shops, salons and spas, clinics and academic institutions.
“The industry has come together better than ever before to create, train and implement a new Quality Safety & Hygiene Protocol. There is also a separate initiative to promote it as an industry to create reassurance for all customers. This is being done to ensure that salons regardless of whether they are a single salon or a chain retain their customers. We will also take more steps to assist every body in the industry in a collaborative spirit so that safety worries are addressed," Vikram Bhatt, founder of Enrich Salons said.