Nailing it!
Nailing it!

Lipstick and nail polish dominates the colour cosmetics market in India, with a combined share of over 70 per cent value sales. For the factors like increased use of nail services and products, exposure from the western world - women in India now taking time out for themselves contributing majorly to the growth perspective; it is also understood that the cost of adding nails related services to a salon is small with huge returns with existing clientele.

As shared by Dr Blossom Kochhar, “Consumers are becoming more appearance conscious with 7 per cent more global consumers attaching importance to looking good in 2012 as compared to 2008. Beauty consciousness has dawned on rising affluence. With an increase in the number of households upgrading to a higher consumption lifestyle, there is an explosion of growth in the nail care business and consumer awareness. Everyone wants to know which polish will give the longest wear without chipping or fading.”

A perspective

The question which also strikes is that why women are opting for nail spas after the monthly dose of pedicures and manicures? According to Dr Kochhar, “People opt for nail spas because when the natural aromatic oils and packs are used while getting a nail spa - it soothes and take care of the nails naturally.” “The major trigger here is growing demand of creating art on the nails.  Stenciled, painted, even pierced nails have become a rage. Nail bars have specialist nail experts who offer wide range of designs to pamper young girls to working women and housewives,” commented Swati Soli Pal, Director - Marketing, Avon India. Referring to the last five years, she further shared that the nail care segment witnesses a growth of 25 per cent CAGR with the nail care segment contributing 24 per cent in overall colour category revenues of Avon India.  

As added by Mary Kay Cosmetics (India) spokesperson, “Any woman who steps out from her salon after a hair treatment complete with a wash and blow-dry wishes for nothing more than her hair to stay that way - lustrous, smooth and soft to the touch. Or at least be able to afford salon treatments more often. Nail spas/bars is a similar aspirational luxury for today’s consumers.”

Nail bars at their best

Given the growth in the nail care segment, nail spas like Nail Spa India, Nails Mantra, Simar’s Nail Bar, among others are doing brisk business and have exciting expansion plans too in the times to come. While Nails Mantra is 2.5 years old, the biggies are Simar’s Nail Bar (apx 12 years old) and Nail Spa India which is 10 years old in this business. While Simar’s Nail Bar is present at New Friends Colony, Select City Walk and West Punjabi Bagh; Nail Spa India, with an average store size of 300 square feet, boasts of a total of roughly 15-20 outlets across India, with about11 outlets in Delhi.

The customers are mainly females, to which Gurpreet Seble COO, Nail Spa India added, “Nails is an all women category with Pedicure/Manicure being 80:20 split in favour of women.” Referring to the customer profile, Seble further added, “The average age is 30-35 and average income is Rs 50,000 plus monthly.” However, Renu Gandhi, Owner, Nails Mantra shared the average age for the customers to be ranging from 11 yrs-75 yrs with even the 75 year olds getting 3D nail art done which costs Rs 5000.

Gandhi started from selling products online and at salons to gradually moving on to providing home service (sending staff at home), to opening an outlet in September, 2011. They plan to open their second outlet by this year – September in South Delhi. Nails Mantra started with two to three walk-ins and has gone upto 25-30 on a daily basis which constitutes 80 per cent repeat customer.  Eighty per cent on weekdays and 20 per cent on weekends. In this business, Gandhi shared that word of mouth is extremely important and works wonders. However, Seble avered, “Footfall is anywhere from 30-50 clients daily with the higher number on weekends.”

Behind the scene

We also learnt that the minimum investment that goes into opening an outlet ranges from Rs 5 lakh-Rs 10 lakh, keeping in mind the three months advance rentals. Seble opined, “Total cost is anywhere from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 25 lakh, depending on the store size which is approx. 250 sq ft to 500 sq ft.”. Seble also pointed out that most popular services are french nails, nail art and pedicure. Differentiating nail bars from salons, Seble stated, “The major reason is that the focus and speciality provided by nail bars is far superior than any salon can do which has multiple services to offer.” Coming to the business model, Seble disclosed that their business model is maximum return per sq. ft in every bar. “This can be from Rs 1500 to 3000 in a nail bar. This is obtained by providing services to our clients,” she added.

While word-of-mouth comes to be the ideal marketing technique for nail bars, Seble said, “Marketing has always been at all industry avenues like trade shows, trade magazines, etc. Word-of-mouth is the best marketing we have had ever.” Gandhi also shared that while they only have their website as the medium to connect with potential customers, they seek to leverage the bulk sms platform, given the data of walk-ins/customers they maintain at their outlets. This includes reminding customers for filling dates and keeping a tap of their re-visits, etc.”

The potential

Mary Kay spokesperson shared that the market size potential of nail care is as big as any beauty service and is increasing rapidly. Nail care cosmetics are projected to grow from Rs 3,325 million to Rs 5,979 million by 2015, with a 15.7 per cent constant value CAGR. Seble added, “To establish a nail bar is a serious business model for entrepreneurs out there looking for a start in the beauty segment.” 

Gandhi further laid emphasis on providing discounts, focusing on ‘no complaints’ and good servicing.



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