And, now the Salon and Wellness industry are also emerging as a promising market.
In order to understand the growth opportunities and a greater insight into consumer behaviour, Franchise India organised the second edition of the Indian Salon Congress 2013. The Congress also brought together the leading names in the industry, including Jawed Habib, Aashmeen Munjaal, Sachidanand Kamat.
According to a report launched at this show, the Indian salon industry is expected to nearly double to about $ 4 billion over the next two years. Also, this report highlighted that the organised salon market is expected to grow from currently 25 per cent to 30 per cent by 2015.
Ritu Marya, Editor-In-Chief, Franchise India Media, said, “The industry is now getting more serious from just being a cozy business. Evolution is visible in the industry, but institutional funders still find it difficult to buy a plan. So in order to expand the funds available, business plans should become more strategic.”
The Congress highlighted several trends and emerging challenges:
The salon industry, both in India and globally, was initially dominated by individuals. And, while international markets have professionalised and established well recognised brand names, it has not been the case here.
“A customer should not come to an individual but to a brand, and it’s time that our industry moves towards that. And to create a
brand, you need a team of highly qualified people,” said Jawed Habib, Proprietor, Jawed Habib Hair Xpreso.
Habib also emphasised the need for greater specialisation in the salon industry rather than offering a wide range of services under one roof. For instance, salons could only specialise in hair cutting or facials.
Franchising has been used by a range of industries to expand their presence rapidly across the country. According to the report presented, the industry currently has over 5,000 franchisee salons; and over the next two years, will account for 25 per cent of the overall organised business, and a turnover of more than $1 billion.
Education and attrition are the twin challenges facing the industry currently; and there is a need to create professionals who are
well qualified to effectively serve consumers.
And, while several brands have created academies to create well trained professionals, but effective communication between salon management and staff is also important.
Samir Srivastava, Business Head India – Beauty Retailing and Education Division, VLCC Healthcare, said, “The salon and wellness industry needs five lakh professionals annually, but only 15,000 trained professionals are added.”
Salons are no longer limited to being service oriented operations, but are increasingly evolving into a point of retail as well. This comes at a time when the consumer is increasingly looking for professional services and recommendations for products. And, once again staff training and communication are viewed as key.
The consumer is evolving rapidly and this is reflected in her needs at the salon, and the services she expects. As a result, several services have shifted from being a luxury to a necessity, and salons need to adapt quickly. 
Also, engaging with the consumer effectively is viewed as key by experts, and the growing importance of social media cannot be ignored. Sachidanand Kamat, Director – Employee & Customer Engagement, Enrich Hair & Skin Solutions, said, “Services in a
salon have become complex and there is a need for effective communication with consumers.” Kamat also highlighted that they have shot one minute videos of services they offer and are available for viewing in their salons.
Salons are no longer located at neighbourhood shops or high streets, and malls are increasingly en vogue. And, that’s because of the increasing amount of leisure time and family budgets spent at malls.
According to the report presented, 61 per cent of males and 54 per cent of females visit salons on a monthly basis, and 60 per cent of respondents spent between Rs 1,000-2,000.
“Salons are increasingly located in malls and to maximise profits, salons could be located near food courts and escalators. Also, various revenue sharing models are offered,” said Benu Sehgal, VP & Mall Head, DLF Place, Saket.
Habib adds that they are also looking at metro stations in a bid to expand their consumer base. Clearly, the growth potential for the salon industry is enormous and effective staff training is key.
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