Words Of Wisdom: Venturing And Growing In Beauty And Wellness
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The Indian beauty and wellness market is a crowded one. It’s an industry where both national and international and even hyper-local brands co-exist. Therefore, starting up, surviving, sailing through and standing out in the competition is not an easy task.
We get you some insights and tips on ‘Venturing Into Healthcare, Beauty and Wellness’ from Franchise India 2016 by some of the best names in the beauty and wellness industry in India. Dr Pradeep Jeothi, CMD, Vasudeva Vilasam group of Companies, Darpan Sanghvi, MD, Sanghvi Brands and CEO, My Glamm, and Sarvesh Shashi, Founder & CEO, Zorba: A Renaissance Studio.
Learn from every business you’re into
Sanghvi, an engineer, began his journey in the beauty industry with being a master franchisee of L’OCCITANE. As years went by, this gave him experience in the beauty industry. It was this experience and observing the industry closely that made him realise that the at-home beauty services sector was untouched but had a huge opportunity. That is how he launched his at-home service brand MyGlamm, which is now growing bigger by the day.
“We saw the need for running business in beauty by eliminating expensive overheads that are involved in this business like the facility, the rentals etc and that’s how MyGlamm was born,” he said.
Your brand can survive if you’re flexible
Dr Jeothi’s Ayurveda brand Vasudeva Vilasam was established in 1884 with three products. While the founder (Dr Jeothi’s great grandfather) was reluctant on going beyond the family and offering these to the market, the younger guard realised the need to keep growing with changing trends. The brand has evolved with time and now has over 500 products, ayurveda centres, spa centres and is also franchising the brand to grow pan-India. In spite of being a grand old brand, its learning doesn’t stop. “After 2000, wellness tourism took a high and we realized the need to modernise our centres and hospitals. We started establishing Ayurveda resorts. The Europeans started coming and they found the medicinal value of our products,” said Dr Jeothi.
Sanghvi also explained how being at one central place in Mumbai was challenging as professionals had to travel hours to deliver services. It was this challenge that made him realise the need to go hyper-local and hence, get into franchising MyGlamm. While Sanghvi never sub-franchised L’OCCITANE, he felt the need to franchise MyGlamm. This implies how two different businesses under one label can differ in nature and the leader needs to differentiate the needs of the different businesses to make sure each one of them remains profitable.
Train professionals, your brand will grow in this industry
The beauty and wellness industry of India is an unorganized one. Shashi and Sanghvi, both spoke on the need for training service professionals to make this more organized. “Before we start operations, we actually build out the infrastructure to support the delivery of operations. When you have training academies, you can train and standardise the service professionals. Standardising service professionals is the first step towards organizing the industry. Then you have a brand that everyone can relate with and they know this brand is going to give me this kind of service and service professionals there. So, because it’s such an unorganized industry, the opportunity is so big,” Sanghvi said.
You lose some to gain some
Sarvesh Shashi, the CEO of Zorba: A Renaissance Studio, is a 24-year-old entrepreneur. He started off when he was 23. The youngest entrepreneur in India’s wellness industry, he’s successfully running India’s largest chain of Yoga studios. But this hasn’t come in easy for Shashi.
“I started Yoga when I was 17, that too because my father had enrolled for his Yoga classes and couldn’t continue them. So I joined them because we had paid up. Between the age of 17 and 21, I did a lot of things that people my age don’t really do. I went without talking for 40 days, I had to give up on a lot of things that I really liked. I used to do a lot of 40-day sadhanas and the five things that my guruji told me to do were no alcohol and smoking, no non-veg, no mental and physical stealing, and the most difficult part of it was celibacy. When I asked my guruji how many days of celibacy, he said 7 years. I took it up as a challenge and did it,” said Shashi while talking about his journey to entrepreneurship.
Do what you want to do
As Shashi explained, at 21, he hadn’t gone to college and he didn’t want to. When his father asked him to succeed him in the business, he refused and told him that he wanted to start on his own and follow the path of Yoga. “Yoga changed my life really. I started the first studio, it worked and we want on to form a chain of Yoga studios,” he said.
Innovation is the key
Sanghvi spoke about eyebrows extensions that MyGlamm offers, to move beyond normal beauty routines of threading. Shashi also spoke about how he’s making Yoga innovative and cool by introducing newer forms like Yoga with a ball, yoga in a swimming pool etc. It’s innovations that lead a brand ahead today.
3 requirements for a successful business
Sanghvi stated that being a successful brand requires three things – a great product, efficient & skilled manpower and demand generation/marketing.