Leisure & Luxury: Scaling up in Wellness Industry With Domain Expertise
With the increase in awareness about health and beauty and more income to spend at hand, the spa and wellness industry is expanding rapidly. If we look at the figures, in India the spa and wellness industry is worth Rs 490 billion and is growing at 20-30 per cent year on year basis.
One of the major reasons which is causing surge for this industry to grow is India's ancient Ayurvedic wellness rituals which has been a key attraction for the international market. Apart from this, increasing globalization and several government schemes are making sure that the wellness industry growth holds potential and looks promising.
Sensing the opportunity, Shipra Sharma along with her three friends decided to tap this untapped market with the help of their startup Tattva Spa.
"I had the opportunity to work on exciting consumer products and services projects across Kwality walls (HUL), Idea cellular, More stores and Grasim (Aditya Birla group). Tattva was the brainchild of Karan, Aditya and Pardip and I was sort of hood-winked into spear heading the venture in the early days. While I was still excited with my regular corporate role, the opportunity to create something new in the wellness space got me hooked on," said Sharma.
You must know this:
Every startup have some interesting story behind their name and same goes with Tattva Spa. "Prithvi, Vayu, Agni, Jal, Aakash (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Sky) are the five Tattvas or elements which are believed to be the core of our universe. Ancient eastern philosophy holds that the entire creation, including the human body, is a composition of these five elements. The balance of these Tattvas in the universe and the human body is the essence of wellness, and that is what Tattva Spa draws its name and inspiration from and strives to achieve for its customers," said proud Co-founder.
Identifying the source of Revenue:
Brainchild of Karan, Aditya, Pardip and Sharma, Tattva Spa runs on an asset-light business model offering professional wellness and beauty solution to hospitality partners.
Spa has initiated association with large International hospitality brands like Marriott International, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Hotels within the Resort segment offering of Tattva. "Our multi-tiered brand strategy offers luxury spa and salon services at hotels and resorts across India through their in-house Tattva, Vilasa and Unora brands," said Sharma.
They have also launched the TooYoo app focused on the on-demand Beauty and Spa segment in Delhi & NCR. TooYoo is an extension of Tattva mobile spa and focuses on the niche segment of quality wellness and beauty services in the convenience of a person's home.
Funds rolling in
At the outset, the co-founders pooled in Rs10 Lakh to start Tattva. For couple of months they bootstrapped their venture to test out the business models and get initial market traction.
With a keen eye on steady growth and tight cost control, they were able to reach profitability very soon and that is when they raised an angel round of investment from Indian Angle Network and Healthstart in October 2014. A few close friends also joined in this angel round of investment.
"We are utilising the funds to develop functional teams, develop proprietary technology for superior back-end integration and detailing the brand to evolve the business into quickly scaling up," said Sharma.
She adds further, "Having re-launched the on-demand services in Delhi-NCR as TooYoo , we will be seeking fresh round of funding to give impetus to the on-demand segment and also to develop a range of wellness and grooming products – all tying in with our goal of developing India's most trusted integrated Beauty and Wellness brand."
A roller coaster ride
For any entrepreneur, to start his own venture is a tall task. They have to cross many hurdles to achieve their goal or to make their venture a successful one. And it was the same case with the Tattva's team.
"Hiring a go-getter corporate team was most challenging. Start-up eco-system allows very little room for errors in this sphere. Poor hiring is huge waste of time and precious resource. I like to deal with challenges from the front, taking it by its horns – literally. And at those times I am glad that Tattva has Aditya and Karan who bring with them the calmness and patience of a rock. Together as team we are able to deal / duck the business challenges," recalls Sharma.
What future holds
Tattva's revenue has increased by 3x in last 18 months and the number of spa centres have increased by 2x which means that we are getting better customer traction per spa centre.
With the recent launch of their spa association with DoubleTree by Hilton, Agra, the unit service team of guest engagement managers, beauticians and healers has now grown to 180. Currently serving approximately 7000 guests a month, the hotel spa segment is poised for a further increase by 2x and also achieving profitability by May 2016. TooYoo currently does about 400 transactions a month with a 60 per cent month on month returning customer. TooYoo is looking to grow 10x by December 2016.
The wellness market a few years back was fragmented with unorganised aromatherapy day spas and un-hygeinic ayurvedic therapy centres. A few large players were addressing "slimming' as a way to wellness. But now with these emerging startups wellness is far more ahead than just slimming.