Beauty & Wellness – Striving for a Wholesome Life

The health, beauty and wellness Industry in India is now on the fast lane, growing twice as quickly as that of the US and European markets. This has led to rising demands for skilled workforce trained in the nuances of beauty and healthcare relevant to current market trends. Is India’s present efforts enough for the growing demands of this sector?

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Famous philosopher Plato got it right centuries ago when he pointed out that “The part can never be well unless the whole is well”. The beauty and wellness industry has been trying to achieve just that in the last two decades. Its journey from an unorganized to an organized sector has opened wide opportunities for trade and employment.

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A KPMG Wellness Sector report released in April 2016 projected that the size of India’s beauty and wellness market would nearly double to INR 80,370 crores by 2017-18 from INR 41,224 crores in 2012-13. By 2022, India alone is estimated to record an incremental demand of 10.06 million skilled manpower in this industry. 

The industry includes beauty salons, hair salons, fitness centers, rejuvenation centers, slimming centers, alternate therapy. The recent upswing in economic growth in the country and rise indisposable income are some of the major propellers for the demand of such services. Spending on beauty and wellness is no longer considered as luxury. The expansion of unisex salons have found great acceptance among the youth. There has been an increased penetration of international brands augmented by the retail market expansion. Ayurveda and its wellness therapy has always attracted huge tourist crowd to the country. With more formalization of the sector, the scope of business is bound to grow. 

Still in its nascent stage, the industry has finally understood the need for quality treatment and skilled manpower. Not so long ago, due to unregulated nature of the trade, there used to be large scale exploitation and wage disparity leading to insecurity in job. It comes as no surprise that job opportunities in this segment never was a desired career choice among the youth. The field had been largely volatile. Moreover, training institutes were mushrooming without any standardization of quality or fee structure leading to demand of exorbitant fees by such institutes. 

In order to bring standardization to the otherwise unorganized sector, the Beauty and Wellness Skill Sector Council (B&WSSC) was formed recently with leading experts of the field – Vandana Luthra, Javed Habib, Blossom Kocchar etc – as governing board members. The recognition of the trade as an industry and with NSDC, a government body supporting the initiatives, there is a lot to look forward to and capitalize on.

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The sector has opened doors for employment opportunities, especially for women. The scope for multiple options of work, viz. part-time, self-employed, on the call job, and entrepreneurial opportunities, offer attractive incentives for women. To further incentivize the target audience, banks are slowly opening to offer attractive loans to women entrepreneurs. Recently, the Bharitaya Mahila Bank, on the eve of International Women’s Day, signed a MoU with the B&WSSC to facilitate easy loans to skilled and certified women who wish to start as entrepreneurs. This is in line with ‘Make in India’ campaign being promoted by the government. Although prominent training institutes like L’oreal, Enrich, Jawed Habib have been franchised across country, penetrating tierII and II cities and taking the business wide and far, not all can afford such institutes with their high fee structure. Therefore, corporates, along with sector skill partners such as LabourNet, VLCC, Laurus Edutech, have started extending support to the cause of providing feeless skill trainingby way of their corporate social responsibility. Many of the CSR activities which support livelihood enhancement have given opportunity for skilling in beauty and wellness sector.

LabourNet’s contribution towards skilling in beauty and wellness has been quite significant in the past years, training over 30000 individuals across India in beauty, hair care and beauty services since 2014. Out of all the states where LabourNet conducted training, Haryana contributed most number of candidates (about 21% of the total number of trainees) that were trained and certified, closely followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka. Many of these candidates agreed that while the training opened fresh avenues of livelihood for them that would otherwise have been impossible, quality training provided free of cost was the major factor that led to their enrollment.

From time immemorial, beauty and wellness has been an integral part of every culture. India has always been one among the top global tourist spots in the wellness sector. With the structured intervention of the stakeholders and international players in the beauty sector, the road ahead is bound to be more exciting.

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