Indian Professional Beauty Industry- A new mammoth of the world market
Opinion by Ajay Unnikrishnan, Published by NRI Herald India- 23 July 2021
India’s professional beauty businesses can tap into the consumer's need for self-indulgence as the sector moves forward from coronavirus pandemic.
I am sure many of us reading this would recollect having visited a barber shop when we were young and got really embarrassing close cropped haircuts that were forced upon us by our parents.
Cut to today, where there is a plethora of options of “Salons” and “Stylists” to chose from for your styling needs. With the advent of technology and more importantly Social Media, the Indian diaspora is exposed to changing trends and are venturing out more often to experiment with their looks.
Market research says that the Beauty Industry is roughly a 20,000 Crore (INR) industry in India alone. The Industry is largely dominated by Hair category followed by Skin and Nail categories.
In the Hair category, there are only 3-4 organised players and most of them are importer based brands. This opens up the avenue for Potential investors to look to bring in promising brands into the category and capitalise on this fast growing industry. In South India alone there are close to 3000 salons in the A, B and B+ category. This is a fast growing industry and in my opinion will take another 5 to 7 years to consolidate.
Creating an Ideal Go - to - Market strategy with your brand and driving fundamentals of business such as improving coverage of salons and increasing penetration of range of products in each salon will be a sure shot formula for success.
The industry largely works on developing long term relationships with salon owners and salon stylists. The key influencer being the stylist. Focus on good education for the salon stylists and your products will sell like hot cakes.
Life after Corona times
Given the current situation, focus on hair and facial appearance has only gone up since we spend a significant amount of our time attending virtual video calls. Being presentable shoulder upwards has become extremely critical. Therefore, though the industry has taken a hit over the last 15 months, it will surely revive once a critical mass has received their vaccination and salons are allowed to operate normally.
Pre-COVID-19 trends will likely accelerate, with direct-to-consumer e-commerce, such as brands’ websites, shoppable social-media platforms, and marketplaces becoming more important. Across the globe, consumers indicate they are likely to increase their online engagement and spending.
Looking beautiful and feeling beautiful is a trait that will never die in human beings. And as long as that feeling continues the beauty industry will thrive.
Ajay Unnikrishnan has graduated in Mechanical Engineering & holds a Masters in General Management from S P Jain. Currently, Ajay is the Chief Executive Officer of India based Kosca Distribution. He has single handedly established an independent Distribution company catering to over 3000 salons in South India from concept to benchmark performance standards.