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By: Priyanka Bhattacharya
Posted: June 5, 2007, from the June 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.
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Moreover, beauty salons are upgrading their offerings to include specialized skin care treatments and labeling themselves as day spas. “We see this happening [because] women are not just looking for beautiful skin but healthy skin,” says Malik.
“Even when women come to regular salons, they are looking for more than just a facial,” says Blossom Kocchar, director, Blossom’s Aroma Spa, a salon turned day spa. “They are looking for relaxation that promotes a sense of wellness. That is why we need to offer services that are more than just facials. At the day spa, they can spend an hour or two and get relaxed and feel healthy and not just merely beautiful.”
With the mushrooming of specialty and day spas across the country, especially in the five major cities, India is a wide-open market for international beauty brands and spa products. “The beauty industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in India. It is growing at the rate of 20% a year—twice as fast as the U.S. and the European market. So, it is the right time for international brands to seek buyers here,” says Raj Manek, managing director, Expomedia Events India Private Limited, organizers of the Professional Beauty Expo.
While local brands still hold 70% of the spa market, the growing beauty-consciousness among consumers (especially the globetrotting executive class) and interest in higher-value products, spurred, in part, by higher purchasing power, is generating demand for imported high-end spa brands.
“When it comes to spa products and solutions, Indian spas like to add exclusivity and so use imported ingredients,” says Smita Agarwal, director, VNS Marketing Pvt Ltd. “We bring in many exotic products and oils from Thailand, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, and supply to all the major spas in India. They use these to offer exotic treatments inspired by Southeast Asian therapies, which are very popular currently amongst Indian and international clientele.”
In fact, international spa brands such as Thalgo, Pevonia Botanica and Remy Laure are already present here. Other players such as Austrian brand Dr TempT and French Dalton Beaute De la Mer are looking to establish a presence in the Indian spa market. “When Indian women go to spas, they are looking for an international level of experience, so these international brands give them what they are looking for,” says Rekha Chaudhari, director, Nagai Overseas, which sells Remy Laure products to Indian salons and spas. “This also gives them an element of exclusivity and glamour. Besides, these skin care products are superior to what is available in the Indian market.”