Indian Wellness Sector, The Consolidation and Expansion

Indian Wellness sector treads the path to expansion after consolidating and shed
ding the remnants that often accompany an unbridled growth of previous years wit
h future outlook in 2014 remaining as bright as a couple of years back.
New Delhi, India., June 27, 2014 -- Came 2011-12 and the release of several stud
y report on Wellness Industry. The most specific ones being from the Price Water
house Coopers and FICCI. Sensing the boom in the Asian bourses mainly attributed
to `Rise of the Dragonº, the market sentiments were experiencing a high tide and so
were the predictions of wellness industry to be worth 490 billion or so and exp
ectations for this figure to increase in the then near future. This was definite
ly supported by the industry having witnessed tremendous growth in the past few
years and the demand for wellness services only bound to increase.
The reasons for this high were and are many. Mostly, the primary consumers of su
ch services have been young working professionals roughly belonging to the age b
racket of 25-35 years. This mainly attributed to their greater financial indepe
ndence. Further, with disposable incomes, they start taking their own call to de
termine their spending priorities in line with the westernization of the society
Interestingly, there are also indications that the average age of consumers usin
g these services has started decreasing. There is an increasing pressure on teen
agers and those in their 20's to look good, while those in their 30's and 40's to not
only look good but young too. The media too feeds in such images of `perfect bodie
s' and `beautiful faces'.
With a herd mentality that we Indians are famous for, there started a virtual st
ampede in the Wellness Industry. From clinics to spas to weight loss & slimming
centres to non-invasive surgery procedures, and beauty treatments, an entire ga
mut of services started mushrooming more predominantly in the metros but no less
in cities and towns across India.
As was very natural, this boom, like the IT boom of the late 1990 and early 2000
brought in side effects that became impediments in its own growth. The most imp
ortant and key factor being the availability of trained personnel to fuel this g
rowth. In the absence of the latter, cropped up issues like effective monitoring
of the industry and associated quality control. Also this, compounded by the go
vernments policy/decision Paralysis of the 2013's ensured that the industry entere
d the brief consolidation phase before taking a leap forward. Beginning 2014, ma
ny new non-core players who had jumped in `to make hay while the sun shinesº started
shutting shop. Typical amongst these being major players like the Health and Gl
ow (H&G) chain of Clinics claimed to be based out of Calcutta. The entire chain
got wiped out of New Delhi in a matter of days after having sustained operations
for good about 2 to 3 years. Next in line and the most recent one being the Per
fect Wellness Pvt. Ltd. An ambitious project but without core expertise. The lat
ter is claimed to be funded from the Travel Industry with nil expertise in the
core business, melted away from NCR Delhi, as quickly as it came in. Several oth
ers from the field have dwindling operations.
On the contrary there are some others who prefer believing in professionalism an
d ethical business practices. These are the ones that actually worked on strengt
hening their foundations and thus became stronger by the day. An example of a co
mpany that steered well, being the Health Sanctuary chain of clinics that has vi
sibly expanded its operations and entered new markets in states like Punjab, Har
yana and Uttar Pradesh. Lending credence to the wellness industry's journey over t
he past several years, Mr. R H Choudhary, Director, Health Sanctuary says, ªLate 2
012 was a period when the attrition rates soared. However, in the last 1.5 to 2
years, with the closure of ªFly by Nightº kind of companies in the wellness sector,
the situation has improved drastically. Now is the time for Health Sanctuary to
take the big leap into Expansion and that's already happeningº
However despite all constraints, the wellness industry is bound to grow albeit n
ot at a rapid pace but certainly with a modest acceleration. To add to this will
be a charged FDI interest in the economy of the country with a very strong and
stable government at the centre. It has been an interesting journey so far and t
his is what makes the Health & Wellness industry a sector to watch for in times
to come.

Tapas Mahajan
Health Sanctuary
C 2 / 1011, PALAM VIHAR
New Delhi, India