Indian beauty salon industry to grow 15-20%: YLG Salon founders

Chennai: The emergence and growth of the spa and beauty salon industry in India has been unprecedented. With the industry set to reach $190 billion by 2024, there are no signs of slowing down at the moment.

One of the leading beauty salon chains in south India, YLG has been successful having risen from its humble roots nine years ago.

News Today had an exclusive interview with the founding members of YLG Salons, the director and CEO, Rahul Bhalchandra and head-Innovation, Learning and Supply Chain, Vaijayanti Bhalchandra.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q) A decade under the belt, how has YLG evolved in the period?

A) YLG is evolving from being single city brand to being a pan India brand, which provides state-of-the-art beauty services to it’s customers with greatest consistency across it’s chain. YLG has developed it’s unique and highly effective products which are highly appreciated by the customers and we are excited about growing this nascent category.

Q) How different are the trends and preferences among today’s youth?

A) The new age mobile generation have become far more aware and have easy access to information through their mobile. So the choice of salon is now much more (on) transparency and dependent on consistent high quality service provided by the salon. They expect great ambiance, personalised service, and a high level of skill in the service provider. The customer is far more aware of the latest global and regional trends.

Q) What are the challenges that YLG faces in the industry?

A) The challenge remains similar to what it was – inadequate skilled manpower availability. With the growth forecast in the industry, and the lag between creation of new skilled manpower, the mismatch between supply and demand is likely to escalate, especially in metro cities. The increasing capital cost of setting up a salon is another challenge due to the increasing break-even revenues per salon.

Q) How is the industry growing in India at present? What changes do you foresee in upcoming years?

A) The salon industry is coming of age in India, with better skills and managerial practices taking root. With a huge new base of consumers entering the salon user base every year, the industry is forecast to grow 15-20 per cent year-on-year. At the same time, the new age consumer’s expectation is forcing the industry to upgrade their standards. The industry is already seeing signs of disruption from the mobile-enabled home services business models, which offer greatest flexibility and convenience to the customer. Only those brands which can offer something unique to the customers consistently and stay ahead on use of technology and data analytics to know their customer better will thrive.

Emphasis on smaller cities
Speaking about the importance of reaching out to smaller cities, the duo said, “The aspiration level in tier II cities is not much different from tier I today. Any brand which can provide top quality services required by the consumer in a great ambience at an affordable price point for the tier II market can win hearts of the customer. YLG is seriously looking at partnering with driven entrepreneurs from such cities (in Karnataka) to increase our presence there through the franchise route.”