Tuesday, 27 October, 2009

The Indian Wellness Industry

The other day I heard somebody saying that the Wellness industry in India is growing by 35%, However this Industry has no set parametres or Guidlines, It is still unaffected by recession etc. But to me it seems its like playing darts in the dark, you might get it and you can very well miss it. Looking at the fair extension of wellness also, If you see, Alternative Therapies have been practised in India for quite long, its just today that it is considered to be a part of wellness.
Vikas and I was discussing yesterday and He shared some good facts. There are clear customer preferences in each region with regard to each segment - alternate therapies are the most popular choice of people in southern India, while customers in north are inclined towards beauty. The maximum number of fitness and slimming centres are in the west etc. But why is Wellness a hot topic today? I guess, the the increased level of activity is arising from the entry of several providers such as organised Indian and international players, expansion by existing companies, strategic alliances and interest among private equity investors and hospitality and realty industries. So what is the step ahead to tap this $2.2 billion market?
First Point, according to me should be lauching standards. The Standards for Health and Wellness accreditation will require consideration of a variety of criteria in Wellness service providers. These would cover aspects like technology, trained manpower, infrastructure, customer safety, processes and controls among many others, statutory & regulatory compliances. The standards would lay down stringent regulations for service providers to obtain mandatory full accreditation of the total services offered.
Secondly, "Well begun in Business is half done", As per test marketing, feedback and need gap, we need to clearly define our products as well as services. In my new role, I have learnt that there are several challenges faced by users of wellness industry in this early growth stage. These challenges mainly revolve around the quality of the offerings, substandard facilities, poor infrastructure and untrained staff. In their zeal to win clients, the providers frequently over-promise and under-deliver, which leads to unmet expectations of the users.
Thirdly, LBS and Regional services are the talk of the town today, A key challenge for wellness players in India is to be able to regionalise their offerings across India, on account of significantly varying consumer preferences. The one standard ‘menu’ on offer approach is sub-optimal considering the widely varying customer preferences across India.
The Fourth step should be synergising and marketing cohesively.The ability to build collaborative distribution models with companies in allied sectors is a challenge. Being able to create synergistic structures would help to control costs of reaching out.
The Fifth priority should be balancing Finance and capturing catchments.A carefully planned portfolio of “footfall generators” and “footfall preservers” services is difficult to achieve but is a must to balance the financial returns of any company. It is also important for follow up, feedback, upselling and cross-selling.
Would like to know your thoughts, Comments welcome...

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