While the lockdown forced salons and spas across the country to be shut temporarily, brands let their creative juices flow. Let’s find out how several brands across the country, used this time to innovate and find solutions to the problems that have been created by this virus
The ramification of the novel coronavirus has affected many businesses and in turn has caused a financial as well as a human tragedy tsunami in the world. The principal norm of social distancing in this pandemic is a cause of concern for many industries and one example of it is the Beauty & Wellness industry. A few brands and salons have managed to stand on their feet whereas many are still struggling to make ends meet. Here is how the Beauty & Wellness industry has started its 2nd innings during this tumultuous period.
Ankit Arora, CEO, Streamline Services India
Ankit feels that COVID-19 and the lockdown has had a great and serious impact on the beauty industry. He says, “The industry will take at least 6 months to a year to bounce back on its feet again. But then this situation should be looked upon as a challenge instead of a roadblock.” When asked about the impact of lockdown and COVID-19 on his business, he mentioned, “unlike other brands even we had a greater impact from the lockdown. However, we as a team quickly identified the gaps in the market and tried to generate business out of it. We launched a new brand called “MESAFE” which develops health and safety products. MESAFE manufactures products like PPE kits, nail and facial shields, disposable items, etc for the salon community. And all this is carried under the strict surveillance of our quality check and control team.”
He believes that consumer confidence and safety is what will help this field get back to its original position. As a result, he and his team are striving hard to work towards achieving the ultimate goal. Ankit vividly remembers visiting the raw material companies and driving down to his factory to supervise the manufacturing of Me Safe products even during the initial days of lockdown. He is shortly launching phase 2 of health and safety products called ‘MESAFE 2.0’ and has a dream of making this brand an Apple of the beauty industry.
Durgesh, CEO, MARC Salon & Beauty Equipments
Durgesh says, “The initial months into the lockdown were a bit low for our business, but we utilized this time for studying and understanding the market trends.” MARC salon & Beauty Equipment’s is using its manufacturing facilities and infrastructure for the production of health and safety products like high-quality UV Lamps, UV cabinets, Acrylic sheet for nails, fascial along with feathers acrylic sheets for maintaining 6 feet distance between Shampoo and haircut stations.
When contacted Mr Pradeep Sharm, Head Marketing he asserted, “We are manufacturing these products with employee strength at just 35% in the factory and till date have sold 1000+ products in this segment. We completely believe in the “Vocal for Local” campaign and do not encourage the use of any Chinese parts in any of our products. Our disinfectant cabinet is a huge hit and can be used across the industries” and also highlights that they see opportunities beyond their core beauty and wellness with recent orders coming in for disinfectant gates and cabinets from colleges in Mumbai.
Anurag Vij, CEO, Lawell Professional
Anurag states that this industry will take at least 1-2 years to stabilize post these COVID conditions. Lawell Professional (also known as K R Cosmetics) has seen a bigger impact on its professional range of products which constitute about 70% of their portfolio as compared to the retail products.
When asked about diversification in health and safety products he mentioned, “it was the need of the hour to do so. And since we had the infrastructure in place, we thought of going ahead with it. We currently manufacture disinfectant gates in this segment and have bagged orders from government offices, corporate banks and railways.” When questioned on the delivery of these products he proudly mentions, “we have got the permission of essential services for this product as it caters to all the industries. Hence it is feasible for us to cater on a pan-India level.”
He also mentioned a new launch of disinfectant air purifiers which is just a few weeks away and they will be manufacturing it on a long-term business model. Says Anurag, “our entire team has been trained under the Certification of Beauty & Wellness Skills for COVID conditions. So that they can educate the salons with the health and safety guidelines. Mr Vij also feels, “that it’s the time this entire industry should come together as one and work together with the objective of Make in India so that such a situation does not affect us going ahead.”
Anita Golani, Proprietor, Anita’s Aromatics
Anita feels that 75-80 days in this tough situation is a great loss to the industry. In her views lockdown has been a time to sit back and analyse how the business has progressed. “It takes 21 days to inculcate a habit and 3 months to make it a lifestyle. And this lockdown has seen a paradigm shift in the lifestyles of the masses.” She feels that salons need products which will build client confidence in them as it is of utmost importance for the business to bounce back.
Anita Aromatics have been manufacturing health and safety products in collaboration with a pharma company. She states that “these new normal conditions are the future of this industry and we will never be able to go back from them.” She requests the Government, “ to stimulate financial aid to the Beauty & Wellness industry which will enable them to pay rents, bills and salaries of the employees as a lot of families are dependent on this segment for earning their bread and butter.” So, whilst this industry is entering its 2nd innings, we do look forward to the industry adapting its game to manage the bouncers from COVID-19 more successfully as it builds a more health and safety conscious offering for its clients.