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India’s beauty salons battling haircut delivery services

by Arun Shirishkar

Several salons in India’s are owned by individuals, often small and not officially registered. Although together, they form a sector that is reportedly worth Rs 100 billion.

But as fewer clients walk through their doors, independent owners are finding it hard to cope with rent and pay salaries. Reported, in Delhi some of the salons are facing loss of business and as compared to their earnings pre-pandemic, they make do with less than a per cent of that.

Undoubtedly, the industry has suffered because it is based on ‘personal touch’, which is being avoided in the COVID scenario, and now, with only a handful of customers, salon owners are trying to run the salons single-handedly, with some of them foreseeing shutting down of  businesses too.

But now as the daily case numbers are on the decline, it has allowed businesses in most parts of the country to nearly get back to normalcy. Beauty shops still scratching by now face a new challenge, increasingly popular start-ups that offer at-home treatments.

While delivery salon treatments are now favoured, the broader beauty and personal care market, is also growing. According to Statista, the encompassing market is worth US$ 26.85 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.51 per cent from 2021 to 2025. The largest segment is personal care, at US$ 12.26 billion.

Nykaa – the major online beauty and personal care product provider, and also India’s only profitable unicorn, or start-up valued at more than US$ 1 billion – recently filed a draft red-herring prospectus for an IPO and plans to raise Rs. 5.25 billion through a fresh share issue.

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