Growth has moved to tier II and tier III cities, says Raj Kundra


“Wellness industry in India is projected to have potential for generating over 3 million jobs by 2015. Therefore, the need for skill development, training centres, accredited and certified courses have become vital for the wellness industry to meet the growth projections successfully,” said Raj Kundra, an entrepreneur while opening a three-day India International Wellness Expo (IIWE) 2014 organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on May 15 in Mumbai.

He said despite the slowdown in economic growth in 2013, the wellness industry has shown little sign of downturn as consumer spend on wellness products and services continue to be resilient. He also stated that the impressive growth is one of the reasons that wellness industry is generating substantial interest among private equity players, with many players undertaking third and fourth stages of funding to fuel expansion plans. Also the growth has moved beyond the major metropolitans to Tier II and Tier III cities where affordability levels have increased and the demand for salons and spas,yoga centres, cosmetic products and beauty services is on the rise.

The three-day conference, running alongside the expo, explored trending issues in the wellness market in the country. The industry leaders including Dr Gayatri Mahindroo, Director, National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH), Sandeep Ahuja, Chairman, FICCI – National Wellness Committee and MD, VLCC Healthcare, shared their thoughts and knowledge on wide-range of topics including accreditation guidelines for wellness centres, rise of spa industry, trends in fitness industry, innovation in Indian cosmetics industry and skill development in wellness industry.

Dr Gayatri Mahindroo highlighted that wellness centres need to focus on promoting, restoring and maintaining optimal health and well-being. Wellness addresses not only the single beneficiary but whole community by making them aware and making positive choices, adopting healthy lifestyle. She added, “Wellness industry should emphasise on the importance of improving the overall quality standards and project the image of well-structured quality services. Accreditation and quality certifications are prerequisites in or- der to achieve this goal”.

Sandeep Ahuja urged the industry players to come together and use the FICCI platform to set A common agenda for the wellness industry and address the policy and regulatory issues being faced by all the industry stakeholders. He also informed that Quality standards are very important part of the wellness industry and FICCI has been doing remarkably good work and remained engaged with NABH for accreditation.

Pankaj Balwani, Managing Director, Xplore Lifestyle, said growth of this industry is suffering due to real estate prices, taxation issues and lack of training facilities, which make scaling of operations a big challenge. Manufacturing of the fitness equipment in India should also be expanded.

Wellness market in India is estimated at Rs 49,000 crore, of which wellness services alone comprise 40% of the share. The wellness industry in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20% in next three years to reach the mark of Rs 87,500 crore.

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