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January 17, 2018

Survival of the skilled, if thinking to make career in beauty and wellness sector : Vandana Luthra


New Delhi : The wellness market in India is estimated at Rs 490 billion, and is expected to grow by 20 to 30 per cent year-on-year. While the industry is witnessing unparalleled growth, it is also marred by a shortage of skilled manpower. When I started out in the late 80s, raising funds for a business unheard of was a grueling task.

This sector was plagued by unorganized players and the idea of setting up an organized business was new. Recognizing the need of this evolving sector, beauty and wellness sector skill council (B&WSSC), a not-for-profit organization was established. The council mainly acts as a fulcrum for skill development-related activities in the Indian wellness sector; it is backed by Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.

Make investment plan: For a profitable long-term performance, judicious monetary and time investment is imperative. Unlike other ventures, the beauty and wellness sector faces competition not only from international and home-grown brands but also from unorganized sectors. Therefore, infrastructure, strong retail distribution, affiliations, associations, and promotions need to go hand in hand.

Training and skills: I feel that one has to have enthusiasm and passion to run a business. Unlike a corporate 9 to 5 job, wellness is an emotional, practical and a full-time commitment. It takes much more than certifications and degrees to manage a beauty business. Nowadays, courses are more advanced and comprehensive than what they were during my time.

The B&WSSC curriculum includes information database, delivery system, accreditation and certification process which enhances employment prospects of an individual. Focus on skill development through such programmes helps in delivering quality services. The council has introduced several transformational initiatives to elevate the skill ecosystem in the country. For example, a master trainer training initiative has 10 experts to train the faculty of the partners affiliated with B&WSSC.

At VLCC institutes across 57 cities, for instance, we offer a total of 30 certified courses. In addition to classroom lectures, practical training also forms an integral part of the curriculum. Approximately 80 per cent of the course emphasizes on practical study as the aim is to equip students with hands-on experience. Research the course content before enrolling for a programme; the industry is not just about placements but about gaining the right knowledge.

Placement prospects: By 2023, B&WSSC aims to accredit 390 organizations, upskill 2,200 trainers, and certify a workforce of almost 1.67 million. A B&WSSC certificate holder has an edge in the industry as employers are receptive to hiring staff that has gone through a recognized training process.

Think beyond profit margins: The beauty industry is not about only selling a product. It demands time, patience and expertise. Customers have a dozen options to choose from, hence, an entrepreneur should be familiar with top beauty trends, market information and changing target customers’ preferences. Hard work and dedication are critical in running a business, but ethics and integrity also play a pivotal role for a beauty entrepreneur. One must ensure that best-in class services, quality and safe products are used. Profit margins and turnovers can all go for a toss if improper use of equipment, unsafe technology and duplicate beauty products lead to harming the customer.

Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.

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