Over the last few years the beauty and wellness industry has seen a huge boom and has delivered on the projection of being a sun rise sector. The key drivers for this are the increasing number of people who are health conscious, the growing desire to look good and the demand for suitable products and services across age groups and demographics. This growth has been seen coming from urban, semi urban and lately, even the rural areas. Another significant driver for this segment is the burgeoning men’s wellness segment. The entire male grooming market in India including gadgets, soaps, shampoos, perfumes and other personal products—is estimated to grow to Rs.5,300 crore, a compounded annual growth rate of 11%, by 2016, according to a study by Euromonitor International. Also, this is further augmented by the fact that women actively pursuing the industry as a lucrative career option. The industry needs specific skills and basic communication which, if a person possesses, can then be groomed in a finishing academy. The industry is looking for people with soft skills and a fair knowledge of the beauty sector which can then be groomed to fill the existing skill gaps in the industry. With the ever increasing opportunities present in this sector, the proliferation of work spaces like salons, clinics and centers are now growing to penetrate into the Tier 2 and 3 cities and even in some semi-rural areas. This also provides men and women with an opportunity to seek jobs closer to their place of residence.
That being said, like any industry the workforce needs companies and brands to invest in grooming and training them to increase their potential and capabilities. Talent needs to be recognized and nurtured so as to ensure values like integrity and loyalty get ingrained into them. Talent management and engagement are now extremely dynamic and have taken on unique roles of their own. HR processes including identifying, recruiting, growing, to letting go of talent have now evolved and require intrinsic understanding and knowledge to manage these processes.
Workforce dynamics and the opportunities that it possesses:
A recent report by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) states that the beauty and wellness sector will need 14.27 million skilled workforce by 2022. The workforce in the beauty and wellness industry comprises of a majority of women professionals with an average age of 27 years.
Some of the key roles that the industry offers are therapists, wellness consultants, hair experts etc. At high-end premium salons like Kaya, they get an opportunity to work on sophisticated tools and technologies like Laser, Radio frequency etc. The use of these technologies and services require knowledge and training.
Looking at the increasing demand of talent in the beauty space, we are witnessing an increasing number of men who are also interested in the beauty and wellness industry.
There is a constant focus on attracting the right talent as it is a key differentiator in the current market that is cluttered with numerous brands and independent salons. Kaya takes the necessary steps to get the perfect talent on board to help set it apart from the competition and provide customers with well-trained experts. Job applicants who are usually under graduates have gone through some basic beauty courses and training. There are also several on –the –job training opportunities for such individuals.
At Kaya, we understand that applicants look for livelihood to support families and be independent. Many of our members are aspirational about a successful career and opt for additional training to enhance their skillsets. Since intrinsic industry knowledge is important, many of these entry level employees go on to be managers and some even manage a cluster of stores.
We have a program at Kaya called PACE - Providing Avenues for Career Enrichment, through which we aim to provide development in terms of exposure, enrichment and lateral growth to our employees. The program also provides a talent pipeline for business. This program helps our employees to develop themselves for next roles and draws out a career path for them. There are 3 steps in PACE starting from identifying key talent which is then groomed for next role. They then undergo an assessment to identify their readiness levels and a development plan is chalked out accordingly. Kaya’s Beauty Therapist can grow vertically into roles of Customer Care Executives, Assistant Clinic Manager, Clinic Manager and Zonal Managers. They can also grow into specialized roles such as Laser Counsellors, Buddy Trainers, and Assistant Trainers etc.
Nurturing the workforce right from the entry level to the leadership is key to consistent growth. It is critical to provide these people with technical and soft skills like grooming, communication, team work etc. Kaya academies with the help of a dedicated team of experts provides professional & interpersonal skill training both on-the-job as well as off-the –job, which helps create a healthy work environment. Kaya also offers attractive incentive schemes to promote a healthy learning environment.
Along with holistic skill development it is also important to train the employees about organizational values and how they are important for their success. They need to be nurtured so that they feel like they are part of a family. Looking at the high degree of movement of women into urban areas, it is important to take care of their emotional wellbeing as well. As the beauty industry employs a lot of women professionals, safeguarding them from harassment is also a becoming a key focus for various companies. It is imperative to create an environment which makes employees feel safe and is conducive to their growth.
The industry’s demand for talented professionals and the youth’s career aspirations are both creating fantastic avenues for the beauty sector. Companies are laying increasing importance on skilling and sustaining their workforce as the opportunities in the market are immense. This can be achieved by offering challenging opportunities to the workforce to learn, grow and be an active contributor to the company’s success. Collective efforts by brands and employees have the potential to greatly promote the beauty industry in India.