Four Fountains Spa is a chain of affordable day spas located throughout major cities in India. Skin Inc. interviewed Sunil Rao, co-founder of the spa group, to find out how a major spa chain operation in India parallels the experiences of a U.S. spa.
Established: We launched our first day spa under the brand Four Fountains De-stress Spa in October 2007 in the city of Pune, India.
Locations: We have 20 spas that are located in seven major cities of India—Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune and Goa.
Founders: Four Fountains De-stress Spa is a first-generation entrepreneurial venture that was started by Anurag Kedia, Saurabh Garg and myself.
The story behind the spa: After completing our MBAs from IIM Ahmedabad and SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, we worked for three years with companies such as Hindustan Unilever, Tata group and KPMG Consulting. During that period we traveled frequently for work and stayed at hotels in various parts of the country. After a really stressful day, as most days tended to be, we would often long to try the spa therapies offered at the hotels’ spas. But soon we realized that we could hardly afford to take the exorbitantly priced spa therapies regularly.
It was ironic: We felt, that people who were stressed and needed spa therapies the most could not afford to take them regularly. That common experience provided us the inspiration to start a chain of spas that would put the health benefits of spa therapies within reach of more people.
Staff: Each spa team is comprised of 12 therapists, one spa doctor, one spa manager, two guest relationship executives and two housekeeping team members.
Target clientele: Our target clientele are first-time spa-goers who lead a stressful life in the city, and are looking for ways to de-stress and get rid of their physical and mental tiredness. They are men as well as women who are looking for an affordable spa that they feel comfortable visiting with their families regularly.
Product lines: We use an in-house range of products that are custom-made for us.
Spa philosophy: Our vision is to bring the scientifically proven health benefits of spa therapies within reach of every Indian by setting up 300 affordable spas across India by 2016. We want more and more first-time spa-goers to experience the health benefits of taking regular spa therapies.
Most popular treatment: Our most popular therapy is the Green Tea & Spice Scrubassage. A Scrubassage is a combination of a scrub and a massage. It is performed using a special blend of clove and green tea leaves infused in a cream base. Clove is known for its pain relieving properties and reduces soreness of muscles. The fine grains of green tea increase blood circulation and exfoliate dead skin cells. Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which prevent potential damage from free radicals, thus promoting longevity.
Most unique spa feature: The most unique feature of Four Fountains De-stress Spa is our affordability, which is a very important factor since in India spas tend to price themselves beyond the reach of most people.
Spa collaboration: Some of our spas are co-located with a hair and beauty salon chain called Jazz Up Salons, which is one of our newer ventures. We regularly collaborate with other retailers in our neighborhood for cross-promotions. We also enter into alliances with companies to offer employee wellness programs.
Retail strategies: We soon plan to start retailing products under our own label in the near future. The product range will include green tea, spa candles, and face and body care products. We will start by retailing them from our spas and eventually build a separate distribution channel for them.
Marketing campaigns: We employ a mix of city-level mass media and neighborhood marketing activities. Apart from regular advertisements in newspapers, on billboards and on the radio, we run couponing programs with other retailers. Our online marketing efforts give us a steady stream of footfalls. We also engage closely with our existing database, which results in repeat visits and membership renewals.
Inspiration: We continue to be inspired by our own experience as working professionals of being unable to afford regular spa therapies at expensive spas. Our aim is to build a stress-free India. We are convinced that if India is to be made stress-free, spa therapies would have to be made more affordable. For more information on Four Fountains De-stress Spa, visit www.thefourfountainsspa.in.
Inspiration: We continue to be inspired by our own experience as working professionals of being unable to afford regular spa therapies at expensive spas. Our aim is to build a stress-free India. We are convinced that if India is to be made stress-free, spa therapies would have to be made more affordable.
For more information on Four Fountains De-stress Spa, visit www.thefourfountainsspa.in.