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The India Spa Market: Flourishing in the East

By: Kristen Wegrzyn
Posted: October 31, 2013, from the November 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

The wellness industry is thriving in India, and right alongside of it is the country’s quickly growing spa and skin care industry. “Health and wellness, which until recently was a relatively niche concept targeting a select few, has now gained a mainstream audience,” according to the Winds of Change wellness report created by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).1 The report states that the wellness market in India reached roughly $9.5 billion in 2011, which is an impressive 20% increase over 2010.

The general movement toward wellness has opened many new doors for the skin care and spa industry. Based on the country’s ancient, long-standing traditions of yoga, meditation, ayurveda, and other spiritual and healing practices, spas in India are the perfect setting to provide wellness to clients.2 “Spas are already providing wellness, even if they don’t recognize it or claim it. The tradition of the spa industry as a place for healing, renewal, relaxation and ‘feeling well’ positions the spa industry as one of the most logical sectors to take advantage of (and help lead) the wellness movement,” according to the Spas and the Global Wellness Market: Synergies and Opportunities report from the May 2010 Global Spa Summit.3

Although destination, and hotel or resort spas are hot spots in regard to tourism, combined they only make up 50% of the rejuvenation and spa market in India. Day spas account for the other half, and are growing more rapidly to compete with the latter by expanding spa franchises to reach a larger consumer base. The majority of large day spa chains in the region have an average of 15–25 locations, and a number of them have further expansion in the works.1

What is fueling the area’s spa growth?

According to Jasmin Arethna, director of Pevonia India, “People are becoming more aware—and the growing population, rising income levels and lifestyle concerns have majorly influenced growth in this space.” Consumers in India, who Arethna says are mainly members of the growing middle class, are increasingly seeking out wellness practices and products to meet their needs, and the spa industry is the perfect outlet.1

Prevention as health care. India’s population of individuals 40-and-older reached 340 million in 2011, which was 29% of the country’s total population and equaled more than the entire population of the United States that year.1 As an individual’s age increases, so does the number of health issues they are at risk to develop. Preventive care has gained awareness among India’s consumers, due to greater coverage in the media and the increasing cost of medical care.1

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