Covid-19 virus is sweeping through the world, putting countries, societies & communities under tremendous pressure as strict lockdown was imposed worldwide. One of the most affected sector was beauty and wellness industry as Personal interaction is critical in this sector, you can’t provide beauty services, spinal adjustments, or massages without physically touching your clients Although, home self-care has become more popular during lockdown, nothing can replace the power of the practitioners. A report by the Indian Beauty & Hygiene Association (IBHA) in 2019 forecasted that the India’s beauty and wellness market is to reach Rs. 2,463.49 Bn by 2024. But due to the pandemic, salons have been shut which affected the beauty and wellness market. Tulsi who owns a beauty parlour in Mangalore city says, “I had to cancel several appointments due to the lockdown and I got calls from clients to provide them personal service. But I did not want to proceed without proper safety measures. I have employees working under me and I could not pay them their salaries too. It was really stressful for all of us” A few salons have used the time during the lockdown to enhance the skills of their employees by providing them online training and also kept in touch with their customers through live sessions. Also, The Urban Company (Urban clap) has introduced Mission Shakti to ensure overall health, safety and financial well being of all their partners in Beauty and Wellness sector. Salons will see a major transformation post the lockdown and beauty service providers will have to plan measures in order to mitigate potential risks. Leading salons such as Lakme, BBlunt, Enrich and Bodycraft are planning a seismic shift in day-to-day operations to inculcate safety measures.Salons will be expected to maintain a high level of hygiene as it is a high-touch industry Sharath, Owner of Toni and Guy, popular salon in Mangalore said, “We recently opened our salon post lockdown and we had a very good response. A few people are sceptical because there is still fear of Covid-19. But if good hygiene is maintained then it won’t be an issue” “We have made mask mandatory and there will also be thermal scanning of the customers. There will also be no walk ins and the customer will have to take prior appointment. People above 65 and children below 12 years of age will not be allowed. We give disposal aprons and towels. Also, we sterilize each and every surface and equipments after each appointment and sanitizers are kept everywhere in the salon.”, he added. Speaking regarding the elimination of sharing of products, he said, “We have one-time kit which the customers are required to purchase and they can bring the kit along with them for each appointment.” The beauty industry was growing at 18.6% in pre-Covid times, higher than the international CAGR of 15%. The five-billion-dollar salon industry, which has been under lockdown for eight weeks, now anticipates sales to recover post-lockdown.
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