On an expansion drive
Blossom Kochhar, one of India’s pioneering aromatherapy brands, plans 100 salons and a few skill and training centers across India in next five years

It’s getting to look and feel good-the green way and that too with a dash of aroma! Blossom Kochhar Group of Companies, the nearly 25-year-old aroma therapy, beauty and salon brand, is now eying a larger slice of the fast growing beauty and salon business pie.  Blossom Kochhar, one of India’s pioneering aromatherapist brands, which, at present, has 8 salons in different parts of the country, has drawn up an ambitious plan of putting in place as many as 100 salons across the country over the next five years.  Within this year itself, the company will have 23 salons. The upcoming salons will be a mix of company-owned and franchise-owned, but all of them will have a uniform look and ambience, said Dr Blossom Kochhar, chairperson, Blossom Kochhar Group of companies. The company currently has its salons in Delhi, Jaipur, Patiala, Bangalore, Lakhimpur, Dehradun.

That’s not all. The group, which is also into education and skilling and at present has 3 training centres and beauty academies in Delhi and Jaipur, will have at least one such training centre-cum-academy in each state, she said. The academies offer three and a half to 6 months course and groom 80-100 students per month. It is one of the largest manpower supplier to the country’s beauty and salon business.

Significantly, a recent KPMG report has projected the size of India’s beauty and wellness market to nearly double to Rs 80,370 crore by 2018 from Rs 41,224 crore in 2012.  Interestingly, another recent report by Smergers, a leading investment banker for SMEs, suggested that the Rs 10,000 crore Indian salon industry is largely unorganised with only around Rs 2,500 crore forming the organised segment. But the organised segment is expected to grow at a much higher rate of 30 per cent compared to the unorganised segment which is expected to grow at a rate less than 20 per cent. With more than 1.2 billion people in India, the average per person annual spending on salons is only $1.5 (Rs. 80) per year compared to the global average of around $15, $230 in the US, $10.3 in China, and $30.2 in Malaysia. This also reflects the scope of growth for the salon industry in India.

The ayurvedic market, on its parts, is estimated to be at Rs 4,500 crore at present. The herbal products form 6-7 per cent of the overall personal care products market currently while the estimates are that it could grow to about 10 per cent of the segment by FY20 as the trend accelerates.

Talking about their chain of green salons, Samantha Kochhar, managing director, Blossom Kochhar Group, said, “Keeping in sync with Dr Kochhar’s motto of ‘Be the Change you want to see in the World’, we created our franchise green salon chain. We as a brand are committed to using safe and nature derived products in our salon. For our skincare purposes, we use Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic products, which are 100 per cent free of parabens, alcohol, harmful chemicals, artificial fragrance and colours and promote an organic way of lifestyle. We have made it a point to partner wherever possible with some of the best eco-friendly hair and nail brands to ensure our clients have safe and healthy beauty solutions. Our product packaging is biodegradable, which is our way of catering to the needs of our discerning consumers and doing our part in keeping the environment safe and reducing our carbon footprint. We also use complete LED lighting solutions, water recycling techniques.”

Besides salons, Blossom Kochhar also has shops and kiosks. At present, it offers 137 SKUs (products) from its stable. Going forward, this number will also go up as the company seems well set to roll out its men’s range (bamboo yoga facial and so on), increasingly focus on babycare range. It regularly exports its products under its own brand to countries like Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Sri Lanka. Moves are now afoot to explore the markets of South Africa and America, said Kochhar.