Key Challenges Faced By Entrepreneurs In Wellness Industry
Wellness as an industry is flourishing a big way in the country, but with success come challenges and this industry is no exception to it. Today wellness industry is facing few of the key challenges in regards to the skilled and talented manpower. Also, low entry barriers have made this sector largely unorganized, with dilution in the quality of services offered to the customers. Below are some of the challenges that are faced by entrepreneurs in the wellness industry.
With advancing technology, comes the requirement for skilled and talented manpower. In the service industry especially in the field of healthcare & wellness, there is no replacement for human touch. When we talk about beauty salons, spas’ and alternative therapies the requirement of a skilled manpower has always being a scarcity. The rate at which this industry is growing, very soon it will be touching the figure of INR 1 trillion & with that comes the requirement of approximately one million additional skilled personnel over the next ten years. However, their availability is a concern. Effective monitoring of the industry is a challenge and initial attempts at quality accreditation have not been effective. Recruitment & retention of the skilled & talented manpower is posing a big challenge to the industry, lack of a universally accepted accreditation or standard of education affects the quality of training imparted in local academies. Few organisations offer reliable education with adequate practical training.
Largely unorganised sector
Due to the low-entry barriers, this industry had largely remained unorganized, creating a pricing pressure on the prevalent organized businesses in the domain. It is becoming difficult for a customer to differentiate between a good and a mediocre service provider. Wellness is a sensitive category as consumers invest their trust in the brand to protect and preserve their lives. The disparity in ambiance, differing service levels, and experience across outlets confuse the consumer. There are very few licensed personnel available in the industry and above that the checks enforcing usage of licensed staffs is negligible. The humungous size of the largely unorganized businesses in the industry, coupled with a range of product segmentation and customary services have made monitoring of the industry a complex and costly exercise. While the businesses in the industry are rapidly scaling up operations, this is often unstructured. Hence entrepreneurs are unable to operationalise their brand promise effectively.
National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) which is a constituent board of Quality Council of India (QCI) has been providing Accreditation to Ayurveda Hospitals & Wellness centre which includes Spas, Ayurveda Centres, Yoga & Naturopathy Centres, Fitness Centres, and Skin Care Centres etc. Under the Scheme, "Mark of Excellence" would be provided to the accredited wellness centres distinguishing them from other non accredited entities. Currently, the entrepreneurs seem to be unaware of quality guidelines as the acceptance and penetration of QCI-NABH guidelines in wellness space is low. Even among those who are aware, an oft-cited reason for not getting accredited is that the guidelines are not customised to meet requirements of the specific industry category. Customers are yet to appreciate the distinction between accredited and non-accredited centre. This hampers the motivation of entrepreneurs to invest in getting their business accredited.
Managing increasing cost
The main component of a wellness industry is the input costs such as property rentals, manpower, consumables, equipments etc. Wide fluctuations and increase in raw material prices have resulted in increased consumable cost. It has also resulted in the increase in rental costs, especially in metros and cities. Other input costs have also risen considerably over the last few years impacting profitability and delivery standards of the industry. In a bid to manage costs, some entrepreneurs have started using sub-standard products and poor quality equipment endangering the health and safety of consumers.