Striving to take spa therapy beyond the confines of the elite, well-known beautician and aroma therapist Blossom Kochhar is all set to open 200 spas across India and abroad in two years.
"Life is so hectic these days. People are constantly running around for work. At the end of the week they deserve good, rejuvenating spa treatment, which unfortunately can't be afforded by all. These spas will specifically address that issue," Kochhar told IANS in an interview. <b1>
"In contrast to salons that offer a facial for as much as Rs.2,000, these daycare spas will offer complete body treatment for Rs.1,000 that can be easily afforded by a working woman, at least once a month," she said.
The price range of body treatment packages will vary from Rs 1,000 to Rs.5,000.
The 200 daycare spas will be more like beauty salons as opposed to high-end rejuvenation centres in resorts.
"The first 10 spas will be in north India, in places like Jalandhar, Amritsar, Chandigarh and Ludhiana, besides Delhi and Noida. These will be functional in another two-three months before we open elsewhere.
"Why we chose north India first is because it's closer to where I am, in Delhi, and therefore it helps in terms of better understanding of people's needs here. The demand for spas is however immense everywhere," Kochhar said.
"We have a spa in Nehru Place in Delhi. But before this initiative, we have been concentrating only on our cosmetic products range, which we supply to various salons. This is the first time that we are going big with the daycare spas catering to everyone," she said.
In southern India, however, Kochhar has not received as big a demand as the rest of the country.
"We have got a huge demand from everywhere, especially from places like Kolkata in West Bengal and Gujarat. But from the south, where ayurveda is very popular, the demand is not that big.
"Beyond Bangalore and Hyderabad, we are not yet planning these spas deep down south," she said.
Ten percent of the spas will be opened abroad.
"We are planning to open around 20 such spas abroad. We are already on the first phase of setting up these spas in Sri Lanka, Dubai, Kazakhstan and London. The rest are still being worked out," she added.
Each spa will be 1,500 to 4,000 square feet large. They will require a minimum investment of Rs.1.5-2 million.
Having recently joined hands with Britain-based entrepreneur Raj Loomba's organisation, the Loomba Trust, to give free education on hair and beauty care to 100 poor widows, Kochhar said these spas would provide employment opportunities to these women as well.
"Education without employment opportunities is futile, especially for the needy. Although the Loomba Trust will give financial aid to the widows we will train them to set up their own enterprise; the option to join one of these spas is also open to them.
"Basically, the more the options, the better it is for them," she said. Kochhar is also going to launch an exclusive range of spa products that will be available only to franchisees.