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Wellness is being heralded as the sunrise industry of the 21st century. Rising consumer income, along with increasing discretionary spending and changing lifestyles has given rise to individual awareness and spending on Wellness. But what does “Wellness” really mean? At first glance, Wellness is the overall fulfillment of an individual’s needs, which could range from basic physical health, nutrition and exercise to esteem- and aesthetic-based needs such as beauty, social lifestyle and mental peace. Although certain human needs are basic and constant, evolving lifestyle trends have revolutionized the human mindset, and a great deal of importance is now attached to concepts such as Wellness. Currently, the approach to Wellness is proactive rather than reactive.
While Ayurveda, health foods and drinks and tonics have traditionally been integral to the Indian diet,
Indians are now increasingly looking at new avenues of Wellness, in line with their proactive approach. In order to maintain and improve their Wellness, they engage in activities such as regular exercise, massage therapies and counseling. Even on the supply side, industry players are increasingly moving away from “curative wellbeing” to “preventive and lifestyle wellbeing” by providing services ranging from health-oriented hospitals, pharmacies and alternative therapies to rejuvenation based spas and yoga centers and beauty-based salons, gyms and cosmetic procedures. Increased consumer focus, along with favorable supply dynamics, has put the Wellness industry in a sweet spot. Going forward, as per Ernst & Young (EY) research, this industry is likely to feature among the country’s fastest growing businesses.
Key Wellness segments
Wellness can be segmented into two broad categories: physical and social.
1. Physical Wellness includes all activities related to fitness and the prevention of physical ailments.
2. Social Wellness encompasses elements of mental, emotional and lifestyle wellbeing, and social Wellness services primarily cater to needs such as esteem, aesthetics and self-realization.
More than 30 products and services fall under the gamut of Wellness. These can be classified into the following sub-categories:
• Allopathy: This includes hospitals and pharmacies.
• Alternative therapies: These include Ayurvedic medicines, products and treatments.
• Nutrition: This sub-category includes dietary supplements and health and convenience foods.
• Rejuvenation: This includes spas and yoga centers.
• Exercise and fitness: Gyms and slimming centers fall under this sub-category.
• Beauty: Beauty-based services include salons and cosmetic procedures (both surgical and nonsurgical).
• Counseling: This sub-category encompasses professional counseling on nutrition, diet and
• Holidays: This includes travel services.
India’s Wellness industry: potential
Driven by the country’s current demand and supply dynamics, India’s Wellness industry is poised to grow at a double-digit rate over the next five years, with certain sectors, such as spas and beauty treatments, projected to grow at more than 35–40%. Moreover, given that few organized players currently exist in most Wellness segments, the opportunity for corporate and organized players is significant. Further, when positioned in the global context, Wellness in India is well below the international average of not only developed economies but also emerging economies such as China and Brazil. India’s Wellness story is at its tipping point, a period when players can tap into, exploit, and be part of, this potentially lucrative industry.
India’s Wellness industry: growth drivers
• Seamless international mobility following an increase in the frequency of international travel and expanded reach has enhanced awarene