India’s growing young population, additional consumer income and significant awareness about healthy living are helping the country’s beauty, health and wellness industry grow. Low penetration levels and surging demand from non-metro cities has exposed the sector to untapped growth avenues.
Today, the development of the industry is not limited to the primary segments of beauty and wellness. It extends to insurance, apparel and footwear, tourism, fast-growing consumer products, hospitality and pharmaceuticals as well.
Government Support and Programmes for Beauty, Health and Wellness Industry
Beauty and Wellness Sector Skill Council (B&WSSC)
The Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council (B&WSSC) is a non-profit organisation sponsored by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) under the auspices of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. The council has got its funding from the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). It aims to create an efficient ecosystem for developing education skills in the beauty and health sectors, including standardisation and certification of study materials, programs and basics of industry information.
Ministry of AYUSH Supporting Alternative Therapies
In November 2014, the Indian government established the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy) to ensure the maximum development and expansion of alternative medicine. Alternative medicine is essentially a disorganised industry, with more than 80% contribution coming from MSMEs. With greater stakeholder involvement and government cooperation, the sector is prompted to become more organised. The product offerings under the AYUSH sector are made by FMCG giants like Dabur, Patanjali, etc.
Progressive Policy Support
The Indian government is working to enhance the sector’s business climate and attract domestic and foreign participants in the industry. Policy introductions like Make in India, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) have helped improve India’s ranking in the World Bank’s trade facilitation index. The government also succeeded in lobbying the UN General Assembly on 11 December 2014 to declare 21 June as International Yoga Day.
Wellness Centres under Ayushman Bharat
The government has also taken specific measures under the Ayushman Bharat program, such as promoting medical tourism, exempting yoga businesses from taxes and establishing health centres. These centres provide comprehensive natural medical services, including free medical and diagnostic services. In addition, the AYUSH Department aims to strengthen alternative health systems by organising advocacy workshops, investing in skills development programs and publishing research articles.
Swasthya Bharat and other Digital Health Initiatives
Government health measures under mHealth such as mCessation and mDiabetes are designed to encourage people to quit smoking and control diabetes. In addition, several mobile apps have recently been launched, including National Health Portal, which provides general information on health and disease. A cost-effective modernised system is expected to attract perennial growth in the industry.
State Governments Support for Beauty, Health and Wellness Industry
The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) aims to promote the state as a centre of tourist wellness by partnering with the Global Vipassana Pagoda. The state government intends to establish a Medical Tourism Centre (MT-Hub) to increase medical and health tourism further.
The Telangana government aims to increase the annual visit of foreigners for natural medical care from 10,000 (as of January 2017) to 100,000 by 2022.
Chennai is developing as a centre of medical and health tourism, including cosmetic treatments. In February 2018, the state health department opened a cosmetic surgery clinic at Government Stanley Medical College to provide free cosmetic care to economically weakened people.
How can SMEs in the Beauty, Health and Wellness Industry benefit?
With a large number of government schemes at their disposal, small businesses in this sector can opt for their support and grow their business with this upward flow. By visiting the respective websites of the AYUSH ministry and above-mentioned dedicated departments, new businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs can apply for these schemes and learn more about the support. And, it goes without saying that with this much government interest in the sector, the industry has a pretty bright future with hoards of global opportunities on the horizon.