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Beauty and Wellness Sector Holds Promise

Vandana Luthra of VLCC says the right skills is all you need for a glowing career in the field

Published: 01st June 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th May 2015 11:05 PM   |  A+A-

The industry-led Beauty and Wellness Sector Skill Council (B&WSSC) backed by the government was formed in June last year. It had its task cut out — to skill 1.6 million youth in a decade. One year on, its Chairperson and VLCC Group Founder Vandana Luthra spoke to edex about the challenges facing the sector in the skilling context.

Beauty.jpg“Dearth of training infrastructure, absence of standardised training curriculum (especially at the entry level) and a lack of quality trainers in sufficient numbers remain key challenges. Matters have not been helped by the fact that the Beauty and Wellness arena in India is still largely unorganised and fragmented, with a limited number of companies in the organised space having a pan-India presence,” says Luthra.

When asked if the beauticians and hair stylists trained by B&WSSC meet international standards, she says, “We are working hard towards making our skilled professionals set the global benchmark in the beauty and wellness space. Mumbai-based Neha Chande – whom the B&WSSC is training to represent India at WorldSkills 2015 — won gold at WorldSkills Oceania Competition (conducted by WorldSkills International, an organisation that runs competitions for the young in 30 different skill categories annually). Neha’s win marks the first instance of India winning a gold medal in any global skills competition.”

Though the beauty and wellness industry is new in India, there is increasing awareness about health and wellbeing, Luthra says. This combined with the rising cost of curative healthcare, which is prompting people to look at preventive healthcare is contributing to the development of a vibrant beauty and wellness sector in India, she opines.

Academic qualifications need not deter individuals looking for career prospects in this field. “Usually, training institutes have their own entry-level conditions for admission. Several courses are open even for school drop-outs or those who don’t have any formal academic qualifications,” she says.

The beauty and wellness space is largely seen as a woman’s domain. Men employed in the sector at entry levels are typically engaged as fitness trainers or fitness floor facilitators, masseurs, hair stylists, pedicurists, manicurists, or tattoo and make-up artists, she says. “Women outnumber men among those employed in the beauty and wellness space. But this gap is narrowing and we may soon have an equal split. Many men are now even becoming nail technicians,” Luthra says.

 suraksha@newindianexpress.com



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