VLCC plans unit in south India

VLCC has a comprehensive portfolio of beauty and wellness products and services. With an employee base of over 4,500 professionals, including medical doctors, nutritionists, physiotherapists and cosmetologists

By Author  |  Published: 8th Dec 2019  12:05 amUpdated: 7th Dec 2019  9:45 pm

Hyderabad: VLCC, a beauty, health and wellness company, founded by Vandana Luthra, is looking at an expansion both in India and overseas. The company has drawn up plans to set up a new manufacturing unit in south, raise Rs 400 crores in an upcoming IPO, invest in setting up more wellness centres and skilling institutes, besides establishing first-of-its kind medical spas.

VLCC has a comprehensive portfolio of beauty and wellness products and services. With an employee base of over 4,500 professionals, including medical doctors, nutritionists, physiotherapists and cosmetologists, the Group’s operations currently span over 400 locations in over 165 cities and 16 countries across South Asia, South East Asia, the GCC Region, and East Africa.

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Sharing the company’s path ahead, Vandana Luthra told Telangana Today, “We have three manufacturing units in India and a contract manufacturing arrangement in Switzerland. We have just opened one unit in Assam. We plan to open a new unit in south. We are scouting for suitable locations in the southern States including Telangana and are in conversations with the governments already. We have entered into a whole range of nutraceutical products that include ayurvedic products and health supplements. We will remain focused on the preventive healthcare and wellness domain. We will continue to stay invested in R&D and innovation.”

She added, “We are also aggressively looking at acquisitions as we find this is the best time for such deals, as there is a global economic slowdown. We will go for an IPO soon once we feel we will get good valuation.”

The company’s products are currently manufactured in Switzerland and the company’s current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) certified plants in India and Singapore, with a comprehensive range of skin care, hair-care and body-care products as well as nutraceuticals, which are retailed through over 2,50,000 retail outlets and beauty salons globally.

The company is expecting a turnover of Rs 1,200 crore this fiscal and will grow at a rate of 20 per cent year-on-year.

Wellness centres

VLCC today operates 400 centres, out of which 320 are company-owned while 80 are through joint venture partnership (JVP) and select franchisee route. There are about 28 centres in Middle East and two in East Africa, with six to be added soon.

Under the JVP model, the partners come out with right infrastructure and VLCC manages and operates the centre. This will not only keep the business asset-light but also maintain uniformity in services and standardisation across centres. The partners are able to achieve break even within 18 months, she noted.

There are 60 centres in south, and Telangana alone has 18 centres and there are plans to add another 20 in the State in the near-term. The company will look at foraying into more tier-2 and tier-3 cities both in Telangana and pan-India.

Skill training  

“We have 100 skilling institutes. These institutes provide vocational training in nutrition, beauty and hair-care. We are setting our own institutes and also for the governments across 28 States. India’s beauty and wellness industry is today Rs 1.3 lakh crore growing at about 18-20 per cent per annum. We are producing about 25,000 students from our 100 institutes every year, while we aim to train 3.5 lakh people from the government institutions. There is a huge demand in the sector and we are trying to address the severe skill gap we see. We are also helping startups,” adds the Padma Shri recipient.

Luthra has been the chairperson of the Indian government backed, industry-led Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council as well as a member of the Steering Committee of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (Prime Minister’s Skill Development Scheme).

Along with expanding its centres in India, VLCC is aiming to increase its number of skill training institutes by 100 within the next three years across Middle East and Africa.

Medical spas   

VLCC has set up its first medical spa in Bangkok, Thailand and is keen to replicate the model in India in select places. The company is exploring to develop a medical spa in Anantara Hotel near Bengaluru in next six months.

These facilities will help in treating people with conditions such as arthritis and spondylitis with a dedicated treatment regimen ranging between 7 and 14 days.

The company also has launched Vanity Cube, which provides at-home salon and beauty services in India, which is seeing traction.

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