There is no denying the fact that on-demand home services are the new rage. From booking a plumber to fix leaking pipe in the kitchen to surprising your beau with a bouquet of flowers, the on-demand services business is taking care of each and every need of our busy lives.
Abhinav Khare, then a student at the London Business School, decided to delve further into this mammoth of an industry. In 2013, he started doing research and realised that the beauty and wellness sector in India showed great promise and was relatively untapped. This is when the idea of ‘Vyomo’ struck him and he went on to pursue this idea of providing salon like beauty services to the modern Indian woman at the comfort of her own home.
Doorstep beauty services have always been popular in Tier II & Tier III cities. But of course, these services are scattered and usually depend on the personal equation one shares with the professional at toe.
Lack of time, convenience and a less than optimum match of supply-demand have led to urban women opting for more and more door-step professional services. What is even more interesting is the fact that these services are repeat purchases, implying that an average woman will spend anywhere between INR 2K – INR 4.5 K per month on basic beauty treatments.
Refusing to let go of this enormous opportunity, Abhinav founded Vyomo when he was in Dubai in early 2015. Currently based out of Bangalore, the startup now aims to create a complete solution for beauty professionals and their customers.
How It Works
The urban lifestyle tends to be very tedious leaving barely any personal time for its denizens. Which is why, consumers are now looking for professional beauty and spa services in the convenience of their own homes. As more and more consumers are now opting for various relaxing services, Vyomo is hoping to disrupt the industry with its #GharPeKarao mantra.
To put it simply, Vyomo is a complete online solution for beauty professionals and consumers. Customers can download the Vyomo app and book services of their choice as per their own choice. Based on the user’s current location, the app helps to discover salons and spas, compare prices, read customer reviews and book services within a few clicks.
Abhinav states that the company provides a catalogue of more than 120 services plus packages in the Hair Spa, Facial, Waxing, Bleaching, Threading, Hands & Feet, Massage, Hair Styling, Hair Cut and other categories.
Since its launch in May 2015, the Vyomo mobile app has seen over 50K downloads, out of which, the company claims, around 30% actually use its services on a regular basis.
The startup onboarded over 3000 salons and spas and about 1500 beauty services professionals across Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Bangalore.
Monetisation, Traction And Funding
Vyomo works on a revenue sharing model with its freelance stylists. Abhinav is of the opinion that through this commitment, stylists have seen a significant amount of rise in their monthly income (upto INR 50K) from a meagre amount of INR 10K per month.
The company has provided 50000 plus services as of November and boasts of an active customer base, growing at a monthly rate of 40-50%. The startup is now making profit with every transaction.
Market & Competition
At present, the beauty sector in India is poised to be between $4 to $5 Bn. Currently, Vyomo is catering to females between the ages of 16-50 years.
With such a lucrative market present, the on-demand beauty services phenomenon is catching up in India. Several players have entered the market, with each promising to offer their own unique set of services.
In this fertile market, Vyomo directly competes with Belita, Vanity Cube and Beautyjoy. However, there is a galore of other startups which are very keen to put a mark in the beauty and wellness services space. Names include, Purplle, Ziffi, Zapluk, Stylofie, ManageMySpa, Qurly etc.
However, Abhinav is hopeful that with Vyomo’s competent in-house product, it’ll not be difficult for it to make a separate name for itself in this highly competitive space.
The startup claims to have gained a good momentum since July in 2015. It plans to expand to 10 cities, including Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai, in India by 2016. The key to success, according to Abhinav, is launching lean and run operations with minimum glitches.
The 20-plus member team now wants to further strengthen its supply side in order to cater to the ever growing demand in this space.
According to industry reports, apart from food and health sectors, people spend a large chunk of their income in beauty services, making it a month-on-month activity. While the sector is no doubt fertile, it doesn’t come without its own set of challenges.
Abhinav admits that one of the biggest challenges that lie in front of Vyomo is to manage customer expectations. Each customer comes with their own set of needs and one minor glitch on the service’s part might end up as a very negative experience for the customer.
In addition, competing with so many others who are in the same space, implies that more than anything, there is a need to establish one’s self apart from others.
To overcome the challenges, Vyomo is now relying on its customer feedback more than ever to become a one-stop solution for all the beauty needs of an urban Indian woman.