The rapid growth in beauty and wellness industry along with the entry of giant organized players both nationally and globally, has led to huge demand for trained personnel. However, there is a huge deficit in the availability of skilled and trained personnel. In the Beauty and Wellness industry, only 20% to 30% of the total market share is controlled by the organized players. The rest of the market is unorganized and fragmented with the presence of small and regional players. Developing skilled and trained personnel is thus a daunting task at hand for both businesses and for the government.
To ensure the generation of skilled manpower in the sector and to create career paths in roles existing within the unorganized and organized segments, Beauty and Wellness Skill Development Council (BWSSC) was established in 2014. BWSSC ensured active participation of different stakeholders i.e. Industry, Academia and learners to ensure a holistic development of skilled manpower.
So far, thousands of girls and women have been trained under the flagship of BWSSC across India. Surely, we are able to encourage the women to step out of their houses and get trained. But is it enough to empower them? Or do we need a follow up or supporting plan to ensure that the women are more confident and empowered.
Women empowerment through self-reliance and financial independence can be achieved by providing vocational training, through which women can either start up something of their own or take- up a job. But there are many challenges that women face:
- Lack of Soft Skill:Technical skills alone cannot guarantee success in beauty and wellness industry. It is equally important to communicates politely with the customers and ensure their satisfaction. Since the majority of women applying for Beauty Culture training are school dropouts, they lack the basic soft skills. At Lok Bharti, we teach soft skills classes to all the candidates enrolled under Beauty Culture course.
- Entrepreneurship Skills: Since women are not allowed to work in other towns and villages, away from their homes, they face the difficulty of finding good jobs close to their place. This leaves them with an alternative of starting their own Beauty Parlour. Our curriculum includes introduction to beauty market, linking cost to selling and profit requirements, product buying and selling, product usage and other skills required to help the aspiring women enter the market on their own.
- Lack of Funds: Majority of women seeking training are from marginalized rural communities lacking adequate funds to open a parlour of their own and become self sufficient. Lok Bharti is the process of understanding the financial needs of micro entrepreneurs and introducing loan facilities to them. The service sector requires some new ways of thinking about loan assessment: because the “product” sold isn’t tangible, loan officers aren’t able to count stock or assess business health by how full the shelves are, as they would in a provision store business where business health indicators are more tangible. As a lender, we might instead consider the formal training and expertise of salon owners, customer flow throughout a given day, and set processes in counteracting the challenges of their industry in order to consider them as potential clients for loan.
Story Credit: Neha Yadav