VLCC – More than Just a Slimming Center

Hope you had a great start to your week! I have been busy juggling work and the blog to create more content here for you guys. I have taken up some exciting projects so stay tuned. Also, it’s birthday week and all I can do is think about Mr. Jeromy who isn’t here with me in India.

On another note, I recently went for a meet-up at VLCC’s wellness and beauty center in HSR Layout, Bangalore. When VLCC called the event #VLCCStyleStatements, I was curious to know why the hashtag and the whole idea behind it. Once we were done with the discussion, I realized why. It is a beauty and wellness center that also offers various beauty services apart from slimming services.  The services range from salon services, laser & dermatology services as well.

Weight Loss

Before I start talking about the various services they offer, below is a small introduction on VLCC from their website:

“VLCC is widely recognized for its weight loss solutions and therapeutic approach to beauty treatments. They have among the largest scale and breadth of operations within the beauty and wellness services industry in India, serving consumers across 236 locations in 122 cities and across 11 countries in South Asia, South East Asia, the GCC Region and East Africa. We operate 197 Wellness Centres in India and 49 in 10 other countries and run VLCC Institutes of Beauty & Nutrition that have grown to become India’s largest chain of vocational education academies in the beauty and nutrition training segment with 69 campuses, training nearly 10,000 students annually and offering courses in multiple disciplines.”

 Prior to this, I am sure all of us had the notion that VLCC = a slimming center. I remember as a teenager, I used to see huge boards around the city with slimming consultations that VLCC used to advertise about. And I used to always think that’s the only thing VLCC offers.

But I was pleasantly surprised to find out the various services they offer apart from slimming. It was so wonderful meeting Sushmita, Category Manager – Beauty for VLCC, who blew me away with the knowledge she has about almost anything you ask regarding VLCC and the services they offer. A marketer who knows everything about the company she represents was indeed wonderful!

The session we had with Sushmita was very informative in terms of the different services VLCC has to offer. After this session, my notion of VLCC called only as a slimming center definitely changed. They have so many beauty and wellness services that I had no idea were introduced in India. Some of them are:

Vampire Facelift: If you know what the Kardashians are up to thanks to social media, you should also know they indulge in Vampire Facelifts very often. I have seen a lot of bloggers outside India who are also opening up to this idea now.  Vampire Facelift is basically for dull and sallow skin.  Maintaining glowing skin is hard work but the much-acclaimed Vampire Facelift uses A-PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) which is a form of blood plasma taken from your own self that has been enriched with platelets and growth factors and applied to your face with derma roller. This encourages cellular growth, stimulates healing and imparts a youthful appearance to skin.

 

A few other services that we spoke about were Derma Heal Eye Treatment. This is an eye filler treatment, exclusively formulated with innovative bio actives. It dramatically reduces the visible signs of ageing around eye area by instant wrinkle filling effect. The treatment has 24 hour-lasting hydration that would eventually improve skin texture and boosts radiance.

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VLCC Wellness: 5 Things I Learned from My Recent Visit to VLCC

All About VLCC Wellness

With a set of pristine white spa and massage rooms filled with the floral scent and a promise of indulgence, mani-pedi and makeup stations, VLCC is sure worth a trip. And that’s not all, with its skin and hair care experts, bridal packages and a range of wellness products, VLCC offers, as they like to call it, a 360-degree full-rounded wellness.

 

#VLCCStyleStatements

The blogger’s meet and pampering session I went there for on Thursday started with a tour around their spa, followed by high tea and a question and answer session with their beauty experts while some of us got foot massages.

 

“Do hair spas really work?” asked one of us bloggers, followed with similar questions about hair fall and damage. “Why do you get hair spas?” Sushmita, VLCC’s Category Manager for Beauty, asked that blogger and explained her about the Hair Spa.

Hair Salon

Hair & Beauty – Lessons Learned

Here are the 5 things I learned from this session:

  1. It’s important to know your end goal before you go for a hair spa, so you can access the result. What is it you’re after – shine, damage control or dryness control? Tell the hair experts and ask for a hair spa accordingly.

 

  1. For complicated concerns like premature greying, damage, and skin discoloration, it’s important to know the reason they’re happening in the first place, so treatment can be suggested accordingly. Have an hour-long session with the experts who can analyses your personal situation vis-à-vis lifestyle, diet, hereditary factors and health, instead of going for a one-remedy-suits-all approach.

 

  1. Dandruff and dry skin have a similar solution – keeping it clean is as important as keeping it moisturized.

 

  1. Hair falling out? Ask yourself what’s changed about your lifestyle before you even start worrying – change of shampoo, stress, diet, pregnancy, so many factors can contribute to this, so it’s important to evaluate this before you approach a hair care expert.

 

  1. Just seek out medical help for acne instead of blaming your skin.

 

I was parted with a goodie bag whose contents I am yet to try – a diamond facial kit, a massage oil (whose recommendation my friend gave me) and an herbal tea. So, I’ll be writing about those when I try, especially interested in the facial kit, cuz I’m totes a home facial person!
(Product image to be added here)

 

And for all you beauties, don’t forget to comment below with your skin, hair and beauty questions for VLCC to answer. My aforementioned friend tried VLCC’s consultation services for cellulite removal and she certainly had all good things to say about it.

Hair Smoothing - Makeup Salon

VLCC rolls out ‘Get Well Soon’ to facilitate healthy living

VLCC, a pioneer in the beauty and wellness industry, has announced the rollout of its multi-city ‘Get Well Soon’ program, designed with the objective of providing a healthy life to its varied customers. This program offers specially designed Therapeutic Lifestyle Management Services to tackle lifestyle triggered disorders like Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, PCOS, Cardio Vascular Disease, and Hypertension, which are all becoming increasingly common across age groups. VLCC announced the roll-out of customized packages for each of these diseases and is conducting multi-channel promotions to create awareness buzz and connect with more customers.

vlcc get well soon

Lifestyle disorders are becoming increasingly widespread despite increased health awareness across cities, genders and age groups. Comfort and convenience-seeking sedentary lifestyles, demanding jobs, stressful commutes, and travel, unhealthy eating and sleeping habits have taken a toll on the lives of most city and big-town dwellers. These diseases lead to a slack in productivity and well-being of the affected individual and teams. VLCC’s ‘Get Well Soon’ program and related awareness campaign is a proactive counter-measure to tackle this scenario, as well as help individuals, address the problem of obesity that could be the root cause of most such diseases.

Sharing details about the launch, Mr. Ashutosh Bhardwaj, Chief Business Officer- Wellness Services, VLCC said, “The ever-increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, hormonal, behavioral problems, and obesity are now visible, affecting a majority of people in their early years. Through this program and awareness campaign, VLCC intends to send out a message that lifestyle disorders are entirely preventable and often, even reversible. VLCC will offer a suite of comprehensive therapeutic programs, each specifically designed for a set of related medical conditions to not only improve but also reverse the adverse lifestyle impact on your health. We are confident that elements such as diet, exercise, rest, and relaxation, when combined as a therapy can work wonders in transforming lives for individuals.”

Over the course of its existence over the past three decades, VLCC through its innovative products, services, and campaigns has ensured a healthy contribution to the general well-being of the people. The ‘Get Well Soon’ program will help all individuals enjoy a full, healthy and active life.

Pioneer in Promoting Beauty and Health

It was in Germany that the seeds were sown for my future business. I was accompanying my father on his official trip to Germany where I met his friends – a husband-wife duo running a health centre in that country. Theirs was a great combination, with one being a nutritionist and the other a cosmetologist. They had a great influence on my decision to enter into the business of beauty and wellness. From the start, I was clear in my mind that whatever venture I get into should benefit society and be accessible to all segments. VLCC is a manifestation of that dream.  The reason why I started VLCC was to make health and beauty accessible to all. So, my transformation centre is open to everyone who needs any slimming, skin and hair related solution. That’s the reason why most of our centres are located just off the high street, close to residential communities or in community centres within residential colonies.

 

VLCC had very humble beginnings- starting from a garage. This itself is a fascinating narrative. Along with this, what other challenges did you face? 

I started VLCC with a simple dream. I wanted to create an environment where people felt supported and nurtured, where they would be encouraged to achieve their full potential. I envisioned a place that inspired people to be the best versions of themselves, for themselves.

Being an entrepreneur, that too in the late-eighties, was an uphill journey for me. Not only was the beauty and wellness services industry in its infancy, people were unwilling to take my work seriously as I was a woman. While people were familiar with the ubiquitous ‘beauty parlour’, the idea of a holistic wellness solutions provider which combined scientific weight management programmes with advanced skin and hair treatments was new. Being in what was largely an unorganised mom-and-pop shop kind of sector, I struggled to raise capital – private equity was a relatively alien concept, and banks were wary of something that was hardly deemed as scalable and sustainable.

beauty-management

Initially, how did people respond to VLCC and how is the reaction different now.

I had to be persistent and assertive to convince people about the value proposition of my business. It took a while to convince them that my venture had a scalable, sustainable business model. We worked on developing a unique business model for the company, one which is widely used today (especially in the hospitality industry), called infrastructure facility management. That was the turning point in the business. Finally, patience and hard work paid off.

 

From what age must we begin instilling the notions and importance of wellness in our children? Specifically, what lifestyle habits must we encourage/discourage? 

Wellness is not a luxury, it is a necessity. A woman is the role model for her children; if she does not know the importance of nutrition, improve her children’s eating habits and promote an active lifestyle, her children will grow up to have various health problems. Diet and exercise are equally important. But most importantly, people should be educated from childhood, because it’s all about habits. VLCC is a global knowledge brand for wellness.

 

VLCC has not only been involved in slimming but also transformation. In layman terms, what is the difference between the two? 

As an entrepreneur, the challenge during the initial stages was one of perception. People were familiar with beauty parlours but the idea of a Transformation Centre that provides a solution from head-to-toe was perceived as futuristic. At VLCC, we are into complete transformation of people rather than merely targeting slimming or beauty. Just exercising isn’t enough. For me, health equates to happiness, which is equal to being a confident person. And slimming or, rather, looking good boosts confidence.

 

One of VLCC’s biggest asset is the DNA Fit. How and why was this brought about? 

A study on weight management conducted by Stanford University found that people who eat and exercise according to their genetic predisposition tend to lose two-and-a-half times as much weight as compared to those who do not. So, while a low-fat diet might work for some people, others might benefit more by including fat in their diet but going slow on carbohydrates. This explains why two individuals might obtain vastly different results by following a particular diet or weight loss plan even if their body mass index, or BMI, metabolic rate, body composition, lifestyles and dietary habits are more or less similar. This is why individuals on genotype-appropriate diets lose more body weight compared to those on diets not matched to their genotype or on a traditional, one-size-fits-all model. On this premise, VLCC started offering ‘DNA Slim’, a weight loss solution based on the genetic analysis of an individual.

Currently, VLCC is about to launch the Thermage technique. This is brand new for the Bangladeshi market. We want to know how this non-invasive procedure would work.

Thermage is a non-invasive radiofrequency therapy that can address the look and feel of aging skin on many areas of your body. Thermage treatments are customised to your needs, and typically require minimal recovery time. It restores the broken collagen.

weight-loss

How long would it take for the procedure to work?  

The results appear only after two or three weeks; they are more permanent than other procedures. It is a great solution if you want your skin to look sleeker, smoother and younger, but can’t afford a lot of time away from work or your social life.

 

Why is this service going to be important in the long run in terms of a person’s health?

Aging affects us all the way we act, the way we feel, and definitely the way we look. But with advancements in skin care, you can have a say in the way aging affects your skin and maybe even get back to the way you looked not so long ago.

Thermage is a proven, unique radio frequency treatment that can help improve the appearance of sagging or loose skin, giving you a smoother, sleeker and younger look and feel. Thermage works in just one treatment with little down time and delivers a natural looking result. It helps one to look younger and more confident.

 

With something like Thermage, can there be any negative side-effects?

Cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Thermage uses RF technology to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin in the dermis as well as to contour subcutaneous tissues. Side effects from Thermage are rare and short lived.

 

If a person is deemed obese, is weight the only factor considered into making this declaration?

We believe that Waist Height Ratio (WHtR) is a better public health screening tool of assessment than BMI. It is a simple metric which even the general population can use to keep track of their health. A Body Composition Analysis which indicates the ratio of fat mass vis-à-vis muscle mass is more important. At VLCC, we have a scientific approach to weight-loss, so our clients not only have fitter bodies, but are also healthier medically. Therefore, timely intervention by experts and sustained lifestyle modifications can bring you a disease-free body for a happy, stress-free life.

 

Often, a person regains the weight lost through various slimming programmes. How can one prevent that? 

Obesity is a lifestyle-related disease which concerns almost everyone, irrespective of age, gender or income group. Sedentary lifestyles, late nights, high intake of calorie-rich fast foods and poor eating habits that include eating late, coupled with a growing gadget addiction, which has led to a lack of physical activity, are the main reasons leading to relapse of obesity. At VLCC, we ensure that our team of nutritionists and fitness experts to work out with laser like precision the most appropriate diet and exercise regime to deliver the best solution for weight loss, fat reduction that help you to retain fitness levels.

 

What are VLCC’s future plans in Bangladesh? 

VLCC has lined up an ambitious expansion agenda for Bangladesh in line with our mission of making preventive healthcare and wellness accessible to all sections of local society.

Nearly one in five married women in Bangladesh is overweight and the occurrence is much higher in urban areas than rural ones. Obesity is also closely linked with diabetes and at present, one in every 11 people, or 8.3 percent of the adult population, is diabetic, putting Bangladesh at the fifth position in global ranking.

Bangladesh is a top priority country for us. In recent years, Bangladesh has been on a robust growth path. With a large middle-income group, the country represents a huge opportunity for beauty and wellness brands like VLCC to further expand its presence to reach a much larger customer base. VLCC will partake in some exciting ventures in Dhaka in the coming days to expand its operations in Bangladesh.

Given that the beauty and wellness sector has traditionally employed more women than men, focusing on skill development in this arena will also contribute in a big way to the cause of women empowerment.

 

After so many years in operation, how would you describe VLCC’s foray into the Bangladeshi market? Is it faring well?  

VLCC is proud to say that we have received overwhelming response from Bangladesh. Over the years, there has been an increasing number of people in Dhaka who want to look good, feel better or maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is great news because obesity is a rising problem everywhere, like an epidemic. So, it is a positive sign that people are starting to address their weight issues.

VLCC to acquire two companies; foray into nutraceuticals biz

Beauty and wellness brand VLCC is in the advanced stage of acquiring at least two companies, including a nutraceuticals company, in the near future. The company is looking at relaunching its IPO this year, which it delayed last year owing to market sentiments.

 

“We are in talks with three companies for acquisition and at least two of them are in (the) advanced stage,” said Vandana Luthra, founder of VLCC. One of the acquisitions would result in the company’s foray into the nutraceuticals business. Talks are on to acquire companies which have a presence in Wellness Services. It also has the acquisition of an international wellness company in its radar.

 

The acquisitions are meant to expand its portfolio and geographical foot print. It is expecting all the acquisitions to be completed by March, 2018. Luthra refused to share any estimation on the acquisition size, claiming confidentiality.

 

The company would be looking at going for an IPO before the end of 2017. It may be noted that last year the company had filed a draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) to raise a total of around Rs 600 crore through an IPO. However, the IPO was not executed since the company felt that the market sentiments were not good. It will refile the DRHP soon and will go for an IPO in the later part of the year.

 

It had acquired Singapore-based Giving in 2013, which brought in a research and development and manufacturing facility for the company overseas. In 2012, it acquired a majority stake in a Malaysian slimming and beauty chain Wynn International, as part of its international expansion. In India, it has a manufacturing facility in Dehradun.

 

The company is in the process of setting up another facility in Assam. The new facility will manufacture hair-care and other major products it offers to around 2 lakh retail stores across the country, apart from direct distribution to Beauty Parlors and salons across the country.

 

The new facility will come up in Matia, Goal Para district in Assam, with an investment of around Rs 28 crore in the unit. The unit is set over an area of 100,000 square ft. with the capacity to produce 86.41 million units. The facility will be ready in three months.

 

It is also increasing the number of wellness centres across the country, adding 100 more centres to the existing roster of 330 centres in 150 cities. It has a presence in 13 countries in South Asia, South East Asia, the GCC region and East Africa and it is in the process of expanding to the UK and Saudi Arabia, added Luthra.

 

The company is expecting a consolidated revenue of Rs 1,000 crore during the current financial year, growing from over Rs 800 crore revenue last year. The contribution of domestic business is around 60 per cent, while international business accounts for 40 per cent of the revenue.