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Arush Chopra

The author is CEO & Co-Founder of Just Herbs

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Five Trends That Will Shape The Future Of Wellness In India

Pollution levels are off-the-charts across the metropolitans and smaller towns are choking too with a no-real policy to reverse the trend. We will all need more massages, more facials, more oxygen and lots of Yoga to stay calm, happy and good-looking

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The Indian millennial - the driver of future consumption among the world's fastest-growing economies - will create some peculiar changes and opportunities in the wellness space in the near future, says Arush Chopra, the CEO and Co-founder of the new-age luxury Ayurvedic skincare brand Just Herbs.
1.    Niche, independent brands will thrive: Millennial (including me) globally are shaping up to be a distrusting lot, not eager to buy anything merely based on a television commercial. Large corporations with top-down communication and mass-market offerings are simply not enough to 'cut-it'. Small batch producers selling via social media engagement, showcasing the product-making process, talking to consumers and building their feedback into the product is something my generation loves. If it's endorsed by a friend by a re-tweet or a repost on Instagram, even better; it pushes me one step down the sale funnel immediately. Independent brands in the wellness space stand to gain customers quickly with lower entry barriers because of this fast-growing global set of authenticity-loving consumers.

2.    On-demand services will grow and branch into newer niches: We are currently experiencing a transformation in the way we consume products and services.

Millennials are all about seeking out what they want rather than being told what to consume; we'd rather stream on Netflix than watch what is on TV. The choice is limitless and on-demand, at the touch of a button. Massages, manicures, blow-drys, medicines, healthy meals and even bone-setters are all available through mobile applications. It is only a matter of time that more such wellness related on-demand services touting themselves as the 'Uber of their market' will spring up on the back of rising mobile-internet penetration.

3.    Newer wellness categories will join the 'green' trend: L'Oreal, the world's largest maker of skincare and beauty products and a bellwether for the Industry, launched a Henna and Indigo-based hair dye for professional Salons in Europe about three months ago. The in-salon hair colour segment, where Loreal has been a leading player, has so far been dominated by chemical-based formulas with the 'ammonia-free' claim being as 'clean' or 'natural' as it gets. But increasing demand from consumers has made them innovate with Indian ingredients, a trend that will gather pace and touch more categories and geographies within the broad wellness sphere.

4.    Veganism and vegan products will gain popularity: Veganism- long associated with a 'tree-hugging' hippie lifestyle in the west is final gaining mainstream acceptance globally. India - home to numerous communities social orders that eschew the usage of animal-derived materials- has now joined this global movement and as result supermarket shelves now stock various vegan-friendly options ranging from soy and rice milk to vegan-friendly cosmetics. This trend is set to gather steam as Millennials move towards a more ecologically-conscious and sustainable lifestyle.

5.    Social-media driven desire to look 'happy' and 'well' will continue to drive consumption: You have not had a relaxing vacation, a healthy meal, a gruelling workout or even a sick-day off from work if you don't have a selfie to show for it. 'Fitbit' wearing, calorie counting Millennials are capturing moments of their life on social media platforms such as Instagram like there's no tomorrow. Businesses are looking to have their products in those pictures and for good reason: they help sales in a world full of consumers reeling under 'ad-fatigue.' Platforms will change - it was Facebook first and now Snapchat and Instagram - but the desire to show the world 'Look what I am doing! How cool is that!' is here to stay.

6.    Wellness will no longer be a luxury: This is already happening. Spa days are no longer meant to be enjoyed on your annual vacation. Stiff backs from sitting in the office, getting stuck in serpentine traffic jams or from staring at the phone all day have made a spa day a weekly necessity for many.  Just look around you. Even tier-2 and 3 cities in India now have a salon or a spa in most neighbourhoods, sharing retail space with a bakery or a traditional halwai shop. Pollution levels are off-the-charts across the metropolitans and smaller towns are choking too with a no-real policy to reverse the trend. We will all need more massages, more facials, more oxygen and lots of Yoga to stay calm, happy and good-looking.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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