Indian operator VLCC looks at Saudi beauty and wellness market

The Indian beauty and wellness company VLCC, which is working on an initial public offering in Mumbai, plans to tap the Saudi market.

The company, which has 11 centres in the UAE, has signed a deal to enter Riyadh and Jeddah this year, said Syed Safawi, VLCC’s managing director and group chief executive.

In the UAE, it is aiming to expand beyond slimming centres to wellness centres that would feature spa, dermatology services and ayurveda treatments. It also expects to set up a training hub in the UAE in the next financial year that will enable it to expand through franchises. Currently it employs about 300 people in the UAE.

It also plans to grow its revenues in the UAE in the next two years by opening new centres across the country and in Ajman.

About 30 per cent of its rev­enue comes from the Arabian Gulf region. VLCC declined to give revenue figures. It has 21 centres in the region, including Qatar and Oman besides six in Dubai.

“We are seeing the early signs of consumer confidence picking up in the UAE and [the Arabian Gulf],” Mr Safawi said. “It is now the right time to be ramping up.”

UAE consumer confidence ranked sixth globally after India and the United States despite dropping seven index points from the first-quarter survey, according to an online survey in May from research company Nielsen.

In the UAE, the outlook for future job prospects, per­sonal finances and immediate spending declined, the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index showed.

VLCC expects to float an IPO in Mumbai within the next year and raise about 4 billion rupees (Dh219.1 million).

The company, which manufactures its skin care and hair care products in India and Singapore, could also set up its fourth factory in the Arabian Gulf region within the next two years.

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