Urban Company to upskill over 5 lakh service partners to expand in Tier 2, 3 cities

Home service start-up Urban Company is aiming to train and up-skill over 5 lakh service partners by 2030 for expanding its ‘Beauty and Wellness’ category services to Tier 2 and Tier 3 owing to pent up demand. 

Ratan Tata-backed Urban Company’s current revenue is logged at $2.8 billion, which is equally split between Home, Beauty and Wellness segments. Having raised more than $400 million so far, beauty and wellness is emerging out as a key growth driver for the company. 

According to the Indian Beauty & Hygiene Association (IBHA), the beauty and wellness market in India was pegged at $11.3 billion in 2018 and had forecast it to reach $30.9 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of around 18.40 per cent. This estimate includes both products, which account for the lion’s share and services. 

“According to our research, the Skin Clinic category has tremendous potential to expand. The Aesthetics treatments market is about $113 million in India and further subdivided into minimally invasive/non-invasive treatments (80 per cent) and invasive treatments (20 per cent). This market is estimated to grow at around 30 per cent year over year (YoY) over the next 5 years,” said Anand Dureja, Vice President, Beauty & Wellness, Urban Company. 

“We are heavily invested in the training and skilling of our partners to ensure high quality of service experience for our customers. On an average, our annual investment towards skilling and training is more than Rs 100 crore, comprising on-boarding, infrastructure, and resources cost. For laser skilling, we have so far invested about Rs 5 crore,” he said. 

Overall, Urban Company currently has over 150 training centres across India and over 250 full-time trainers and 200 part-time trainers. “We are constantly expanding and aim to train and upskill 500,000 service partners, of which 2 lakh will be women partners, by 2030, Beauty and Wellness category being a key driver,” Dureja said. 

The Gurgaon headquartered start-up is also exploring investments and expansion of men’s grooming and beauty services. “Men are investing in how they look and present themselves to the world and are looking for ways to take care of themselves. They are looking for guidance and help and this category is also set to grow. Haircuts are the highest demand drivers for us, and we are continuing to build this category and expand to other cities,” said Dureja. 

“Currently we have beard grooming, head massages, hair colour, facial grooming, manicure, pedicure and more as part of our portfolio. The men and kid’s haircut packages also see a lot of demand and we will continue expanding our service portfolio,” he said. 

Through the Skin Clinic category Urban Company has forayed into the luxury wellness category at home by introducing innovative services such as laser hair reduction, hydrafacials and chemical peels.  

After the lockdown was lifted last year, Urban Company claimed to have witnessed double the demands of services to pre-COVID levels. “Akin to all other sectors, there was a break of momentum initially due to Covid-19, but the situation has changed now,” said Dureja. 

“Further, we have on-boarded expert counsellors to provide the best service to our consumers. We have also hired 30 counsellors and head dermatologists with extensive experience in skin treatments to counsel customers on selecting the right treatment for their skin type along with expert dermatologists to help with research and development of innovative products,” he said. 

Urban Company’s Skin Clinic vertical was launched in Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai in 2021. In 2022, the start-up launched the vertical in Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata eyeing more cities later this year. 

“Currently we are focusing on Tier 1 and 2 cities and expanding training centres there. The beauty and wellness service marketplace has largely been unorganised, and a lot of partners come with skills that are not aligned to being top-notch and best in class. The biggest challenge is to make partners unlearn and learn the right skills and techniques,” said Dureja.

Founded in 2014, Urban Company provides tech enabled home services to customers from beauticians and masseurs to sofa cleaners, carpenters and technicians.

Also read: We were taken aback by the protests; introduced changes in a single shot: Urban Company’s Abhiraj Bhal

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