The Queen of the Spa Industry Parineeta Sethi
I believe that women are the backbone of any society. Women’s empowerment means to be able to live one’s life the way one wants to. I am not here to compete with men. I prefer to work in harmony with them.
- Parineeta Sethi, Director, Exposure Media Marketing, and Chief Editor, asiaSpa India magazine
Life as an army kid came with its inconsistencies with me moving to a new school in a new city every other year. However, despite the continuous change in scenery, my discipline and determination remained consistent.
My father has always been a source of inspiration. I would see him work hard and relentlessly. It was his passion for work that motivated me to step out of my comfort zone and embrace opportunities.
This inherently taught me how to adapt to a varied set of situations and constitutes a large part of my personality.
I started my career as a trainee at HCL Technologies and eventually graduated to become the Branch Manager in the Delhi office. I credit them for my success. The company encouraged me to pursue higher goals in life. I learned the art of communication, team building and leadership during my time there and subsequently honed my skills as life took me forward.
After my stint at HCL, I got married and took a sabbatical for two years. I started working when my younger son was a year old and launched my own publication house, Exposure Media Marketing Pvt. Ltd.
Young and eager to learn, I braced myself for all that the publishing business would throw my way. EMM marked a turning point in my life and soon the business expanded into a publishing house to reckon with.
In 2013, I sold the company to a leading publishing house, BURDA a German publishing house and am now spearheading the expansion of the business within India for them.
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Nothing in life comes easy. I too have faced my fair share of obstacles—the largest being the condition of the wellness industry, or the lack thereof, when I started asiaSpa India fourteen years ago.
At that time wellness, as a concept, was not as nuanced as it is today. Initially, clients and agents failed to grasp the concept of the magazine entirely.
This was primarily because there were hardly any spas in India. I was often advised to shift the focus from spas to spa products and constantly reminded that this project was bound to fail. But like a ripple against the tide, I found my way…
I portrayed asiaSpa India as a ‘wellness and lifestyle’ magazine rather than solely a spa magazine. This worked in the magazine’s favor for we provide our readers with a holistic approach to lifestyle. Apart from spas, the magazine covers fitness, beauty, diet and nutrition alternative therapies, wellness travel and more.
We positioned asiaSpa India in such a manner that it caters to the fast-paced lives of corporates. This makes us the only spa magazine in the world that is more consumer-centric than trade oriented.
Apart from this, I also had to learn to juggle my responsibilities as a mother and wife while working. Effective time management skills sprinkled with some patience, helped me become the mompreneur I always wanted to be.
The New Era of Spa Industry
Over the years, the spa industry has changed drastically. When I launched my publishing house, the spa industry was women-centric, had an age bracket of over 35 years, and belonged to the luxury segment. Now, spa and wellness do not belong to the luxury segment anymore and are associated more with the premium segment. Even the age bracket has widened to include the youth. In fact, men too are regular spa-goers!
While the spa industry is growing and changing rapidly, people have now started recognizing the wellness industry and the efforts we’ve put in.
For example, spa awards, panel discussions, summits etc. are opportunities that have given the right recognition to the industry. We started the asiaSpa India Awards in 2007 and today it is an event to reckon with. It marks and recognizes the best in the ever-growing wellness, hospitality and beauty industries around the world. We are delighted to see the stalwarts of the Indian wellness and hospitality industries support us through and through. It’s been eleven years since, and the awards have grown by leaps and bounds.
The Present & Future of the Spa Industry in India
When we started asiaSpa India in 2004, wellness was a new concept. People were still opening up to it and were trying to understand and define it. But I am happy to see that, over the years wellness too has become mainstream.
Today, it is not about achieving a certain shape and size but about being comfortable in your skin. It is about understanding your body, your shortcomings, the changing environment and then adopting a holistic approach. And this changing definition of wellness is what makes asiaSpa India even more relevant today.
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The rising awareness of personal care products, growing disposable incomes, changes in consumption patterns and lifestyles and improved purchasing power are one of the major factors in the growth of the Indian wellness industry.
It is estimated that the salon and spa business together account for 31 percent of the total size of the beauty and wellness markets.
According to industry experts, the market size of India's beauty, cosmetics and grooming markets will touch 20 billion dollars by 2025 from the current 6.5 billion dollars.
The future definitely looks very robust and promising for the spa and wellness industries in India.
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