Dr Amit Gupta, Founder, Divine Cosmetic Surgery speaks about the power of technology and how aspirational lifestyle has given a tremendous push to aesthetics industry
Once upon a time, the Indian healthcare industry was centred around providing fundamental, perhaps life-saving treatments to patients. The dearth of basic infrastructure, practitioners, and resources was a big challenge, not only for villages but also for metropolitan cities. The truth be told, over the years, improved medication and technologies, better awareness and government support has taken the Indian healthcare industry several notches up. There could be several testimonies for this. Going by the numbers, according to Invest India, the Indian healthcare industry is projected to be an approximately $372 billion industry by 2022 with a CAGR of 16-17 per cent. The growth can also be credited to significant diversification of healthcare services and easy accessibility for a large part of the society. As a result, now, healthcare is not only a need but also a lifestyle requirement. Such a lifestyle was earlier only meant for high net worth individuals and families. However, increasingly, the emerging middle class is looking forward to the new age healthcare services. This class is not just limited to the metro cities but also resides in tier 2 and 3 towns spread across the country.
One such lifestyle element in the healthcare industry is aesthetics surgery. The desire among Indians to look young, fit, presentable and contemporary has led to the demand of several aesthetics procedures including liposuction, nasal surgery, breast augmentation, vaginal rejuvenation, buttock enhancement or reduction, eyelid surgery and tummy tucks surgeries. Several non-surgery procedures such as photo rejuvenation, hair transplant or removal are also findings way into the Indian lives. The recent spike in number of enquiries about these services shows the curiosity in the Indian society to explore a better way of life. So, what is driving this curiosity?
Until a decade ago, aesthetics surgery in India was considered only for celebrities who were in the business of looking good. They could afford expensive treatments and perhaps had chosen to go under the knife fully aware of the risks. They could create a rage about their looks and maintain an aspirational brand value. However, as technology made the procedures more accurate, affordable, and less time consuming, the demand is now coming from every walk of life. People are willing to experiment and invest towards getting their dream physique and live a life of their choice. The growing awareness about these methods has also made people more comfortable with exploring different aesthetic treatments and choose the ones which suit them. They can also look for a combination of these solutions to make life even more customised to their terms. In other words, they can choose how they want to look, without worrying about the implications.
Another factor which makes aesthetic treatments an easy choice is the easy plug and play approach for consumers. The procedures do not take months of screening and prolonged treatments. The first step is counselling the individual to set the right expectations, make him aware of the possible implications, and addresses any anxiety. Most of these procedures can be undertaken after a quick screening and necessary tests. Time taken to complete the procedure is often less than half a day. During the 7-10 days post procedure care, the person does not have to make any significant changes to their lifestyle. Therefore, the zero-hassle gels well with the busy lifestyle. They can start living a life on their own terms and get a great sense of empowerment. Who would not like to test out such a choice, given an opportunity?
The ease, affordability, and accessibility of lifestyle treatments is helping India become the fastest growing market for aesthetics surgery in Asia and one of the top five in the world. Growing quality of healthcare infrastructure, skill set among practitioners and competitive prices make India a choice not only among domestic but also foreign aspirants. This will also boost the medical tourism industry in India. Going by the trend, the country will be top choice for aesthetics treatments, all around the world, in the next five years. All we can say is that the road for the industry is smoother, shinier and more beautiful.