• Monday, May 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

Spa business booms as luxury goods culture takes root

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Official statistics show that there is one doctor to every 6,400 patients in Nigeria. This falls far short of the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard of one doctor to every 600 patients and is a grave threat to the physical and mental wellbeing of the country’s populace.

Since the inception of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), there have been 65, 000 registered medical doctors but presently, only 25, 000 medical doctors are practicing in the country.

To meet the WHO benchmark, Nigeria needs to have 283,333 doctors, measuring by a 170 million population base. This means that the country needs 283,308 additional doctors at present.

One of the causes of the shortage of medical doctors in the country is the massive exodus of medical professionals in search of greener pastures abroad.

In addition, there is a disproportionate concentration of medical personnel in urban areas because they find remote areas unattractive, despite the

“Nigerians just apply any cream on their bodies without checking its composition. Hydroquinol and mercury are dangerous to the skin yet many people use body cream with these chemical compositions. The presence of spas in the country is set to change that and educate people on how to take care of their skin. If you take good care of your skin, you don’t have to be light, you just need to glow.”

Already, foreign skincare brands are opening shops in Nigeria to take advantage of the rising demand by Nigerians for Spa services. A Spanish company, Germain de Capuccini, an advanced skincare company based in Spain, has already established a strong presence in Nigeria, making their products exclusively available in top spas.

Maria Eppel, the company’s representative in Nigeria says the country’s spa industry is growing at a fast space compared to what it was when the first spa opened for business in the country about ten years ago. Today Nigeria has been identified as the second country on the continent for luxury goods, spas inclusive.

Faana Assafa, a renown dermatologist based in the United States says there is an emerging market for skincare products in Nigeria and smart dermatological companies in conjunction with local spas are already thinking of tapping into this opportunity. Local businesswomen are already establishing more spas to meet the demand. It costs about N30 million to build a standard spa says Olatunji-Bello.

Skin care is a big issue in Africa,” says Assafa. Skin is the biggest organ in the body. There are lasers that have been designed specifically for women of colour.”

Industry analysts say the increase in demand for luxury product like spas is a proof of the growing middle class in the country and indicates Nigeria’s rising profile as the destination for luxury cosmetics.

A report by Euromonitor International shows that in luxury cosmetics, South Africa was one of the world’s strongest growth markets between 2006 and 2011 with retail spending showing compound aggregate growth rate of 15 percent per annum. The value of South Africa’s total premium cosmetics market is estimated at around US$773 million (N121 billion) in 2011.

In both South Africa and Nigeria, there are signs that the luxury goods culture has taken root, which makes them the strongest frontier markets in Africa.

A 2011 report by the African Development Bank shows that seven of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies are currently in Africa, with 70 percent of the continent’s population living in countries which have enjoyed average economic growth rates in excess of 4 percent over the past decade.

This stable progress according to the report has given rise to a growing middle class. Approximately 310 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are classified as middle class (that is those who spend between $2 and $20 a day at 2005 prices). These are the people who drive demand for products like mobile phones, televisions, fashion, and spa services.

 

ALEXANDER CHIEJINA