Interview: Deepanshu Khurana of VLCC says over 30% of its students get into entrepreneurship

By: | Published: March 26, 2018 1:33 AM

In an interview with FE’s Vikram Chaudhary, he adds that entrepreneurship, which often leads to women empowerment in this sector, is one of the key areas that the training centres focus on.

VLCC, Skill India, Skill India Mission, VLCC Institute students, entrepreneurship, VLCC centresLong before Skill India Mission was launched or skilling the masses became one of the primary focus areas of the government. (Twitter/VLCC)

Long before Skill India Mission was launched or skilling the masses became one of the primary focus areas of the government, VLCC—the beauty, health and wellness major—had started its first skills training institute in the then emerging area of beauty and wellness. The year was 2001, and since then the company has set up and is running more than 75 campuses of its training arm, the VLCC Institute of Beauty & Nutrition, across India and one in Nepal, where over 15,000 students graduate every year. The institute is now looking to expand further. “We will open training centres in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman, Kenya and the UAE, apart from opening more centres in India,” says Deepanshu Khurana, business head, Skill Development, VLCC Institute. In an interview with FE’s Vikram Chaudhary, he adds that entrepreneurship, which often leads to women empowerment in this sector, is one of the key areas that the training centres focus on. Excerpts:

What kind of courses does the VLCC Institute provide?

We offer both entry-level as well as skill enhancement courses in beauty and wellness. Students are primarily trained in hair, make-up, skin, beauty, spa, nails and nutrition categories.

Who form your students?

It’s primarily women. The VLCC Institute, through its skill development courses, campus placements and job fairs, has created a platform for women to become entrepreneurs.

Does the VLCC Institute work closely with the government?

We run the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). RPL provides recognition to informal learning or learning through work to get equal acceptance as formal levels of education—it aims to appreciate prior learning irrespective of the medium of achieving it. In addition, we have been working with several ministries, government departments and school education boards to increase the pool of skilled people in the area of beauty and wellness.

Where does beauty and wellness stand among the overall scheme of things within Skill India?

The Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council is one of the top-rated Sector Skill Councils (SSC) in the scheme of things the government has. It has received awards for the best SSC. Because beauty and wellness, as a business sector, is growing, it will need more and more trained people.

So will it be one of the major job creators, going forward?

It already is. The compounded annual growth rate of the beauty and wellness business in India has been around 18% over the last five years. According to a KPMG and NSDC report, about 78 lakh people were working in this industry in 2017. And of these 78 lakh employees, a majority are women. A sizeable number of these women, as I said, turn entrepreneurs—because this industry itself gives huge entrepreneurship opportunities.

Do you plan to open more centres?

Yes, we are looking at opening training centres in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman, Kenya and the UAE, apart from opening more centres in India.

What kind of focus do you have on entrepreneurship at the VLCC Institute?

Entrepreneurship is one of the key areas that we focus on. Around 30% of the students who pass out from our institutes get into entrepreneurship. Some of them become part of the VLCC network itself—either through the franchising model or becoming a VLCC partner in a somewhat similar capacity.

Is there a need for a specialised university for this sector?

Yes, there should be. In fact, we are exploring an opportunity to start a beauty and wellness university or an maybe institute on similar lines, in the near future.

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