Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty

Bollywood actress and yoga practitioner Shilpa Shetty, who has been trying her luck in the businesses of salon and sports, is now venturing into the business of yoga and physiotherapyservices.

Shetty, who brought a DVD on yoga and fitness withShemaroo Entertainment a few years back, has formed a 50:50 joint venture (JV) with wellness brand Vandana Luthra-led VLCC to offer yoga and physiotherapy services in India and other Asian countries.

The joint venture — YaP Yoga Private Limited will offer yoga and physiotherapy services under YaP brand. YaP services will initially be offered across 167 VLCC owned outlets in India. The JV will have four directors — two from VLCC and two nominated by Shilpa Shetty.

“By March, we plan to bring products related to yoga and physiotherapy, such as oils under the YaP brand,” said Shetty. The products will be developed and produced by VLCC in Singapore. VLCC’s presence in Singapore and 10 more south east Asian markets expanded through acquisition of Global Vantage Innovative Group in August this year.

The JV will invest about Rs 50 crore in brand building, product development and marketing over the next one year, said VLCC Group founder and mentor Vandana Luthra.

“The JV gives us a scope to expand our service offering. There will be dedicated spece for YaP in each of VLCC outlets where we will offer the service,” said Luthra. The company is also in talks with private hospital chains in New Delhi for possible alliances to broad-base YaP services.

VLCC’s strong retail presence across Asia and south east Asia is one of the reasons for Shetty to join hands with the New Delhi-based wellness service provider. “YaP needs a pan-Asian presence,” said Shetty. VLCC currently has more than 300 outlets across 121 cities in 16 countries.

While the market size of Yoga and physiotherapy is not determined due to the sector being unorganised, with this JV, VLCC would emerge as the largest organised player in the segment. YaP is a concept that combines the eastern philosophy of Yoga and oriental principles of balancing vital energy with the western technology of physiotherapy using bio-energy stimulation, the company said in a statement.

Shetty, who already has a salon business based in Mumbai, said that the two business ventures will be kept separate. “Sports business was and is my husband’s venture. I have no equity in it. But, yes, I am a sports enthusiast,” Shetty said.

VLCC, which is 15% owned by Everstone Capital, also has plans to go for a public listing over the next 18-24 months. CLSA, which had a 13.65% stake in VLCC, made an exit through management buyout in 2004.

The wellness industry in India is estimated to touch Rs 1,00,000 crore (Rs 1 trillion) by 2015, with a compounded annual growth rate of 15-17%, from about Rs 70,000 crore in 2012, according to a recent study by global consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Written by: Sounak Mitra, New Delhi , November 21, 2013