“Just decide who you are going to be and pursue your dreams against all odds”, says Vandana Luthra, founder of VLCC Healthcare, a widely recognized beauty and wellness centre.
Vandana Luthra – A Wellness Ambassador
The 1980s was a male-dominated industrial sector, it was during that time Vandana Luthra made her debut in the commercial market and went on to become a world-recognized Indian woman entrepreneur. Ever since she was a young girl, Vandana was determined to start her own business and be independent. She belongs to a highly educated family – her father was a medical engineer and mother an ayurvedic doctor. It was because of her mother that Vandana got fascinated with health and wellness. She graduated from the Polytechnic for Women in New Delhi and later gained extensive knowledge in beauty care, fitness, food and nutrition, and skincare from visiting countries across Europe.
The Evolution of VLCC
Vandana believes that health isn’t a luxury but a necessity. Physical and mental well being should be everyone’s utmost priority. It was with this motto she opened her first VLCC (Vandana Luthra Curls and Curves) centre at New Delhi in 1989 that focused on dietary modification and exercise for weight management.
VLCC promotes holistic wellness following the vision “Transforming Lives”. Vandana wanted to provide a 360-degree transformation i.e. services from head to toe. She assembled a team of cosmetologists, nutritionists, fitness experts, etc to deliver the healthcare service. They aimed to provide service or create products as per the requirement and needs of the client. VLCC is a multi-service organization with a comprehensive portfolio of brands like VLCC Slimming, VLCC Personal Care, VLCC Natural Sciences, VLCC Institute of Beauty and Nutrition, VLCC Day Spa, VLCC Beauty Zone, Beauty and Fitness, and a lot more.
Challenges before Success
Vandana describes her success story as a combination of highs and lows. She faced several challenges while setting up her business right from arranging the finance to convincing medical doctors to get on board with an unorganized industrial sector. Late-80’s were the times when most women managed household chores and rarely worked within corporates, during that phase to have an idea of a start-up was unusual in itself.
Vandana also faced several sceptical remarks regarding her business skills. It took awhile for people to adapt to the change from beauty parlours to a whole new trend of a transformation centre. But once her unique idea was accepted there was no turning back, clients regularly visited and enjoyed the services. Celebrities residing nearby also walked in for various wellness treatments.
Vandana credits her parents and in-laws for the support and trust they showed in her concept that gave her the strength to go ahead with her proposal and achieve her dream. It’s the love of her family, VLCC team and clients that keeps her motivated to continue. To be updated about the latest trends and technologies in the beauty and wellness sector, Vandana attends fairs and conferences across different parts of the world. Today, VLCC is widely recognized for its beauty and wellness products and services across 14 countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Social Welfare Assignments
Vandana Luthra is a strong believer in creating an impact on someone’s life. As the Vice Chairperson at an NGO named KHUSHII, Vandana has initiated several development programs for women and children. KHUSHII has executed projects like education along with midday meal facility for 3,000 children, telemedicine centre and vocational training facility. Vandana along with being a member of the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga is also a benefactor of the Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust. She is the first chairperson of the Beauty and Wellness sector skill council which was set up to regulate the industry. It provides training and employment to women across urban and rural regions under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
Awards and Recognition
• Vandana has been bestowed with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honor in 2013 for her contribution towards the trade and industry sector.
• The ‘Asia’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2017’ award was presented to Vandana
• The ‘Best Wellness Centre’ in the Big Delhi Pride Awards organized by 92.7 BIG FM was given to VLCC
• The Best Day Spa Leadership Award at Stars of the Industry Spa & Wellness Awards 2015 was bagged by VLCC
• The Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 organized by Whirlpool/Gr8 Magazine was awarded to Vandana
• Fortune magazine has featured Vandana in its annual listing of the ‘50 Most Powerful Women in Business in India’ for five years in a row – from 2011 to 2015
Vandana has written two books on wellness and fitness, ‘Complete Fitness Programme’ and ‘A Good Life’. She believes women are great managers because they are gifted with an innate talent for balancing work and house life effortlessly. She says her decision to follow her dream has transformed her life from a young mother to a successful entrepreneur.
Vandana emphasizes on the fact that wellness is not just about good looks but about the overall personality. Every child should follow a healthy diet and practice at least one hour of regular physical activity. She says no food is bad food, the problem lies in overindulgence; suggests youngsters have nutritious meals and 7-8 glasses of water daily.
Wellness is the connectivity between mind, body and soul. If you feel positive and healthy inside then you will radiate beauty outside.