A New Business Model: A Client-Based Experience


The Forum HOTel&Spa recently celebrated its 5th Annual Conference, an event that brought together excellent speakers from all over the world, including Sonal Uberoi, Founding Director of Spa Balance Consulting.  Attendees enjoyed many interesting presentations from various international experts, each one talking about this year’s conference theme: “Experience”. In this post, we would like to share Sonal Uberoi’s presentation on “A new business model: A client-based experience”, a business model where the world as seen through our client’s eyes is key in order to prosper in a rapidly changing industry.  In her presentation, our Founding Director concentrated on the macro-level of the health paradigm. Please click here to view the presentation.


Sonal Uberoi explained that in order to place the client at the heart of our business model, we need to focus on what is happening in their lives and how their lifestyles are evolving.  The key facts we need to take into account are the following: 1) our world as we know it is in transformation and we are ageing as a population, 2) we are adopting damaging lifestyles that are harming our health in order to cope with such changes and, 3) our national healthcare systems are at a breaking point.


With these facts at hand and looking at the bigger picture, we need to understand that the spa industry is a part of the health paradigm; it is one of the many options that our consumers have in order to assist them to live healthier lifestyles.


Looking at other sectors that have done it well, Sonal Uberoi gave as an example Philips Design, the world’s largest design consultancies, and the healthcare industry. In our previous posts on healthcare innovation, we discussed the principles and mindset that Philips Design embraced in order to support innovation strategies aimed at providing both patients and professionals with an improved healthcare experience.


The solutions they found were the need for organisations to create strategic and smart alliances with a sustainable financial model, where different skill-sets, expertise and knowledge streams were drawn upon from various stakeholders, thereby forming a multi-disciplinary, multi-layer and open-minded team. Philips Design also discovered a key finding that is relevant to the spa and wellness industries: healthcare experiences impact lifestyle, for better or worse, and that healthcare journeys often take place across many different locations, yet people perceive and recall the experience as a single entity.


Sonal Uberoi mentioned that if we look at how Philips Design dealt with improving healthcare experiences for both professionals and clients, we can see that the spa and wellness industries can actually learn a lot from the their practices. If we realise that our client’s spa experience is something that they will always remember, irrespective of whether it was good or bad, it seems important to improve the client journey and to accompany and support our clients during any type of health transition.


In order to do that, Sonal Uberoi argued that the spa and wellness industries must put aside the unhealthy competition within these sectors. Companies and people of different expertise should join forces by creating strategic and smart alliances and drawing upon different expertise in the sector, from spa consultants, to spa designers, spa equipment suppliers, etc. This in turn would allow spas and wellness centres to enjoy a sustainable business model, where all stakeholder and industry professionals and companies can develop freely and innovatively, creating value and enriching experiences for the end-user.


On a final note, the audience was left with some food for thought: why do people struggle to change their lifestyles to live healthily, even when they know the facts about healthy living?

By Sonal

Sonal Uberoi creates and delivers smarter spas around the world. Spas and hotel groups hire Sonal to help them design, set up and manage their wellness businesses. Her finance background and worldwide operations experience in the spa, wellness and hospitality sectors make Sonal the go-to expert for business optimisation solutions. Connect with Sonal on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/sonaluberoi.

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