With high dedication and determination, Wulan Tilaar is conquering Indonesian market while seeking international growth with innovative spa products and services.
Wulan has outstandingly played a figure of his mother, Martha Tilaar, the eponymous founder and president director of the Martha Tilaar Group. Together with her other three siblings, Wulan has played her role as a successor to her mother’s cosmetics giant that manufactures and distributes a variety of cosmetic products and services.
Now Wulan has been entrusted to helm Cantika Puspa Pesona, a spa division under the umbrella of the group which has since the year 2006 successfully opened 49 Martha Tilaar Salon & Day Spa outlets across Indonesia and overseas; thus making the company one of the biggest spa operators in the world.
THE INCREASING TREND
Spa treatment, which has become the ‘in’ thing in many parts of the world, has become the drive to generate big fortune in cosmetics and beauty industry.
Despite the fact that women make up much bigger pie in spa business, spa treatments are no longer just for women. “Nowadays, men are becoming more care about their appearance and they like being groomed. Correspondingly, the popularity of spa treatments for men is on the rise,” Wulan, the director of Cantika Puspa Pesona, remarks.
Along with the Indonesia’s improved purchasing power, especially among the middle-class segment, this condition has set a trend that leads to a blockbuster year for the growth in spa market across the country.
The increasing trend of spa in the beauty life style in the archipelago has drawn a number of business players outdoing each other presenting their best services. In response to this phenomenon, Wulan, says she is very confident in running her spa division and is not afraid of her competitors.
“What makes us different is that we don’t only provide clients with design, menu and spa management consultant; but our spa outlets also include a holistic experience that pampers all the five senses; hear, see, touch, smell and taste,” Wulan asserts.
Stepping into a Martha Tilaar Salon Day Spa, clients will be greeted by the tranquil sound of crackling water and the beautifully traditional setting of the outlet, Wulan explains. “And our complete range of solutions allow clients to feel the gentle treatment of our experienced therapists who use a variety of ingredients that conveniently stimulate the smell. At the end of the treatment, we offer a list of beverages such as various teas and other herbal related drinks. Depending on the choice of treatment, we always recommend the beverage whose taste can inspirit the after effect of the treatment.”
“Our spa division would not have achieved a success without the help of others,” Wulan says referring to the importance of business relationships with franchisees. Of the 49 outlets, six are owned and the rest are franchised.
Apart from producing a solid team in her division, Wulan is optimistic that she can realize her business feasibilities, which are conquering the business spa in the archipelago while hitting the road en route to going global.
Her confidence to achieve the feasibilities is derived from Martha Tilaar Group’s philosophy that seeks to achieve health and beauty by innovatively blending Indonesian medicinal plants, eastern beauty, rich culture and warm hospitality.
“We keep innovating on our spa products and services. Apart from using the already famous treatment concepts from East Java and Bali, we also introduce more treatment concept from Kalimantan, and we are soon launching treatment concepts from Sumatra, Sulawesi and Papua. We want to present a variety of concepts in the spa treatments that the archipelago has to offer,” Wulan says.
As a part of Martha Tilaar Group, Wulan really understands how she should maintain the group’s high reputation in leading her division, Cantika Puspa Pesona. So, she is very careful in taking a franchisee as partner. “We don’t want just to take those with big capital but not serious in getting involved with the business. Commitment of a franchisee in running the business is what we want to emphasize on when buying our franchise.”
So far, we have partnered with two franchises overseas; one in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the other in Brunei. We are aiming at expanding our wings into Singapore in the near future.”
Nevertheless, establishing the overseas presence is not an easy task, she adds. “It takes complexity especially in bringing in the skilled therapists from Indonesia. We prefer to have Indonesian therapists who have been well trained directly from here. In addition to delivering Indonesian authentic spa treatments, the Indonesian warm hospitality is also what we want to promote overseas.”
Wulan is truly a visionary playing get-up-and-go in running Martha Tilaar’s spa division. Despite all the challenges and complexities, she seems to be very ambitious in taking her division to the next level. Indeed, many people are likely to agree that what lies behind franchising a spa business bearing the name of the giant Martha Tilaar are tremendous opportunities in the industry that will keep growing for many years to come.
Text: Aulia R. Sungkar. Photos: Rudi Sulistya and courtesy of Martha Tilaar Group.
Published in HighEnd Magazine, October 2011.