Cosmetic surgery has been practiced in India for a long time but this branch of plastic surgery gained considerable importance and popularity in the last 10-12 years. There has been a notable surge in the Indian cosmetic or aesthetic surgery during the past five years mainly because of the increasing demand for aesthetic procedures from people in the urban cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Chandigarh.
Cosmetic surgeries were associated with celebrities and people of the affluent class at a point of time, but today these surgeries are increasingly being taken by the burgeoning middle class whose demand for them is based on their needs. At present, more and more men and women from the upper middle class group are opting for cosmetic procedures to get attractive looks in order to grab lucrative jobs, best possible marriage partner and mainly get rid of any deformity that they feel impacts their self-confidence and self-esteem. Two of the major growth drivers of the Indian cosmetic industry among others are its affordability, which comes from the growing disposable income, and the consumer awareness resulting from the active efforts of the media - especially the print media.
This growing demand has had a positive impact on the Indian aesthetic or cosmetic surgery industry (that includes both invasive and non-invasive procedures), which registered a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34% in terms of revenue generation in the period 2005-2007. The estimated size of the overall cosmetic surgery industry is worth US$110 million (approximately Rs. 460 crore) with the maximum revenue is contributed by invasive or surgical procedures as their costs are comparatively higher than the non-invasive procedures. However, the rate of growth and the overall number of non-invasive procedures done in a year remain higher when compared to invasive procedures.
The Indian aesthetic industry is still in its infancy and with the help of the active institutions in the same field, it needs to build on its image in order to attract more patients for cosmetic surgery. It is the individuals or the cosmetic surgeons who have over time worked persistently to create a name for themselves. An association of these surgeons with different institutions helps in positioning these institutions in the world of aesthetic surgery. Meanwhile, some of these cosmetic surgeons even operate their own independent clinics and provide aesthetic surgical facilities.
The top five surgeons in India in terms of their experience, expertise, and association with cosmetic surgery are Dr. Ashok Gupta, Dr. Lokesh Kumar, Dr. Rakesh Kalra, Dr. Manoj Khanna and Dr. Lakshyajeet Dhami. All of them have earned reputation for providing effective surgical operations, trainings and establishing aesthetic surgery departments in reputed hospitals or operating their own clinics.
A study of the overall Indian aesthetic (cosmetic surgery) industry was conducted by consulting and interviewing aesthetic or cosmetic surgeons, the actual consumers who had received some sort of cosmetic surgical procedures and lastly the potential consumers, which include the people living in the urban cities who can afford the cost of cosmetic surgery.
To estimate the figures of different kinds of invasive and non-invasive procedures, aesthetic surgeons who are associated with the Indian Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (IAAPS) were consulted. In addition, the costs of different procedures were also estimated by taking an average cost of various cosmetic surgeries charged by different surgeons.
To study consumer behavior, the study conducted face-to-face interviews on a sample size of 100 patients who had actually undergone some kind of invasive or non-invasive cosmetic procedure. These patients had received treatment in cosmetic surgery clinics, hospitals and specialty clinics in four metropolitan cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai and three urban cities – Pune, Bangalore and Chandigarh. Patients were selected randomly selected across the age and income group.
To estimate the potential of the industry, a telephonic survey was conducted for a sample size of 400 people across four metropolitan cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and three urban cities – Pune, Bangalore and Chandigarh. The sample consisted of males and females, people working in different industries, in different professions and belonging to different age and income groups. Advanced statistical tools like SPSS was used to analyze the data gathered through primary research.