Entrepreneur

These M’sians Saw Enough Demand To Start A Mobile Spa Service Despite Facing Stiff Competition

A spa is usually a place of relaxation, but in reality, there’s still a lot of hassle involved in a spa day. Finding the time to go to one or dealing with traffic and parking can be enough to put you off.

If spas could come to you, wouldn’t that just be the height of pampering?

Well, you’re in luck. Sentuh is an online platform that allows you to book house calls with a pool of certified mobile wellness therapists.

Vulcan Post spoke to Ahmad Aizudin, CEO and Founder of Sentuh, to find out more on how they plan to take the spa and beauty industry to the next level.

From Affordable To Accessible

Sentuh is not the first company that Ahmad founded in this field. Alongside co-founder Ain Nadia Yusoff, he also co-founded ADANIA, a local organic skincare brand.

Together, they also run ADANIA Face Spa and Amaryllis Salon & Day Spa.

“The journey started back in 2010 with the opening of our first spa outlet, Amarylis Salon & Day Spa at Wangsa Maju, KL. In 2010, spas were considered a luxury. Our mission was to make the spa experience more affordable,” Ahmad said.

Image Credit: Sentuh & Sentuh Facebook

But through customer feedback over the years, they found that what their customers actually wanted was spa services at home.

That feedback became Sentuh, a website where customers can book on-demand spa services.

I admit I was a bit sceptical, particularly on how well house calls can imitate the comfort of an actual spa.

Ahmad replied, “Comfort is subjective. Some people are more comfortable at home, some are more comfortable being at a spa. There are different kinds of customer segments.”

He further explained that services like Sentuh are needed especially for those who have no time, or those who find it difficult to go, such as older customers and people with disabilities.

To punctuate that point, he shared that of the 5,000 customers they’ve served in the past 12 months, most have been working women, housewives and retirees.

Spa-cial Treatment

Currently, you can choose from two package options: Sentuh Lite and Sentuh Luxe.

Sentuh Lite includes basic full-body traditional and aromatherapy massages services. These do not come with a massage bed.

The prices are RM90 for 60 minutes, RM130 for 90 minutes, and RM165 for 120 minutes.

Image Credit: Sentuh Facebook

In a quick comparison, Ozmosis mobile spa offers its signature aromatherapy body massage for RM350 (90 minutes) and RM400 (120 minutes), which is far pricier than Sentuh’s treatments.

As for a non-mobile spa example, HealthLand‘s Thai Aromatherapy treatment costs RM88 for 60 minutes, RM118 for 90 minutes, and RM148 for 120 minutes.

While it appears a few ringgit cheaper, the cost of travelling to an outlet would probably bring the price up to par with (or maybe even higher than) Sentuh’s.

With Sentuh Luxe, you’ll get a fuller range of services including facials, foot massages, sports massages, body gommage (exfoliation), and even couple massages, besides full-body massages.

Prices for these services can range from RM85 (45-minute facial) to RM288 (150-minute full-body spa experience).

For Luxe, depending on the selected service, you can expect a full spa-like setup to be delivered straight to you, complete with a massage table, aromatherapy diffuser, soothing music, complimentary tea, and more.

They plan to add services such as hair, makeup and physiotherapy too in Q3 of 2020.

One thing that I noticed Sentuh Lite and Luxe doesn’t offer, however, is hot stone massages, which Q Mobile Spa does.

Image Credit: Sentuh Facebook

In terms of products, Sentuh only uses ADANIA, Alunan and Biossentials. The reason for this is to make sure each customer experience is consistent.

However, if you want to use your own products, an exception can be made if you sign a liability waiver form.

If you live in areas like Klang Valley, Putrajaya, Dengkil and Nilai, you can book Sentuh’s services from 9AM to 11PM every day.

Ahmad added that their services will be available in Johor Bahru and Kota Kinabalu sometime in January this year.

Bookings can only be made online via their website, but they will be launching an app in April 2020 with features such as an in-app chat, real-time therapist location tracking, and more.

A Touch Above

To become a Sentuh therapist, candidates must go through a strict selection process.

They must have at least 12 months of experience in the industry or certification such as Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM).

The selection process involves an interview/screening session to test their skills, a session to brief them on Sentuh’s SOPs and then a final test where candidates have to visit an inspector’s home to see if they are ready to perform in the field.

Image Credit: Sentuh

“Our mission is to ensure the customers get the best quality services. If there are any complaints such as lateness of the therapist or any last-minute cancellations, our team will make an investigation,” Ahmad reassured us.

If the fault is on their side, Sentuh offers full refunds plus complimentary service for the customer.

As for the offending therapist, measures will be taken, for example, deducting their commission.

When asked why a therapist would work with Sentuh and not a regular spa, Ahmad said, “Sentuh therapists get to enjoy flexibility since they are in full control of their work schedule.”

“Even if the therapists have a full-time day job they can still work with Sentuh during their off days or after working hours.”

Furthermore, he claimed that Sentuh therapists can earn more than double the income of full-timer who work at regular spas.

Sending A ‘Massage

Right now, Ahmad shared that they are still facing a shortage of therapists compared to customer demand.

“To overcome this, we are collaborating with training academies to get their students on board as Sentuh junior therapists,” Ahmad explained.

“To attract more experienced therapists, we are offering referral bonuses to our existing therapists when they refer their friends.”

Image Credit: Sentuh Facebook

Sentuh is also devising new methods of onboarding, involving automation and social media to reach potential therapists, as part of their scaling up plans.

“In 2 years’ time, Sentuh will become the biggest wellness on-demand platform in Malaysia with more than 5,000 therapists and services available in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore,” Ahmad envisioned.

  • You can read more about what we’ve written on other Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Sentuh

 

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