With unprecedented growth in hair restoration industry in India, there are many companies claiming to provide hair restoration services. A recent IMRB survey on customer satisfaction in hair restoration industry has claimed that many of these companies fall way short on consumer expectations, while the industry leader DHI Medical Group continues to top the charts… here is why!
ÃŽÅ“ost people with hair loss suffer low self-esteem and confidence, in their everyday life. In this competitive world, where looks matter so much, people do not compromise with their hair growth. The hair restoration industry in India is booming with market size of approximately Rs 850 crore. However, the growth has lured several non-validated players, without proper experience, background, or training. This includes homeopathy, wigs or skin treatment companies.
One company that has stood tall in these times is DHI Global Medical Group. Headquartered in Greece with 60 clinics across 36 countries worldwide, the Group entered India in 2008 and has 16 clinics across the country. DHI has been at the forefront of the technological advancements over the years. They pioneered the minimally invasive FUE procedure in 2002. FUE made the more commonly used STRIP or FUT procedure redundant, but still has limitations – poor instrumentation, lack of protocols on hairline design, graft extraction and implantation, leading to poor results. There are no standardised tools available for FUE procedure. Some doctors unethically get medical assistants to perform the procedure. All this leads to poor results. DHI’s R&D team standardised the entire process of FUE hair restoration across 36 KPIs, making the results consistent.
Thus DHI launched the now world famous DHI procedure in 2007. DHI was awarded the Most Trusted Hair Transplant Company by Frost and Sullivan in 2013 and European Business award in 2015. A recent customer satisfaction survey for top hair restoration players in the country by IMRB rated DHI as number one choice across major parameters. The in depth study developed parameters to evaluate quality of results, transparency, quality of service, and overall customer satisfaction across 7 players in the country.
According to Ajay Bansal, CEO of DHI, India and International, “The biggest problem is the lack of quality standards and regulations. In 2008, one could count the clinics offering hair transplants. Today, many doctors claim to perform them and even homeopathy and weight loss centres have joined the fray.
Unfortunately, none of these doctors have proper training. All our doctors are provided intensive training and certification at the London Hair Restoration Academy. ÃŽ¤he result is a team of highly trained doctors whose quality is regulated by an institutional mechanism.
“The secret to DHI’s superiority goes beyond training”, says Ajay Bansal.“A well-trained doctor alone cannot guarantee quality results. There must be a system that ensures that doctors are monitored and patients are treated transparently. DHI system focuses on correct diagnosis of alopecia with the company’s unique diagnostic system UDSA, resulting in the most relevant treatment from a wide range. Our patients are given a brochure that lists what expectations they should carry from the company, making the patient our auditor.’
Asked about his thoughts on the industry, Bansal said “Hair transplant is a word-of-mouth business and customers have understood false promises and bad results offered by a number of players. 37 per cent of patients come to us for a repair procedure, after they have got botched results with other clinics. We are glad that IMRB has brought out the truth. The industry in India is entering a consolidation phase, where only the best will survive.”
Regarding the future plans, Bansal says, “Buoyed by our success we decided to expand globally beyond the company’s roots in Europe. Since 2013 we have opened DHI clinics across 15 new countries ranging from Australia to Egypt to Panama. In India too we are looking to open new clinics in central and eastern India. We plan to have 200 clinics across 80 countries in 3 years.”
Q. How is DHI different than other hair restoration clinics?
A. Over the last 7-8 years, the hair restoration market has seen tremendous growth encouraging opportunistic players to enter the market, offering poor quality results at low cost. The result has been a significant deterioration in quality with clients being fleeced on pretext of low prices. What seemingly looks cheap is really not the case. Most players give very poor results with even less than 50 per cent survival rate of grafts. What grows also looks very unnatural. We at DHI understand that Hair Loss is a traumatic experience for clients and hence quality of results is extremely important for the client to regain his confidence. That is why we have based our operations on 3 pillars – Education, Transparency & Innovation, to ensure 100 per cent results. We have a client focused approach to ensure safety, natural results and maximum density. Just to give a comparison, our average graft survival rate is 97 per cent vs. the industry average of 50-60 per cent customer satisfaction rate is 99.6 per cent. 37 per cent of our clients consist of repair cases, where patients come to DHI for a second procedure, after having undergone transplant cases outside DHI with disappointing results. All procedures done in our clinics are performed by DHI certified MD Dermatologists who undergo months of intensive training in the DHI academy, followed by certification tests and annual recertification. Most of the competitors’ doctors start performing after 7-10 days of training with no subsequent quality checks.
Q. How DHI Medical Group came into existence?
A. DHI Medical Group was founded by KP Giotis in 1970 in Palo Alto, California. This was a time when you could count the number of clinics that specialised in the treatment of Alopecia and hair loss. Dr Giotis, himself a victim of hair loss at the time, could not find a satisfactory solution to hair loss in the market and hence started doing a lot of pioneering research in this regard and eventually incepted the first DHI clinic. DHI revolutionised the Hair Transplant industry by pioneering the FUE procedure in 2002. It further developed Direct Hair Implantation technique in 2005 to lay down the first protocol on how to transplant hair and guarantee natural results. The standardised system and quality protocol has enabled DHI to expand rapidly.
Q. What keeps you going?
A. DHI is an endeavour of passion…a passion to change people’s lives and bring their lost confidence back. It is a passion to do something that no one has done before. It is our vision to lead the hair restoration industry to new heights worldwide, and offer most advanced treatments at affordable cost.
Q. Correct treatment is dependent on accurate diagnosis. Brief us about your diagnosis procedures?
A. A research in UK showed 67% of clients opting for hair loss treatment without a proper prior medical diagnosis. The number in India is bound to be higher owing to many low quality clinics. In order to offer a complete and accurate medical diagnosis for all types of alopecia and female hair loss, we developed UDSA – A Unique Diagnostic System for Alopecia, with the help of a team of world renowned experts. UDSA is designed to provide a detailed and transparent diagnosis, resulting in a credible lifelong treatment plan for hair restoration of the patient. Every client of DHI undergoes a thorough Psychological, Dermatological and Mathematical evaluation to ensure correct treatment plan.
Q. Did you get any kind of early mover advantage when you started back in 2008 or the market was already crowded?
A. When we started, there were a handful of clinics in India which offered hair restoration. The quality of procedures and results were very low leading to low client confidence in the industry. DHI is proud to have changed the industry by ensuring 100% quality results every single time through quality protocols, intensive training and quality checks. Every client we treated was so satisfied that they became our word of mouth agents resulting in many more clients. We are proud to have taken the Hair Restoration market in India to the next level and for the first time giving confidence to the clients that Hair Restoration is possible in a very safe and natural way.
Q. What is the age profile of your consumers?
A. 10 years back, many of our clients used to be in the age group of 30s or 40s. However, this has changed now. Most of our clients now are in the age group of 25-30.
Q. What role does DHI academy play?
A. DHI academy is perhaps the most important reason for our 100% results in Hair Restoration and primary difference between us and the competitors who started performing after 7-10 days of training at an existing clinic. We have academies in London and New Delhi where we rigorously train our doctors for months, encompassing theoretical and practical courses followed by tough certification tests. All our doctors mandatorily go through recertification every year to ensure the highest level of quality standards. It is our motto to provide high quality results at every single DHI clinic.
About DHI Global
DHI Medical Group, headquartered in Greece, has been dedicated to the research, diagnosis and treatment of hair and scalp disorders since 1970. Founded by KP Giotis, it has emerged as a leader in this field both nationally and internationally. It is the only company in the world that has developed the Total Care System, which is a set of strict written protocols for every stage of hair loss using specially developed instruments and treatments. DHI has 60 clinics across 36 countries in the world. Each DHI clinic is equipped with state of the art medical facilities. The range of services includes Direct Hair Implantation (DHI), Direct Hair Fusion (DHF), Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and daily hair care products.