Beyond Beauty

8 months ago . 5 min read
Marella Putri
Writer at Forbes Indonesia
Beyond Beauty
Fadly Sahab, founder and CEO of PT Zulu Alpha Papa (ZAP). Photograph by Ully Zoelkarnain for Forbes Indonesia.

by Ulisari Eslita

Many private hospitals are seeing a steep drop in the number of visits since the COVID-19 outbreak, as people have been avoiding hospitals due to fears of infection. Even mothers don’t want to take the risk for the child and preferring to delay immunization schedule, which actually can create another health problem. Thus, the Ministry of Health says hospital occupancy rate, for the ones not handling COVID-19 patients, has dropped to 20%-50% across Indonesia. 

Observing the recent situation, Fadly Sahab, founder and CEO of PT Zulu Alpha Papa (ZAP), a beauty clinic chain company, saw a business lead. While his beauty clinic business is badly affected by the pandemic, Fadly decided to launch ZAP Health, a clinic that focuses on serving mother and child healthcare. The clinic also offers the convenience of in-home services. Currently, ZAP Health is available at most of ZAP Premiere outlets, and also providing pediatric and gynecologic services. Before getting treatment, for safety reasons, patients have to contact the clinic’s call center first to book an appointment, and then come to the clinic as scheduled. Fadly adds, during the pandemic, ZAP is facing a surge in vitamin C injection demand. Some of them even came from corporate clients.

“I see nowadays, many parents are skipping vaccinations, as they are afraid of contracting the coronavirus once they visit the hospital. Whereas, vaccines should be given right on time,” says Fadly.

Fadly founded ZAP by himself back in 2009 as hair removal salon before expanding its business to beauty clinic in 2014. The reason was obvious, for the past few years, the beauty industry is one of the fastest emerging sectors in the country. On that basis, ZAP’s business has grown significantly from six outlets in 2014 to 50 outlets and most of them are located in malls. Before the pandemic, beauty treatments contributed 82% to the company’s revenue and the remaining from hair removal business. The company also tries to differentiate with its clinic concepts, which provides online reservation, that integrates ZAP’s entire outlet network. Fadly claims that the system successfully saves customers time, as customers don’t need to wait for hours to get treatment. In line with that, customers can quickly move their appointment to another outlet as their treatment history can easily be accessed.

“I saw that ZAP’s initial business model was not sustainable. We were very dependent on new clients. On the other hand, a beauty clinic can be our clients’ lifetime partner,” says Fadly. He adds every patient at ZAP has various problems in every phase of their age, starting from acne to ageing.

Early this year, before the pandemic struck, ZAP had been putting more throttle in its expansion plans. The company did a survey with marketing consultant MarkPlus Inc., involving almost 6,500 samples of respondents with age between 13 years to 65 years old. The research showed that beauty always became Indonesian female’s priority in life. The study stated Gen Z spent almost all their income on beauty treatment, while Gen Y and Gen X spent 30% and 5% of their income, respectively. Looking at the survey outcomes, Fadly then split ZAP into ZAP Clinic and ZAP Premiere to cater to different markets.

“ZAP Clinic caters to the younger market, starting from 18 to 35 years old. While ZAP Premiere serves those between 35-45 years old,” says Fadly.

The classification is not only based on age but also based on the spending amount. At ZAP Clinic, customers can spend at least Rp 199,000 for treatment. Meanwhile, at ZAP Premiere, which targets mature market, most of the customers spend millions to tens of millions of rupiah. Before the pandemic, the company had set up a flagship outlet for ZAP Premiere in South Jakarta, which aims to be a one-stop premium service for beauty treatments. The pricing strategy is part of the company’s campaign, aiming to make ZAP Clinic’s treatments as affordable as possible to the mass market. On average, Fadly adds, for each visit, ZAP’s customers spend at least Rp 850,000 for their treatment.

Moreover, the survey also showed that 91.6% of Indonesian females were motivated to have beauty treatment, and this motivation mostly comes from social media influence. Therefore, ZAP has a community that consists of 450 beauty influencers, which helps ZAP’s campaign in a regular basis. To maintain the community, ZAP held events, meetings, and luncheons regularly.

“Each time we need models for our new video, they are happy to help. I can say, the relations are mutual,” says Fadly. The strategy to involve social media influencers is working well. About 50% of ZAP new clients mostly come from social media, while the rest are mainly referral customers, according to Fadly.

However, all the plans for the beauty clinic have stalled since the pandemic. ZAP’s business is hit hard due to physical distancing policy implemented by the government, causing malls and outlets to close down. Consequently, Fadly has prepared a strategy to keep the business afloat. One of them is stopping all new investment plans, as increasing cash flow is the most important thing to do at the moment. “When the government announced the first case of COVID-19 in Indonesia, we experienced at least 20% decrease in daily revenue in the first three days and 300 appointment cancellations,” says Fadly.

Yet, Fadly is optimistic about its healthcare business. He envisions of developing a hospital that focuses on beauty and health. Initially, he is going to execute the plan right after he finalizes the ZAP Premiere business strategy, which is most likely next year. He said, in the first phase, ZAP Health would provide booster infuses and vaccine, but it would add more healthcare service like obgyn, pediatrics and dental clinics.

Male Grooming

Last year, together with jazz singer and beauty surgeon, doctor Tompi, singer Bambang Reguna Bukit, and dermatologist dr Endi Novianto, Fadly started Menology by ZAP, a male grooming clinic in South Jakarta. For Fadly, Menology is a new experience, as it is his first experience having partners in business. However, Fadly and the other cofounders didn’t expect much from Menology as the customers are insignificant. Looking forward, Fadly and his partners are still going the finalize Menology concept.

“As you may be aware, ZAP Clinic and Premiere only serve the needs of females. We are trying to provide male grooming at Menology,” says Fadly, adding “Surprisingly, it is always fully-booked during the weekend.”

Written By
Marella Putri
Writer at Forbes Indonesia