The Health and Wellness industry has been one of the largest sectors in most economies across the world and India is no exception to this trend. Globally, this industry is valued at $4.4 trillion and shows an annual growth of 9.9%. As per market research, In India alone, the market for health and wellness products and services is expected to grow by approximately 5% in the next 5 years. In a country like India, celebrities have always held a place of regard for Indians. From influencing their dressing choice to their vacations, the hold of these celebrities has been quite powerful. The latest to join the club are social media influencers whose word has become patthar ki lakeer for many. 

To begin with, let us understand why social media influencers are so influential.

  • The neighbour next door: Influencers are easily accessible to people. We see them on our stories, on our feed and someday on live streams too. They practically put their life ‘filtered’ and ‘unfiltered’ on social media and it almost feels like we know them for real.
  • Consistency is surely the key: While the visibility of actors can be limited, social media stars are more consistent showing up almost every day. When you see somebody more often, you’re more likely to be influenced by them
  • The oh-so-fancy: The fancy lifestyle of these influencers feels like “goals” that can be attainable and therefore every small act which can be imitated, we imitate.

The influencer universe it is!

One must be living under a rock if they are not aware of influencers. The influencer industry has captured all markets from fashion to tech, to finance, etc. The health and wellness industry is also one of the largest sectors in the ambit of influencers. A significant portion of the marketing budgets of this industry is laid out for influencer marketing. 

Phew! This felt like a seminar, right? Long story short, influencers have been playing a very influential role in the health and wellness sphere, suggesting food, its portion, supplements and nutrients as well as fitness regimes. According to an INCA report, the influencer marketing industry is valued at close to 1200 crores, and as the saying goes, there can be no smoke without fire, similarly, if influencers were not doing business, such huge amounts would not have been allocated to them. 

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When we talk about the list of health and wellness influencers, the list seems never-ending. Influencers such as Jeet Selal are one of the more popular of the lot having 953K followers on Instagram alone. His chiselled body is displayed generously over the social media account, “pumping blood” into his followers to aim for the same.

Anupriya Kapur is yet another health and fitness influencer that has garnered quite some following, with 247K followers following the lady only on Instagram. Her toned physique is every Indian girl’s dream and one can see her performing many fitness circuits where she describes the workout in the caption of her posts.

Why did the Government of India bust the influencer health and wellness party?

Technically, the government did not bust the party but only regulated it to a certain extent. Mr Rohit Kumar Singh, the Secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs in a recent interview with Business Standard has spoken of regulating the health and wellness influencer industry.

 As he rightly pointed out that this industry has a direct effect on the consumer’s health, so it is mandatory for these influencers to display their qualification in plain sight, to authenticate their information. Many young followers might either through their fascination or naivety, follow these influencers without having the correct information or resources.

Sometimes, many of these followers fail to understand that some of the products they talk about are mere endorsements and not something they use in their daily lives. Thereby, to erase this anonymity and establish a moral code of conduct on behalf of these influencers, as they have a sense of responsibility towards their “fam”, the government has made it mandatory for them to display their qualification. This information should be available both to the government and to the audience in order to know whether or not it is coming from a trusted source. The government shall also deploy certain technology to ensure these regulations are being followed.

The influencers have also shown their support for this move as it will strengthen the industry and help build a stronger base in the future. 

We believe that this regulation, unlike other regulations, can prove to be a win-win situation both for the influencers and for the audience.