Corporate and the new upscale genre of henna tattoo

Today every one wanted to include Tattoos  in their vocabulary of personal life style. There is more writing  currently about tattoos in popular press than never before. An ancient form of henna tattooing has now slowly becoming a defined life style in India.  Although I am not a tattoo enthusiast I could realize its immense business potential,fashion craze as well as social ramifications of this mania of embodiment of culture in the days to come.

photo by stockresearch52
photo by stockresearch52

In recent years in India, “henna tattoos” have become a fashion accessory for girls and women. From the Public Celebrities, Lawyers, Accountants and Homemakers, Professional Athletes, high profile Executives, dancers, musicians and to the School and college going girls and the list goes endless in counting people wanting henna tattoos goes much deeper.

The style and designs of Henna or mehndi tattoos are very wide and every big shopping mall has their outlet studios to cater the customer requirements.  Marriages and other social functions in India provide a mindboggling unorganized market outlet for tattoo designs and associated services in terms of value running to the tune of over Rs.1000 crores. There is no wonder  why the “tattoo art studio”  most features the ambiance of an upscale beauty saloons in all metros. The single fastest growing demographic group seeking professional tattoo services in India is to the surprise of many, middle-class urban and rural women.(Images- indian wedding henna tattoos pictures).

The whole tattoo thing is a little strange to me but of course I am equally fascinated by its market size and the growing value prospects as well.

It got my attention further more recently when I got associated with the recruitment team selecting sales persons for a retail chain of outlets engaged in selling gold and diamond ornaments in south India.

After interviewing few candidates who would be responsible to manage the counter sales dealing directly with the customers ,our panel debated on the topic of giving chance or not to candidates wearing either temporary henna or mehndi tattoos or the permanent inked(very small not exposed heavily) ones. In India corporate, (HR) policy guidelines mostly include only broad guidelines on dress code.

Personally speaking I have huge  extremes in perception, tastes, likes-dislikes, opinions, etc. Therefore it was a bit tricky for me to draw broad guidelines for a dress code including clothes; hair styles uniform (conservative, modern) or whether one can come to working place with either temporary or inked tattoos not exposing much and so on.

Finally we all decided to remove whatever stigma surrounding the tattoos in our mind set and would give fair chance to all with a note of caution of decency. Where the decency curve would begin and where it would end I don’t know.

After meeting many of my Indian friends and advertisement professionals I understood that tattoo industry is hot property in India. They quoted me, how in1959 Marlboro Man Tattoo Hand Decisions Packs  Advertisements had an impact on consumer’s life style marketing(Images for marlboro man) Similarly it can do wonders in Indian advertising.

However there has been little sociological study on the influence of tattoos in Indian society.

However it is indeed poised to emerge as the biggest marketing tool for consumer products in India in the coming days given the depth of Indian social diversity.

Henna Tattoos have thus become the ubiquitous cliché in India. As usual Cynical always try to hack this hunger. I am surprised to read that an Indian businessman more than 70years of old has been carrying the flags of 305 countries on his own body to promote amity among nations.(Bollywood’s love for tattoos)

I don’t want to get into the argument that exposed style of henna tattoos in the public working places is right or wrong.

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