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Beauty and Wellness Retail: How Top Players Make it Big

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1Success Mantras

The beauty and wellness industry in India has changed over the years. The ‘looking good’ phenomenon has given it wings to fly like never before. Salon India spoke exclusively with industry go-getters to know their success mantras.

Beauty and Wellness Retail: How Top Players Make it Big
As a part of three series story, Salon India speaks with the industry go-getters to know their success mantras

Here is the rundown of how they have weaved their success stories.

2Nalini Naegamvala, Owner, Nalini’s Salon

The hair and beauty industry

It’s growing fast and creating careers for several people. With skill development on top
of the agenda, popular and rewarding skills need to be encouraged. To be successful, one cannot afford to overlook. Get into this industry only if you have the passion. Educate yourself in the chosen subject be it hair, beauty or spa and you need to be a people’s person. To retain manpower, service terms and conditions should be better than others. Keep your staff motivated through ongoing education.

Top challenges the industry still faces

Shortage of qualified staff is primary. The salon owners need to realise the value of trained professionals to raise the standard of work.

Customer initiatives undertaken

The foot spa salons that are so popular today, we started it about 20 years ago. We gave a foot massage or shoulder massage to clients getting a technical service. This not only filled their time well, it also made them feel special. Similarly, a back or head massage added to a facial also makes the client feel good. It’s being done now in a number of salons and I think, all these added amenities turn a regular salon service into a wow service.

Salon amenities that should not be compromised upon

The quality of services offered should be top most and client servicing – par excellence.

Indian customer enjoys

Being pampered; consultations before the service and value for money. Salon owners
need to reiterate that clients have to pay a better price for good products used and great
service from trained professionals.

Growth through company-owned salons or franchise

Most franchises of top salons from the West are still not too successful. The mom and pop salons run by passionate owners still seem to rule.

Lessons learnt from the industry, so far

Passion and respect for my work; patience and an understanding of human beings

3, Managing Director, Group of Companies

The hair and beauty industry

The industry is booming and has tremendous potential for growth.Herbal or Ayurvedic
products and treatments have been driving its growth. Even Tier 2 cities are realising
its importance.

To be successful, one cannot afford to overlook

Some of the essentials for this industry are professional vocational training. There is a
shortage of skilled personnel. The location is also of prime importance. For example,
nowadays malls attract customers. The other aspects that players have to take into account are using the latest and advanced techniques that are keeping pace with international trends.

To retain manpower

Hiring competent people and then retaining them is a challenge. If the company has
over 100 employees, a Human Resources executive should be hired. Financial incentives
are important. Meetings from time to time with employees, to refresh their knowledge,
to gather feedback, keep in touch with employees and sort out differences. The
employees should be assured of career growth opportunities.

Top challenges the industry still faces

Shortage of skilled work force. Centres for vocational training should be set up, in order
to develop the skills that are needed in the beauty and spa sector. With globalisation,
products and services are needed for the global market and this requires effort at
various levels, from the Government, research institutions, vocational training institutions, export development and trade agencies.

Customer initiatives undertaken

We are known for salon treatments of specific skin and hair problems. Several sittings are needed to cure concerns of acne, pigmentation, scar removal, hair loss, and others. We offer a course of treatments, in which some sittings are free. We also have loyalty programmes, special offers and packages for regular clients.

Salon amenities that should not be compromised upon

A welcoming reception area and waiting area, consultation area, private treatment
areas, furniture and equipment for treatments, manicure pedicure, waxing, clean linen and
air-conditioning are some hygiene factors that cannot be overlooked.

Survival mantra

The main is innovation. Keeping abreast of new developments is important, too. In order
to be a dynamic organisation, creativity and innovation are two essential qualities.

Your vision for the salon
We have extended our salons on the franchise system with a particular business model. My vision is that each franchise outlet must have a standard look and feel.

Indian customer enjoys

The Indian customer likes to be value conscious. There is also exposure to global trends and awareness of products and salon services. Apart from the price of products, the clients and customers also notice the ambience and décor of the salon or the retail outlet. Client reception and the way they are treated make a great impact.

4, Owner, – The Salon

The hair and beauty industry

The beauty business is booming! It’s moving at a very fast pace due to an increase in
demand and awareness. There are various entities involved in the beauty industry right
from conception to the end consumer and hence, proves to be a lucrative industry.

To be successful, one cannot afford to overlook

If you want to be successful in this field besides passion and hard work, you need to
have integrity, an eye for detail, aware of global trends, will to learn and the right attitude and enthusiasm to stay ahead.

To retain manpower

Create an atmosphere where there is mutual respect between you and the team, who share the same passion and positive attitude. This positivity is also visible to clients and in turn, helps in enhancing their overall experience of the service.

Top challenges the industry still faces

Retaining stylists and professionals. As new salons are coming up daily, the staff is jumping to better their financial status and ignoring the opportunity to grow in the field. Also, there is creative stagnation. A high percentage of individuals in the industry do not show an inclination to learn and then advance in their respective fields. Lastly, there are financial constraints and a dearth of professionalism in the industry.

Customer initiatives undertaken

Glamour Evenings in association with Olaplex, Balmain, Denman, Moroccan Oil and Dermalogica. Donating hair for cancer patients through our Savio John Pareira Lifestyle Café.

Salon amenities that should not be compromised upon

Superior quality and always-fresh linen like towels, robes, capes, adequate lighting,
appropriate air conditioning, a clean and hygienic restroom, as well as top of the line products.

Survival mantra

‘One day at a time’.

Your vision for the salon

To take Savio John Pareira – The Salon onto the global platform and make it an international brand that will be equated with style and luxury. Also a global academy to train and create opportunities and encourage talent.

Indian customer enjoys

Indian clients are extremely driven and want attention to detail. They love to be pampered, and expect high levels of hygiene and most importantly they know what they want. Lastly, they should get total value for the money spent, both in terms of products and services.

Lessons learnt from the industry, so far

My journey began in 1997 and has taught me that learning is continuous; you need to keep reinventing your self, stay in sync with other related industries and keep abreast of international trends, work with the right attitude, stay away from self-doubt and allow your creative genius to unfold.

5, Owner,

The hair and beauty industry 

It’s evolving and has spread awareness about itself in the recent times. We are yet not much into spas, but then things are changing.

To be successful, one cannot afford to overlook

Stay ahead and grow each day, invest in client experience, word of mouth is important, but it’s equally important to be a part of traditional and social media.

To retain manpower

Everyone wants to grow professionally and personally. One without the other does not
always work. Looking at both these aspects is a must. I learnt this from my own team
members, who have been with me since I can remember.

Customer initiatives undertaken

Consistent quality of service, regular education and paying attention to client feedback.

Salon amenities that should not be compromised upon

Sterilised equipment, sufficient and hygeinic towels and capes, aprons and more, and
beverage and quick bite options.

Survival mantra

Outdoing my own standards constantly. Creating happiness for my clients and my
team. I’m obsessed with my work, so I never have a dull moment.

Your vision for the salon

To be India’s favourite salon that promises affordable luxury.

Indian customer enjoys

Hair makeovers without cutting the length and facials that give immediate glow and results that lasts for months!

Lessons learnt from this industry, so far

To be honest and be yourself no matter who is competition. The industry has enough
princesses. Do not copy them. Stay true to yourself.

6, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder,

The hair and beauty industry

Poised for a tremendous growth and will dominate the world.

To be successful, one cannot afford to overlook

You need to be obsessively customer oriented, quality staff is the biggest asset, one should be digitally ahead, there should be continuous innovation and the location of your salon should be right.

To retain manpower

Staff is the life line of the business, hence ensure good rewards and recognition apart
from continuous skill up-gradation.

Top challenges the industry still faces

Quality of manpower, quantity of manpower and discount-conscious customers.

Customer initiatives undertaken

Attractive gift vouchers to ensure that the customers try salon services. ‘Purple is the New Red’ campaign for Valentine’s Day, wherein if a customer wore purple and walked in, they availed a surprise discount. Naturals bridal advertisement with South Indian actress Nadiya and Megha for television. to promote our bridal services. The message being that our bridal services are not just for brides, but to everyone in the family too.

Salon amenities that should not be compromised upon

A clean and hygienic salon is a per-requisite.

Survival mantra

Never think of yourself as a leader, everyday is a learning process. You can learn from a
new entry in the market, a customer, a vendor, stakeholders or even other industries.
Your vision for the salon To groom India. If we look good, we feel good and if we feel good, we perform better. Our job is to make them look good. In short our
mantra is to collectively build a beautiful India.

Indian customer enjoys

At par with foreign countries in terms of fashion and style statement and be pampered
at the best value.

Growth through company-owned salons or franchise Franchise

As India is an entrepreneurial county and the beauty salon business is booming, especially for woman entrepreneurs. They promote business activity, maintain inventory, make sure that the customer is happy and the salon is clean, while the brand takes care of business activity, location of salon, interiors, service menu, pricing, digital campaigns and scaling up strategies and more.

Lessons learnt from this industry, so far

If you rest, you rust. You need to be on your toes continuously and cannot afford to take
the staff, customer or competition for granted.

7, CEO and Creative Director, Kapil’s Salon & Academy

The hair and beauty industry

Evolving very fast. The industry is going to witness many radical changes. The changes
that we have witnessed in the last 30 years, we will witness more such in five years.

To be successful, one cannot afford to overlook

Technology and adopting a digital platform. Training, education and upgradation, with
reference to team motivation an customer service. Service experience and service excellence in delivery, products, client experience touch point and ambience. One
needs to act and move fast and be very agile to even change the course of direction as
situation arises or before that. Collaboration is critical, too.

To retain manpower

Keep adding value. Stick to your basic vision and higher purpose of business existence and people of same vision will stay connected.

Top challenges the industry still faces

Skilled and committed manpower and an organised way of operation.

Customer initiatives undertaken

Collating feedback from customers, constructive actions upon feedback and client
education workshops.

Salon amenities that should not be compromised upon

An efficient and client friendly software; a smooth functional infrastructure, which
includes having basic amenities like water, air-conditioning and good ventilation and
adequate safety measures.

Survival mantra

Passion for empowerment, upliftment and service excellence.

Your vision for the salon

We are not into a salon business, we are transformers, we empower and uplift.

Indian customer enjoys

Cared for, recognised and is value proposition cautious.

Lessons learnt from this industry, so far

Stay on the course of self expression, believe in your vision and uplifting others indirectly
enriches you, as well.

8, Owner,

Top challenges that the industry still faces

Quality control, educating hairdressers, underestimating or under charging creative work and there is no value for quality work.

Roadblocks faced

When I started, there weren’t many hairdressers, so it wasn’t a profession and no one understood the art behind it. However, now things have changed and there is a lot of glamour, fame and money involved. Being an introvert, I always felt making conversation with women was a challenge, but then slowly I developed and overcame that, too. My focus has always been doing good work with a combination of only doing what I believe in. This has helped me reach where I am today. Educating myself constantly was never a conscious effort and came naturally. Running your own business can be tough for creative people and it involves a whole lot of other things than just cutting hair. I hired people to do that for me and lessened the challenges on that level. Being consistent in work and beliefs is important and that is something that we need to push to achieve.

Indians are fussy about

Indian clientele, more often than not, come with unrealistic demands of how they would like their hair to be. It could be a picture from a magazine to copy the look of a movie star. Convincing them otherwise is the challenging part. Most are super fussy about losing the length of their hair.

Survival mantra

Quality work with the right attitude will take you a long way.

Lessons learnt from this industry, so far

Be true to your art, focus on education and don’t bring people down.

9, National Head – Hair,

Top challenges that the industry still faces

There are hardly any experimenting. The traditional sensibilities of clients do not allow them to change, whether it’s with the length of their hair or hair colour. Also lack of the latest technologies is a big minus.

Roadblocks faced

The most crucial and challenging time was when I was learning hairdressing. I used to study the subject in the morning batch and work at a call centre during the night. This continued for about 10 to 11 months, where I got to sleep only for about four hours a day. When I look back, I guess, the hard work has paid off. Indians are fussy about Their hair length.

Survival mantra

Have fun at work.

Lessons learnt from this industry, so far

To share, be patient and people skills.