G room India Pvt Ltd started its journey with CK Kumaravel and his wife, Veena K in 2000 as the first Naturals was launched in Chennai. The brand, founded by Veena K, spans 11 years and has to its credit 200 salons, 3,000 job opportunities and two lakh loyal members. The idea took shape when CKK encouraged his wife to embark on a journey that would make her independent, thereby setting an example for all women.
Inspiration to enter the beauty industry
At that time, there was no place in Chennai that used natural and herbal products. The initial response to fruit facial was so good that it became a stepping stone to move further with innovations. Shares Veena, “My next move was to launch a unisex parlour, the first of its kind in Chennai.
This concept caught on and then there was no looking back. The parlour thus evolved to a salon. The Naturals Unisex Salon & Spa took shape when CKK asked me to take it forward independently. Over the years, the brand has strived to provide numerous job opportunities to women across the country in a recession free industry and successfully ban the word ‘housewife’.”
The firrst salon came up in Khader Nawaz Khan Road in 2000. Initially funding was difficult, as banks didn’t fund salons. “It was a hassle to procure salon equipment. The furniture for the salon was imported from Italy. We had difficulty in paying rent, but we held together as a team of three and believed that it was just a phase, and indeed it was a phase, and today we are on the bright side,” reflects CKK.
Brands worked with then and now
Brands that were available off the shelf were Aroma Magic and Shahnaz Husain. It was only much later that we felt there was a need to shift to professional products. Today, we use Wella Professioanls, L’Oréal Professionnel, Schwarzkopf Professional, Kérastase, O3+ and Christine Valmy, among several others.
Delivering quality and making the chain delivering it constantly has been the biggest challenge in which we have succeeded. On the product front over the years, we have developed numerous facials. The path breaking one has been the skin lightening facial, which today is No 1. seller in the salons.
USP of Naturals
Premium services at affordable Pricing.
Challenges faced then and now
“Education is highly important, aptitude and interest matter a lot. We even have a training academy that nurtures talent and places them in front of the customer as an expert,” shares CKK. He further adds, “Lack of skilled labour is the biggest challenge in the industry. The industry is growing at rate of 40 per cent and it faces talent crunch. We will need help from the government to recognise the industry and join hands with players develop education infrastructure in the country.”
Naturals has finally stepped out of South India as the overseas market is huge and there is a demand, and they wanted to be the key supplier across India. “Naturals is rapidly expanding with a dominant presence in South India and with plans to replicate the same in northern and western India. We have more than 200 salons right now and this year we are foraying into international markets like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and GCC.”