I am a firm believer of ‘paying it forward’ and I practice this dictum almost everyday. When I started this business 40 years ago, newly married and out of a job as cabin crew with Air India (as back then, women were required to quit once married), I was forced to find an alternate career. Being financially independent was extremely important to me, both as a person and more so, as a woman. I had the privilege of getting education in this field, which I believe is possibly the most important factor that makes one excel in any field.
After toiling hard, the business started to soare high. As it grew, so did our need to hire people. Both Yasmin, my business partner then, and I realised that we needed staff to service the clients. From this need stemmed the training of staff to have a well equipped salon. Yasmin and I were trained in London which helped us impart global education. I believe for any industry to be of the highest standards, education is the key. Little did I know, back then that it would give me such immense satisfaction years later. I recognised my happiness lay in other’s happiness and went after the thought doggedly. Since then I have trained and mentored people who were from various backgrounds. Many of them were from the under privileged section.
In a country where population, lack of money and education are the major concerns, my inner voice guided me to mentor and train the underprivileged. It still satisfies my spirit. I am joyous to see youngsters be able to do what they love. To see them grow and become independent make me happy. We all could do our bit here. At my academy, the basic assistant course in hair, beauty, barbering and spa has been sponsored by FICCI FLO. A student pays Rs 2,500 only and the rest is sponsored by us.
For the last 10 months we have trained 52 students. I am happy that P&G (Wella) has also agreed to support me to train students in hairdressing for a course which we have recently started. It is now available to people at a lesser fee.