The event was presided by leading lights from across the country and some top international professionals as well. From Anand Mohan Jha representing the perspective of the NSDC (National Skill Development Council) and the government to Jawed Habib, CK Kumarvel, CEO, Naturals Salons & Spa - India’s fastest growing salon chain the forum had representation and insights from across the board on topics that ranged from skills, to building million dollar salon businesses to other most relevant subjects including hygiene and its direct link to impacting the bottom line, how to create that perfect deck for investors, and the nitty-gritty of salon design, eco-friendly salons and hygiene and health.
The inaugural panel had Anand Mohan Jha, Head, Skill Sector Council Governance at NSDC and Anu Wadhwa, CEO, Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council (B&WSSC). Asha Hariharan, Founder, Beyond The Fringe Salon, discussing skill gap in the salon industry. These experts agreed that now the time is changing and need for skilled professionals are growing exponentially. Further, CK Kumaravel, CEO, Naturals Salon & Spa, owning the largest salon chain of 600 salons shared, revealed how they had been focusing on the services offered by skilled professionals only, making it the secret of their success. On the other hand, Deepanshu Khurana, Business Head of Educational Services, VLCC Healthcare said that as the demand of skilled professional is increasing, they had seen three times growth in students walking into their academies across India.
The next session was on ‘Creating a Million Dollar Salon Business’ with Rod Anker, Co-founder & Director, Rod Anker Salons, Sachin Kamat, Enrich Salon and Academy along with Veer Kaul, Headmasters Salon.
‘Services at Home’ by Abhiraj Bhal, CEO, UrbanClap was a candid hard-hitting solo session. UrbanClap’s growing presence in the competitive salon market and how they were utilising analytics to profile their customer and sharpen their outreach was an eyeopener of sorts.
Market leaders such as Pammy Kaul of Headmasters, Sonali Bhambri of Toni&Guy Salons and Jagpreet Kaur of Westin clearly emphasised the need of establishing SOPs and relentless training of staff for immaculate Hygiene and Sanitation in salons.
Further, leading architect Amit Aurora of DCA, Delhi gave valuable advice on ‘Crafting a Sensorial Experience in Salons’, besides a discussion on the ground reality of salon chains operating in metros and tier II cities. Day 1 concluded with CK Kumaravel’s session taking the audience through his inspiring journey of creating 600 salons across India and of his humongous vision to help 1000 house wives become entrepreneurs by 2020 - being an ardent believer in gender equality.
Day 2 kick-started with an enlightening session by ‘Trailblazers of the Salon industry’. Sharing the dais were Bharti Taneja, Director, ALPS Beauty Clinic, Nayana Karunaratne, Chairperson, SN Academies in Sri Lanka & India, Manjul Gupta of BodyCraft Salons Bangalore sharing the dais with Kusum Goel, owner of Meghna Beauty Parlour, New Delhi, a 40-year-old establishment in 5 floors - mincing no words as they described their individual challenges when they started in this business 3 to 4 decades back and sharing inspiring insights from their enterpreneurial journey.
The other session on specialisation being the next step to evolution saw the likes of Istayak Ansari sharing True Fitt & Hill’s engagement with the men’s grooming business in India, the innovations, the due diligence and more whilst Gurpreet Kaur, the uncrowned queen of nail business in India gave important clues on creating nail bars within salons or as stand alone business. Makeup expert Meenakshi Dutt was emphatic about giving a complete offer on bridal grooming to up the bottom lines and Subham Viramani of Esskay Beauty Resources highlighting the role of innovative products and innovative services including serving waxing as an experiential, building rituals on the salon menu. J Tara Herron of The Imperial Salon & Spa also shared valuable inputs on upgrading the salon services.
The ABCs of financial wisdom were served on a platter by Chunchreek Singhvi, of HFCL Group who gave a powerful step-by-step breakdown of the financial aspect of building salon business.
Bringing in a contemporary topic, Vibhoar, CEO, NEU Salonz, Asha Hariharan and Vikki Thakkar, Director, Viki Thakkar Design Studio spoke on ‘Are salons, taking the environmental issues seriously and how can existing salons turn green.'
The second edition of Salon Management Congress came to a dazzling conclusion with hair maestro Jawed Habib speaking about surviving the biggest challenges in the salon business.
Industry analysts have pegged the growth of the Professional Salon Care market in India at a CAGR of 27.07 per cent over the previous five year period. According to a KPMG report, the size of India's beauty and wellness market is expected to touch INR 80,370 crores by 2017-2018. This includes the beauty products and salon and spa businesses.
Speaking at the occasion, Ritoo Jhha, Founder, Beaué Espace Media said, “Indian salon business dwells in extremes - from the most modern salons with formidable structures and trained and semi-trained staff to the single beauty parlour run out of homes and corner shops; the little barber shops skilled in giving the quick, no frills cut and shave to the now growing formalisation of ‘salon at home’ services. In this clutter, there is a growing presence of schools and training centres. The government has recognised this sector as an industry less than four years back. Salon Management Conference is a seminal effort by Beauté Espace Media in collaboration with Professional Beauty to bring all stakeholders together to share knowledge and good practices.”
Adding to this, Vikas Vij, Managing Director, Professional Beauty India, said, “Salon management is one of the most critical needs of the hour. And we are delighted that our launch of the Salon Management Congress at the Professional Beauty Delhi show in partnership with Beauté Espace has gone so well. We have had incredible support from some of the industry's leading figures including Anand Mohan Jha, Head, Sector Skill Council Governance at NSDC, who really took a knife to some of the illnesses the industry is suffering from whether it be talent attrition, client acquisiton strategies, building a financially viable business model, product innovations and much more. The SMC is an important introduction to PBI and we are focused on growing it further bringing in more experts and case studies for those looking to develop their businesses".