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Express your creativity through your nails!

by Arun Shirishkar

From illustrating her business coping strategies to decoding the future of Indian nail industry, Anuja Sachdev paints a clear picture

Being an internationally certified nail master and educator, Anuja Sachdev, Managing Director at La Bella Nail Studio and Academy has added many laurels to her name. Right from doing various nail arts like hyper-realistic gel, 4D acrylic floristry and animals to exploring the Russian and gothic nail shapes, she has nailed it all.

How is your business coping with the COVID effect?
With complete lockdown and business being shut, our top lines have been affected. I have taken this as an opportunity to focus on my personal growth during this time. I’ve been upgrading my skills, coming up with new techniques and building new business strategies. It is important for any business to keep reminding their clients that they’re still at play, and social media plays an important role here. Therefore, I have been more active on social media and posting new nail arts, techniques and tutorials which keeps our clients interested and enthusiastic. 

What are your re-opening strategies?
Health and safety is already core to our service, and we strictly follow the best hygienic practices. For us, the health and safety of our clients, students and staff is of utmost priority. We are not in a rush to start; we are monitoring the situation and tracking government’s advisories. However, with new guidelines in place, we are confident to re-open very soon. 

Will there be a decline in people opting for extensions and why?
I don’t think there will be a decline. My clients have been waiting, especially those who have been getting their nails done regularly. Moreover, I think the whole lockdown has made some people feel low and getting nails done or any beauty treatment is like getting therapy. 

How are you going to assure your client’s safety?
We follow industry best practices and very strict hygiene protocols which are of international standard. We always use masks, gloves and sanitisers for our clients & ourselves before and after every session. We have been reviewing and tweaking our operating model to incorporate even safer working environment by introducing new measures and guidelines that will be strictly adhered to; which include, temperature checks, sanitisers and masks for all clients, workstation sanitisation pre and post-session, disposable equipment, sterilisation and lastly usage of disinfectants.

What are your plans on managing the cash flow for the next 6 months?
These are challenging times, and cash planning is essential for every business. We have analysed our cash flow and taken various steps to optimise our books which include, receivables, inventory and purchases, minimising fixed costs and converting into a variable cost. This has brought financial efficiency which is helping us sail through these uncertain times.

What’s next for the nail industry?
The nail industry in India is still at a very nascent stage. It breaks my heart to see that still, a lot of studios and technicians are not able to provide even a basic manicure of standard quality. It is purely because the industry lacks good technicians and nail artists. I see that this industry has a massive potential to grow, provided we concentrate on developing the skills and adopting high-quality services. With the way people are getting aware, especially with platforms like Instagram, we need to level up and get to international standards.

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