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Beauty services 2011-10-06

From scratch to profits

By Neha Gohil Feature Writer

Aiming to provide beauty services of international standards, Scratch came into existence with its standalone nail salon. In an interview Pammy Kaul, Chief Executive, Scratch shares her entrepreneurial journey.

Neha Gohil (NG): Share with us your entrepreneurial journey. Tell us something about the inception and success of ‘Scratch’?

Pammy Kaul (PK): My entrepreneurial journey started after I came back from UK in 2007 which was my home for twelve years prior to my return. I witnessed the expansion of nail segment of beauty industry first hand. The business in the initial years in UK like in USA was controlled by Vietnamese immigrants and the technicians were very skilled at their craft. As the market matured I was witness to innovation being practiced in the category and market grew rapidly. I saw this as an opportunity for India.

At the inception stage I did not face any problems in terms of finding people who wanted to train as technicians but the market itself had to be grown within both the trade and at the consumer end. Therefore, we had to adopt a combination strategy building trade and consumer awareness. At the same time since we were at the inception stage we adopted training practices which were in line with the international standards and therefore quality of technicians coming out from Scratch was very good. It was a slow and steady growth but now for last two years market has grown rapidly with more consumers wanting to use the service of nail art and nail extensions. Scratch was the first brand to set its foothold in the malls setting up standalone nail bars.

NG: What is the USP of ‘Scratch’?

PK: High quality manpower, customer service, health and safety standards in line with international requirements.

NG: What inspired you to start ‘Scratch'? When did you take the franchise route for expansion?

PK: My inspiration as stated earlier was the success of the category in other markets and availability of manpower in India wanting to get skilled. We started our franchise journey in year 2008.

NG: What do you think of the nail art industry in India and where do you see the scope for growth?

PK: Nail care is a mandatory service in the salons. However with the changes in lifestyle, consumers are spending more on personal products. Nail Art & extensions is part of the same domain. The market size potential is as big as any beauty service and the opportunity is increasing rapidly. Therefore it is safe to say that the market size in few years will be substantially large and profitable.

NG: What are your future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?

PK: We intend to make Scratch a national level brand. The market will be able to absorb at least 5,000 nail bars/destinations in next three years.

NG: How many franchisees do you have in India and in which cities?

PK: We have ten franchise salons. We have franchisees in Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Goa, Chennai, Punjab, Nagpur.

NG: What are the qualities you seek in your prospective franchisees? How much investment and area is required by them?

PK: We are seeking franchisees that are committed and hungry to earn profits.This is a low investment and high return business. The area requirement is between 150 to 250 sq. ft. Investment is not more than Rs Two lakh per nail bar. 

NG: How does ‘Scratch’ support and train franchisees? What can be the challenges faced by the franchisee?

PK: We support the franchisees with design of the outlet, training of the manpower, product support and advertising.

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