Giving a makeover to the Indian beauty industry, Shahnaz Husain is credited with bringing a revolution with her ayurvedic concepts. From a small home based salon to the enormous Shahnaz Husain Group of companies, the lady shares the success story.
Abha Garyali (AG): Tell us something about the origin, growth and success of ‘Shahnaz Husain’.
Shahnaz Husain (SH): The study of Ayurveda convinced me that it could provide the ideal alternative to the demands of beauty care. The first herbal salon was started in my own home in 1971 based on the Ayurvedic system. I devised my own treatments and began to formulate my own products, based on Ayurveda. Today, they have become breakthroughs in Ayurvedic beauty care. All our ventures, like salons, shops, beauty training schools and spas have extended on our unique franchise system. Within the first year I had 80 franchise salons in India. We have acquired a global presence, having sold at leading stores and prestigious locations worldwide. Currently, the Shahnaz Husain Group operates in more than 100 countries, where it has franchise salons, direct product distributors and beauty institutes.
AG: What difference have you noticed in the performance of the company after it opted for franchising?
SH: The franchising system has been at the core of success of the Shahnaz Husain brand. All our ventures have extended on the franchise system. Initially, our franchise system was not a consciously conceived idea or decision, but later we realised that it offered distinct advantages in terms of business expansion and for spreading Ayurvedic beauty care around the world.
AG: What qualities do you look for prospective franchisees for your company?
SH: The eligibility of the franchisee is decided after a personal interview, where several aspects are taken into consideration. The franchisee has to complete a beauty diploma course, as well as an advanced course in cosmetology and Shahnaz Husain specialised treatments at our beauty institute. If the franchise is for the beauty academy, it is necessary to also complete our Teacher’s Training Course. The franchisee has to instil confidence in us of having the dedication and the ability to maintain the expected standards and conform to the vision of a successful brand name.
AG: How many franchised outlets do you have across India?
SH: We have over 400 franchise ventures worldwide. In India, we have over 200 franchise salons and more than 60 franchise beauty training institutes.
AG: What all training and support do you provide to the franchisees?
SH: We provide a pillar of support to franchisees in terms of R&D and in launching innovative products and specialised treatments from time to time. Keeping the level of professionalism that customers expect from us our franchisees are required to have standardised interiors, equipment and a commitment to a positive customer experience. The franchisee is provided with the necessary assistance in site selection, project management, layout and interiors, marketing and all standard operating procedures, equipment sourcing, trouble shooting tips, product planning, etc.
AG: How much investment is required by an aspiring franchisee in terms of money?
SH: The investment required is about Rs 15 lakh to Rs 25 lakh.
AG: What are the company’s future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?
SH: The future plans include extension of franchise ventures in India and abroad. It includes extending our salons and spas, where treatments will be geared towards revitalisation, rejuvenation and stress-reduction, upholding the Ayurvedic principles of holistic care. We will be extending our Signature ‘Spalours’ on the franchise system.
AG: What are the challenges that can be faced by a franchisee in this business? How can these challenges be overcome?
SH: The most significant challenge for a franchisee is to live up to an established brand name. Being part of a world renowned chain has its advantages, but it also has responsibilities. Each franchisee has to ensure that the brand name is not devalued. The franchisee is responsible for protecting, enhancing and promoting the name. It is important that all the franchisees operate in accordance with our principles and standards.