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Women’s Day is to stand up for oneself and respect one’s decision: Samantha Kochhar

Dr. Blossom and Samantha Kochhar talk about their roles, challenges and franchise expansion for her brand.

By Ekta Sharma Feature Writer

In India, beauty in aromatherapy is tantamount with Dr. Blossom Kochhar who is the Chairperson of Blossom Kochhar Group of companies. Her daughter Samantha is not just the MD of the company, but is also the real force behind Dr Kochhar’s incessant energy. While Samantha enjoys painting, Dr Kochhar is an ardent kathak learner. Dr Kochhar herself is a motivation to many female entrepreneurs; but she in turn gets her inspiration from MargaretMurray, who first brought Aromatherapy into beauty. On this women’s day, we spoke to this Mother-daughter duo and understood their roles, challenges, franchise expansion and much more. Read on...

What is actually Women’s day for both of you?
To channelise your inner power and to be able to do something constructive not only for themselves but for others who are in need of help.
Samantha –
To be able to stand up for yourself and to be able to respect and back your own decision is empowerment to me.

What schemes do you have for women franchisees?
Samantha –
We as a company have always been taking into account as to how we can make women more empowered. We do it by providing skill classes to the ones who cannot afford, to the ones who have a knack for creating a space for themselves in the industry by having their own salons. We teach women of today to not only be skilled beauty therapists but also to be strong successful entrepreneurs by taking our franchise.

Being a mother daughter Duo, how easy or difficult was it for you to take this brand so far and maintain franchise operations well for your brand and academy?
It is a boon for us because, when I started it, I had vision and ideas. The pillars on which this company thrives but when Samantha came in and took over the company as the Managing Director, she brought with her a flurry of young ideas and perspective which is very important as there has been a lot of evolution in the industry since the time I started till today. With my experience and her new ideas and approach we are taking this company, the brand and the franchise options to a different level all together.
Samantha –
I can say that our brand has the ideal blend of experience and young ideas (which are being thoroughly and successfully executed). The evolution of the beauty industry has made it possible for us to maintain a perfect continuity of business through our brand and academy. For both we are venturing out to franchise options. We have 6 Unisex Green Salons across the country out of which majority are franchise based. Not to say that we are the pioneer in bringing about the concept of Green Salon in the country.

What are the challenges faced by women in beauty industry and how do you think we can overcome them?
I feel that women need more skilling for professionals with proper understanding of hygiene and clients need. Skilling is actually the answer to the major challenges that are there.
I think, I agree with my mother, Dr. Kochhar here, as we both have this feeling that proper imparting of education and vocational training is the most important requirement of the industry as of now.

Tell us about your academy and the way forward.
Blossom –
We were the oldest academy in town, Blossom Kochhar College of Creative Arts & Design (BKCCAD). Once you become the pioneer of teaching, you take up the responsibility of showing the right direction of evolution to an entire industry. It feels great to be able to play such a major role in the beauty industry, not only as industry experts but also as a company and an educational institution as a whole.

Samantha – We keep getting foreign artists to address our teachers and students. The exposure they receive under BKCCAD is massive. Now with a platform like World Skills to showcase your talent, and to have a place like BKCCAD to hone your skills, I think we dominate the industry pretty well. However, we are here to impart education and being able to provide world class education to our students and teachers (through workshops), I think we are doing a good job out of it.

Expansion plans for the coming year.
Blossom –
We are coming up with many new products both in the retail and the professional kt segment which also involves an active expansion in the Salon range product segment as well.
We are seeking out franchise partners who understand the nuances of the trade and who are in sync with our corporate philosophy being the major criteria. We look forward to having more Salon and academy franchisees this year.

A note for all the potential female entrepreneurs.
Do not take life too seriously, enjoy every moment of your work and be positive, there are challenges - face them chin up and you will find that the challenges that really look bad, will turn out for good – Anything that goes on, remember a greater good is hidden behind the wrong.
– Keep your focus, but also make sure to pamper yourself by giving in to your hobbies once in a while, as they help you think and thrive as an entrepreneur better.

If you had the power to make a decision in future that would contribute and bring a revolutionary change in the beauty industry, what would it be and why?
I would try and make people become more in sync with nature as going closer to nature will make people understand what they use on their skin and hair should be as safe and healing as what they eat.
To make people understand that it is important to follow an organic way of lifestyle along with using products that are nature derived. As all these together will help you stay happy, healthy and focused.

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