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Jan, 03 2011

An eye for beauty & Business

An entrepreneur with over 25 years of international experience, he opened the first salon offering services in hair, beauty and nails in Mumbai in 1995. In an interview to Beny Sachdeva, Nitin Kalwani, Managing Director, Juice salons, talks about the grow

An entrepreneur with over 25 years of international experience, he opened the first salon offering services in hair, beauty and nails in Mumbai in 1995. In an interview to Beny Sachdeva, Nitin Kalwani, Managing Director, Juice salons, talks about the growing opportunity in the beauty business.

What kind of growth do you foresee for your brand and the beauty industry in the coming years?

With India having the youngest population, beauty and salon industry is going to grow at a tremendous pace. We envisage this to be the golden decade for beauty and salon industry in India. Many more major salon chains are eyeing this country or are already present here. Juice, as a brand, is one of the most visible local players in India and Middle East. It is poised to take on this growth opportunity.

What is the USP of Juice salons?

Cutting edge services with best manpower and products in a sleek environment clubbed with excellent customer experience.

How many of your outlets are franchised pan India and what are your expansion plans?

We have 16 outlets out of which 10 are franchised. We plan to open 100 more salons in all major metros, mini-metros and tier II cities.

What kind of training and support do you extend to your franchisees?

From manpower training to successful launch of the outlet, we provide complete range of training programmes required. To name a few, we conduct basic to advance hair, nail and beauty courses. In addition, we take them through product knowledge, operating processes, local marketing, customer service, personality development and other technical trainings.

Skilled manpower is a challenge, how do you overcome it?

You have hit the nail in the right place. Yes, indeed, this is one of our biggest challenges in light of the absence of many good beauty and hair schools in India. Not enough hairdressers and technicians are coming through the existing system. We take this not as a challenge but as an opportunity to create interest among the youth to take up this lucrative career option, where they not only train with us, but are also provided with a job guarantee. In many ways, it works in our favour, as during initial training programmes, they get well versed with our processes and style of functioning.

You have extended your services to exclusive spa and nail bars. Do you have any plans to further provide franchise for your nail bar and spa services.

Nail is the fastest growing beauty category in the rest of the world. India is also following suit. So, yes, we are expanding our nail business aggressively through franchise and company-owned stores. As far as spa is concerned, the company is not involved in full-fledged spa operations but some of our salons offer some spa services.

How do you monitor service standards being followed by the franchisees?

To begin with, the Juice culture of premium customer experience is shared with the franchisees in the form of initial training, which is followed by regular systemised quality audits.

Any mandatory pre-requisite to become your franchisee?

Apart from the financial capability and location, we look for a franchisee, who is passionate about beauty business. The previous experience in the same industry helps, but it's not a pre-requisite for becoming a Juice franchisee.

What kind of locations do you prefer?

High street, ground floor with parking availability or a successful mall are some of the parameters that we look for in a location. It depends on the city and location but on an average, the investment required is approx Rs 45-50 lakh.

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