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Nov, 01 2011

Profits, naturally!

Business of beauty is set to make ripples in the industry, as a lot of women-preneurs are hopping on to the idea of maximum returns. For robust growth, Naturals is betting big on lady luck.

NATURALS, South India’s largest and India’s fastest growing salon chain, is the creation of first generation entrepreneur CK Kumaravel, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Naturals, who started the business for his wife Veena Kumaravel, Founder and Chairperson, Naturals.

The journey began in 2000. During initial stages of business set-up, they had to run around for funding, as the salon business was not considered a big business and had a taboo attached to it. After striving for years, the company has come a long way with franchisees sealing the deal and driving the beauty business forward.

Road to success

For women entrepreneurs, a beauty salon business has always been observed as rational yet apt business opportunity. Veena feels: “Women are as competitive and capable as men, provided they have a framework to operate on. My aim was to provide that framework and build on it. I wanted to build a business that had a sizeable profit margin, was a repeat business and had no serious threat from big players.” Currently, about 2/3rd of Naturals franchisees are women. Naturals provides a framework with guidelines and standard operating procedures to assist women in keeping up the standards and brand image of Naturals irrespective of its location.

The brand aims to target interested franchisees with hands-on approach, flair for customer service and manpower management skills.

As far as brand's marketability is concerned, this business of beauty is driven by word-of-mouth. The brand looks at aggressive below-the-line marketing campaigns to fetch customers. It's then up to each salon to ensure that customer comes back for repeat services. The company connects with big events across to highlight the brand apart from advertisements in leading magazines and publications. Naturals brand ambassador, Bollywood actress Genelia D'Souza is also its loyal customer from the past five years.

Multiplying profits

Presently, Naturals Salon operates through 110 salons, of which six are company-owned while the rest are owned by franchisees. When asked about expanding their brand's presence, Veena said: "We are aggressively eyeing to launch 100 more salons in this financial year."

Franchise Facts

ROI: 30-36 months

Break-even: Rs 3.5-4.5 lakh

Investment: Rs 40-50 lakh

Area: 1,500 sq.ft

Target locations: Malls, high streets

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