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Oct, 05 2015

Of women, by women & for women

South India-based Naturals has hit the mark by taking the salon count to 500, of which 80% salons are consistently run by women franchisees across India. To set off massive growth in India & international markets, its mission is to collaborate with 1,000

Investing in beauty and salon industry is a highly profitable business proposition for women who want to fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams. The only factor that has caught every entrepreneur's attention is primarily the “feel good factor” that everyone craves for.The industry is becoming the safest haven for women franchisees and entrepreneurs as growing urban culture, rising spending power, high levels of stress, beauty treatments at salons and spa trends and so on have turned out to be the part of people's lifestyle. Understanding the dearth to provide quality services at best price points and the capacity to scale new heights were the reasons that inspired the Founders of Chennai's popular chainNaturals to make a foray into recession free business of beauty.

Naturals is a business venture of husband wife duo C.K Kumaravel and Veena Kumaravel, who started their innings in beauty and wellness industry a decade ago. The couple has achieved remarkable growth in running a chain of beauty salons in all over South India. In just a decade of its operations, the brand has successfully created ripples in the beauty industry by reaching the mark of 500 operational salons across India. The brand created close to 400 financially successful women entrepreneurs across the country of whom; almost 80% are housewives who had never held a job before they entered the world of business. To take this growth to the new level, Naturals has set a target to create 1,000 women entrepreneurs, set up 3,000 salons and create job opportunities for 50,000 people by the end of 2018.

Besides offering franchise opportunity, the brand also operates training academies with a view to revolutionise the art of grooming and to provide scientific and systematic training to aspirants wishing to pursue a career in beauty and wellness industry. The vast variety of products and services at Naturals spell quality services at affordable rates and has evoked confidence in millions. To steer this consistent growth, the brand has joined hands with the style diva and Bollywood queen, Kareena Kapoor Khan as their new brand ambassador.

Felicitating mothers

As the old adage goes, “Behind every successful man or a woman, there is a woman. And the one who deserves the credit is none other than the mother.”In one-of-its-kind initiative to felicitate mother of every super achiever and on opening 500th Naturals Salons in the country, Naturalsin association with The Times Group organised a grand event to recognise, applaud, celebrate and salute the efforts and sacrifices of achiever's mothers from different genres across sports, music, business, dance and literature. Some of the eminent guests who attended the event include Cricket Legend - Sachin Tendulkar, Music DirectorA.R. Rahman, Industrialist Mukesh Ambani, Chanda Kochhar, Entertainment - Sivamani, Singer - Hariharan, Actor - Dhanush amongst others. In its first edition of “Mothers of India Awards2015”, Naturals felicitated and honoured mothers of country's greatest gems.“As India's most prominent salon chain, we are proud to say we have achieved a presence of 500 salons across India with a view to make India beautiful by providing quality service at affordable rates. The cause of women has always been close to our heart as is evident by the strength of our women franchise family who now manage 400 of our stores. The success of Naturals is ample proof of what women can achieve and is an effective portrayal of what the future holds for women power,” says Veena Kumaravel, Co-founder of Naturals Salon and Spa.

Offering a franchise friendly model

Naturals have been into beauty business since 2002 and so far strengthened its reach to untapped locations by way of franchise model.Apart from company owned stores, the brand follows purely a franchise-owned-franchise-operated (FOFO) model for expansion of Naturals Unisex Stores as standard operating procedures (SOPs) works in its favour. The brand has strong footprint in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, AP, Telangana, Kerala, Delhi and NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Kolkata, Punjab, Lucknow, Jaipur and various other cities. Commenting about growth the achieved by way of franchise route, C.K Kumaravel, CEO & Co-Founder, Naturals, says: “Naturals is keen on promoting women entrepreneurs and hence provides an opportunity to associate with the brand by owning a franchise salon of Naturals anywhere in India. The most attractive part is that first time franchise partners will get the appropriate training and support before venturing into business.”

A franchise partner at Naturals can expect return on investment in about three years' time. As a franchise friendly company, it is willing to go that extra mile to support its franchise partners. The brand handholds franchise partners in all matters like choosing the perfect location, setting up the salon from scratch, interior design work, product sourcing and equipment, recruitment and training of staff, right up to the launch of the salon. After the launch, the brand guides the franchise partner with full support in training, recruitment and marketing not only till they break even but even after.

Naturals monitors its franchisee's performance on periodical basis through software and every salon has a company appointed area manager, whose primary responsibility is relationship building and management.

Supporting franchisees

Franchising model turns out as a win-win situation for small entrepreneurs when they join big brands as franchise partners in many ways. Naturals provides regular training and business support to its franchisees via following ways:

  • Financial support: To overcome issues related to financial assistance, Naturals has a tie up with Axis Bank and Indian Overseas Bank for providing financial assistance to prospective entrepreneurs and franchisees.
  • Marketing and advertising support: To support its franchisees, the brand focusses on salon centric activities to attract walk-ins within new and existing salons. Advertisements and promotional campaigns are run on print, digital media and radio. The brand has tied up with professional agencies to execute below-the-line (BTL) activities. It is actively involved on social media as well. Be it Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr, the brand is there on all the possible forums. Apart from this, the brand shares personal texts with its customers to update them about any new services or to receive feedback.
  • Site selection: Getting the right location is the first and most important step of the site selection process. The brand conducts an extensive research related to demographics, retail outlets in the area, catchment areas, institutes and corporates in the locality are a few of the factors that are evaluated before a store location is finalised.

Best Performing Franchisees @ Naturals Hair & Beauty Salon

Preethi Menon: From receptionist to a franchise partner

She joined Naturals as a receptionist way back in 2000 for the first Naturals Unisex Salon in Chennai.Her background was stage artist and classical dancer. When the make- up artist in the salon quit suddenly, Preethi stepped in, to take her place. Naturals ensured that she was trained by experts such as Dominique Cruz and Ambika Pillai. In 2007, she was asked to take over the salon in Nungambakkam, Chennai, when it converted to a Make-Up Studio .

Sowmya Anand: From housewife to franchise partner

Sowmya Anand is a relative of Veena Kumaravel. She was asked to become one of the partners of a Naturals Unisex salon in Kottivakkam. She never had an experience of running a salon. Today, she is running three salons in T Nagar, 2 Unisex and 1 Lounge, and her salons are the highest grossing salons in Chennai.

Prabha Vignesh: From small town housewife to multi-unit franchise partner

She hails from Thanjavur. She was married into a family that believed women should remain in the kitchen. She never gave business a second thought till she was asked to take up the franchise of Naturals in Thanjavur. She established the first Naturals in the town and is now a multi-unit franchise partner with nine salons in Tamil Nadu. Her extraordinary efforts and commitment to business have made it possible for her to launch the luxury brand of Naturals, Page 3, in the swanky locality of the East Coast Road in Chennai.

Expansion strategy

C.K. Kumaravel positively shares his brand's vision. He says: “To make Naturals the number one salon brand in the world, we are looking at 10,000 salons worldwide by 2025. Work is in progress in Dubai and Gulf countries where a Master Franchisee has been identified and we will be opening six new outlets soon. Talks are currently ongoing regarding our entry into the American market as well.” Besides having a strong hold in the Southern region of India, the brand is currently eyeing to expand in non-south areas of India including North and West. The brand wants to strengthen its presence in tier II and III cities across India.

Fulfill your entrepreneurial dreams by joining hands with Naturals and do your bit towards creating job opportunities in beauty industry to accomplish 'Make in India' initiative.

AWARDS & ACCOLADES

  • NDTV-Hindu Award for India's Favourite Salon
  • Hair Magazine's Award for India's Fastest Growing Salon Chain
  • Confederation of Indian Industry's Emerging Entrepreneur Award India Retail Forum's
  • India's Most Admired Salon Chain Award

Franchise Facts

Naturals inception: 2000

Existing stores: 500

Investment: Rs 50 lakh approx

Area: 1,200 sq.ft

Expansion plans: 3,000 salons, 1,000 women franchisees and creating 10,000 job opportunities by 2018

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