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Indian aesthetics is dominated by women & we’ll continue doing so: Dr. Jamuna B Pai

Known as the first aesthetician who sets epitome of women power in Indian wellness industry, Dr. Jamuna B Pai doesn’t require an elaborate introduction. Her achievements are way higher than her years of professional experience.

Indian aesthetics is dominated by women & we’ll continue doing so: Dr. Jamuna B Pai

After completing her grads in cosmetology in 1992-93, the first Indian cosmetologist, Dr. Jamuna Pai was clueless of her next career move. Her passion towards beauty industry forced her to get into the space, however, the lady was exposed to open challenges but no guidance.

Once sitting outside a homeopathy clinic, this dynamic women entrepreneur made her mind to turn to professional skin care doctor, a term not known in India, and specialized from UK. The six months course turned a milestone in her career and helped her establish a renowned brand - Blush clinic.

Wellness India brings you entrepreneurial journey of this woman entrepreneur, who set an example in the wellness space by curating a brilliant venture in a male dominating society. Edited excerpts:

What inspired you to launch your own skin care clinic after graduating from Nair Hospital Mumbai?
Initially, I was clueless of my next career move. However, after getting the cosmetology degree, I met with a friend who took me along to visit the homeopathy doctor in beauty. Though, that doctor did not allow me to entre his clinic, sitting outside was the Eureka moment of my life as there I observed that the doctor’s degree can help me pursue practice in the beauty space. Thereafter, I decided to become a skin care doctor and also started a writing blogs.

Meanwhile, another friend suggested me to learn a beauty and special skin care course from UK. Being a middle class family, it was challenging to go and study in UK for the six month skin care course.

Share your family’s reaction towards your decision?
I was meagerly well with our economic condition at that stage with my husband being self employed. However, my husband was the biggest support I had who was by my side with love and companionship, along with my in-laws. They all encouraged me to pursue the beauty course in UK for the brighter future and even took responsibility of my two sons.

Share story of your UK study too. Was it equally challenging?
In UK, I completed my studies and honed my skills under the globally acclaimed dermatologists. There, the skin care treatments centered around white skin, while Indians have brown skin. Thereby, I had to extend my research to suffice for brown skin. I’ve introduced exclusive skin treatments and techniques like Fraxel, Thermage, Skin Lightening peels and filler injections in India. For over 19 years, I had the first mover advantage in the skin care industry.

In those six months, I learn the basic nuances of skin care thoroughly. After completing the course, I returned India and started Blush clinic in Bandra (Mumbai) first in 1994, with a staff of 6 people, to offer globally renowned skin treatments and rest is history.

How is your entrepreneurial journey so far?
Blush became an instant success. Right from its inception, I enjoyed the loyal patronage of well known names and clients in India and abroad. I had decided to target premium niche clientele and fortunately, I bagged Bollywood celebrities from the opening of my skin care clinic. In fact, my first clinic was inaugurated by actress Zeena Tamaan who was accompanied by the then Miss World Aishwarya Rai and Miss Universe Sushmita Sen.
   The media publicity I got from India Times at that time gave enough publicity to my clinic and brought me a lot of clients. In span of six years, we had three clinics. I opened my second clinic in Andheri in 1996, followed by a third outlet in South Mumbai in 1998. By 2008, I’ve launched my first clinic outside Mumbai, in the newly developed Pune city. While we extended our presence in Delhi in 2013with our first franchise opened in national capital.
    In 2006, Blush was incorporated as a company under the name of Blush Clinics Pvt. Ltd. and at the same time also I commenced Thermage and skin lightening peels. As of 2007, Blush has also tied up with Jet Airways for providing beauty, grooming and skin care training to its staff.
Planning to expand Blush Clinics across India through franchising in the coming three years.

How did you single handedly revolutionized peoples view of botox and dermal fillers as being only anti-ageing solutions?
In 2000, I introduced Botox surgery in all the 3 Blush clinics. I also launched laser hair removal treatment to the country in 2002.  It was that time when women were largely unaware and afraid of the laser treatments. Very few women use to turn up for the surgery. In the last six years, I managed to change people’s perception for Botox and dermal fillers, as it’s the only anti-ageing solution that uses drugs beyond traditional utility.

However, today, the surgery has become much popular due to adequate media exposure, social media promotions and the quest of girls to pursue modeling as career. Technology has changed the core dynamics of skin care treatment and it can be minimally invasive with the qualified physician.

How did manage to raise fund for your business and how much you invested in it initially?
For the clinic, I bought first skin care machine on five years EMI, but I didn’t use it for long. I invested around Rs 25 lakh from my own pocket initially.

Elaborate on your professional achievements so far.
In 2010, I launched DJPIMAC Dr Jamuna Pai's Institute for Medical and Aesthetic Cosmetology, which trains medical professionals the art of Botox, Dermal Fillers, Aesthetic Lasers and Peeling Agents. We have educated about 150 doctors of India, UK, US and South Africa.

In 2011, I was conferred ‘Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini’ for the outstanding service in the field of Aesthetic Medicine and promoting the social cause empowering women. In 2013, I received the Doordarshan Sahyadri Hirkani Award for my pioneering role in the field of cosmetology in India, which is one of the fastest growing sectors today.

Moreover, I have been presenting my expertise with countless other doctors through sessions at major scientific and anti-ageing conferences across the globe including the Anti-Ageing World Congress (AMWC) in Monaco, the European Masters in Anti-Ageing Medicine (IMCAS) and the International Congress in Aesthetic Dermatology (ICAD) in Thailand, to name a few.

How you empower Indian women to become future entrepreneurs and encourage female students through Jamuna Pai's Institute for Medical and Aesthetic Cosmetology in particular?
I hold workshops and seminars across the country to motivate Indian women. Also, I have written a book on anti-ageing titled as ‘No One Has to Know’. The royalty of this book goes for the empowerment of acid victim survivors. Moreover, I empower female students at large through my coaching institute.

How do you find market competition posed by players like Kaya Skin Clinic?
I don’t look at the competition. Kaya has mass number of clinics and we have limited clinics focusing on high quality service.

According to you, what is the status of skin care treatment industry in India and how women entrepreneurs backing it?
It’s an ever-growing industry in India, largely covered by women entrepreneurs and will be dominated by the women professionals & consumers.

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