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Interview 2016-05-16

Over 150 entrepreneurs have partnered for our franchise model: Lakmé Lever CEO

Lakmé Salon has a strong market presence of 270+ salons across 70 cities in India, with 20% COCO and 80% FOFO models.

Over 150 entrepreneurs have partnered for our franchise model: Lakmé Lever CEO

Currently pegged at over Rs230crore, Indian beauty services industry offers huge opportunities across the value chain for talented beauty and styling professionals, managers and entrepreneurs. Grooming is an essential aspect of a modern Indian’s lifestyle including a rapidly increasing demography of male consumers. There is a strong desire to look stylish and feel good, amongst both men and women.

According to a recent NSDC report, India’s beauty and wellness sector is expected to witness the maximum growth in the next 7years, in terms of skilled workforce, making it the fastest growing job creator in the country. The industry offers a plethora of opportunities, not just as beauticians and managers, but even for aspiring entrepreneurs.

While beauty services is an attractive and growing industry, running a salon has its challenges – scarcity of skilled talent has forced many single salons to shut shop, availability of the right professional products, customers expect the latest services and switch easily, using the right equipment and SOPs is critical, the design and ambience of the salon needs significant investment.

Franchising allows people with no background in the industry to learn and thrive quickly – ready to roll out model, easy to attract talent, ongoing support, higher ROI.

To give you better insight of the Lakmé salon franchise, WI Bureau spoke to Pushkraj Shenai, CEO, Lakmé Lever. Here is the edited excerpt of the same:

Franchise saga of Lakmé salon

Lakmé has over 35 years of experience in the salons industry and has been franchising since 2001.With the rich legacy, and a deep understanding of the beauty industry the processes within the company are refined with a proven model,that finds easy success across the country, whether it is Bandraor Batala.

We are expanding Lakmé Salon with a proven model across regions and population strata aggressively through the franchising route. Today Lakmé Salon has a presence of 270 plus salons, across 70 cities. 20% of the network is company owned and operated, while 80% is franchisee owned and operated.

Over the years we have filtered and polished our franchisee model. The comprehensive 6P support model handhold our business partners across the 6Ps, which includes Place, People, Portfolio, Process, Promotion and Personality. Through this we mentor and support our franchise partners at every step and help them become successful entre-PRO-neurs. We have a single-unit, multi-unit and a master- franchisee model. More than 150 entrepreneurs have partnered with Lakmé Lever as franchisees to own Lakmé Salons across the country. Backed by a comprehensive franchisee support model, expansion is one of the key focus areas for the company.

Best performing franchisees

Being in a service-oriented business, delivering excellence in customer experience is the core objective, while evaluating performance of a Lakmé Salon. Numerous factors are used to measure performance. Therefore, we can’t single out just one salon.

People are at the heart of a service business and hence it is critical to start with a strong and branded People strategy. The Lakmé people strategy revolves around the promise of ‘Styling your life’ and all franchisee business partners and their salon teams bring the brand alive for our consumers, and continue to deliver the promise of Runway Excellence Everyday consistently across every touch point. We measure the performance of our salon on revenue and customer service metrics like the Net Promoter Score, Mystery Audits, among others. The best performing business partners form the Lakmé Advisory Council, a distinguished forum where ideas, learnings and recommendations for business strategies are exchanged.

Franchisee selection criteria

Lakmé Entre-PRO-neurs, who view Lakmé Salon and the beauty industry as a profession and not just a business, are our preferred partners in this journey.We have partnered with more than 130 professionals – CAs, MBAs, Doctors, IT professionals - and entrepreneurs with an ability to execute with discipline and manage teams to grow from single salons to a multi-unit operation.

The Lakmé Entre-PRO-neur programme comprises of a comprehensive 6P support model for franchisees to help them build a successful business and an image for themselves.

6Ps of Lakme Lever franchise:

  • Place: Catchment study to launch a salon;
  • People: Assist with talent recruitment and training;
  • Portfolio: Providing the best products and leading Innovation services;
  • Process: Support with Infrastructure and operations;
  • Promotion: Support on the advertising and marketing front;
  • Personality: Help develop image and leadership

Lakmé Salon has tie ups with State Bank of India, Bharatiya Mahila Bank and Axis Bank also to help them avail of startup finance (even without collateral).

Young franchisee

We’ve had some of our top performing franchise partners who started off with us in their early-20s and have grown with Lakmé Salon into multi-unit operators. Many of our recent business partners are in their early and mid-30s who’ve wanted to move from corporate life to entrepreneurship, and found Lakmé Salon as the partner of choice. Several CAs, MBAs from top notch institutes – Jamnalal Bajaj, IIM, ISB, Symbiosis, IT professionals, doctors have joined Lakmé as business partners in recent times.

Five years down

Lakmé Salon is committed to take its promise of Runway Excellence Everyday to a larger number of consumers, by growing the network from 270 salons in 70 cities at the rate of 2 salons every week, across the country, in metros, Tier II and Tier III cities. We want to train and skill 50,000 beauty experts in the next 5 years through 80 Lakmé Academies and we also aim to build and extend our network to 500 talented business partners.

Expansion plans

We are expanding Lakmé Salons across the country, in Metro’s, Tier II and III towns. Expansion of our Lakmé Fast N Fab model will be focused in top metro cities at this point.

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