Growing demand of aesthetic centres in India made Anjali Ahirrao, a Chemical Engineering professional, to take grooming as career and introduce Kayakalph as one of the most sought-after skin centre in south region.
Engineers in India often switch to entrepreneurship from a successful income generating job. However, Anjali Ahirrao, a Bangalore based woman entrepreneur, has made a mark for herself by entering in aesthetics market, leaving her successful Chemical Engineering career behind. She’s not only learnt the nitty-gritties of aesthetics procedures, but has established a much sought-after brand ‘Kayakalph’ in the southern region of India. Wellness India talks to this smart Momentrepreneur to know more about her expansion plans.
Journey so far
I am a Chemical Engineering Graduate from Pune University. Post marriage, I shifted in Hyderabad from Nashik in 1991. I started my career with Hyderabad based Met-Chem, a pharma equipment manufacturer as Estimation & Design Engineer in 1995. Gradually I progressed in my career as Coordination Manager with Alfa Laval, Bangladesh in 1997 and Country Manager of De Laval, Tetra Laval Group in 1998. After a successful stint in De Laval for two years, I decided to start my own venture and returned to India. After scanning business models for Medical Transcription, Animation training, Call-center for TV Channels in USA and Retail Industry training, I finally decided to enter into Cosmetic Dermatology segment in Bangalore, which way my area of interest for long.
Kayakalph, the term is defined as ‘complete transformation of body and soul’ through innovative and ethical practices.
Position in Indian aesthetics market
My journey has been good. The overall market is growing yet demanding new and successful treatments. Our brand has already carved its niche.
Sincere perseverance definitely leads to success just like it happened to me. Initially, in any market, it takes a year to sell your ideas. However, quality of your service attracts a lot of consumers. Especially in Bangalore, people are open-minded, keeping their traditional roots intact, opt for herbs and oils for hair and skin care, still are willing to experiments.
To understand nitty-gritties of cosmetic treatments and advanced laser techniques, first I took an already running skin clinic in Bangalore and operated it for almost a year. After gaining confidence, I started my own center at Indira Nagar area, in July 2005. This New Look Laser Clinic is in partnership with Delhi based New Look brand, where we’ve installed most advanced laser machines to provide skin treatments like scar, acne, pigmentation, unwanted hair, targeted body fat reduction and so on. Over 50,000 patients have been treated so far here from South India as well as Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE. Owing to the steep growth and demand for hair services, I decided to launch a dedicated entity under my Kayakalph brand in August 2009. This Bangalore based new clinic had provided Nonsurgical baldness treatment and hair replacement therapies such as hair weaving, hair bonding, hair extension, wigs for Cancer patients and received great response from the clients. Seeing success in the ventures for almost a decade, I finally decide to touch other markets and initiated first centre in Pune in June 2013. This new center encompasses all laser skin and hair treatments including spa-salon under one roof. All the clinics or centers are equipped with high skilled and experienced Dermatologists along with a dedicated team of well-trained therapists to supervise in all the treatments.
It takes minimum one year for any brand to sell their ideas. Likewise, a year after the inception of our brand, we received good response. Changing lifestyle made metro city people grooming conscious. Moreover, Bangalore being the IT hub, people are willing to experiment with new grooming procedures to look well-maintain and groomed. Thus, aesthetics market is fast picking in south. Here, hair treatment has great demand and people want to go through these procedures. The market is no more immature, with the availability of search engine, knowledge about any subject is just a click away.
The market is huge and online is picking fast. One should always start with online and print media. Not to forget, in South India, people are still after quality service, irrespective of big brands making their mark here. People are quite intellectual here and they have trial and error method. There is also oral mouth-to-mouth advertising (spreading word of mouth). Hence, it worked well for us. One treatment, if may go wrong, then you are off the market. Hence, you need to work on every minute detail and perform well to maintain quality standards.
We are facing a lot of challenges with the entry of other clinics like hair line, hair studio and more. However, we have carved a niche for ourselves and are holding our strong market presence here.
Capital invest initially
Early capital we invested from self pocket and then gradually lure investments from the market.
Firstly, we want to establish ourselves in Maharashtra well, before moving into Northern market in India. We are looking for a franchise model and would eventually spread our market presence. I am now planning to expand business through franchise and partnership models in mid-cities across South India. This would provide employment and generate entrepreneurial opportunities for urban India in sync with current Government of India’s new growth mantras and also help in building confident personalities to face future challenges.