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Salon Management Congress 2018

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Salon Management Congress 2018

Beauté Espace Media in association with Professional Beauty India brought forth the third edition of Salon Managment Congress powered by Zenoti at Mumbai. With industry experts as panelists and salon owners as delegates, the two-day event devoted to the business of successfully running a salon saw some major issues debated upon and resolved. Beauty Launchpad brings an exclusive report.

By Kanishka Ramchandani & Isha Gakhar

The Salon Management Congress (SMC) powered by Zenoti, in association with Beauté Espace Media, returned with its third edition was held at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon, on the 1st and 2nd of October, on the sidelines of Professional Beauty Expo. The agenda for SMC was to address the key concerns faced by salon owners and entrepreneurs and providing them with workable solutions and valuable advice. To this end, the teams at Beauté Espace Media Pvt Ltd and Professional Beauty India had invited top notch industry veterans to share their experiences with the audience. SMC had a full house on both days, with more enquiries coming forth from visitors to the Expo. The delegates comprised salon owners and aspiring entrepreneurs from all over the country.

Before proceedings for SMC started, Ritoo Jhha, Editor and Publisher, Beauté Espace, welcomed the delegates and laid out the agenda for the two-day seminar. Her opening speech was followed by that of Vikas Vij, CEO, IDEX, the organisers of Professional Beauty Expo. He spoke about his experience of working with the Indian beauty industry and the hopes he has from it.

As media partner for the event, Beauty Launchpad brings an exclusive report on the Salon Management Congress 2018, Mumbai.

Day 1 report

Session I: Celebrity Client Management

Ritoo Jhha introduced the esteemed panelists for this session – Adhuna Bhabani, Creative Director, BBLUNT Salons and Academy, and Asha Hariharan, Founder, Beyond the Fringe Salons and Asha Hariharan Academy. While moderating the session, Ritoo queried the speakers about the importance of working with celebrities, the dos and don’ts, salon and staff requirement etc. Both the experts spoke eloquently about their experiences of dealing with celebrities. While they encouraged the audience to work with known faces, they did not advice seeking them out. If your work is good, it will get recognised, both by your clients and celebrities. They pointed out that it is important to regard celebs, too, as clients and build a strong relationship with them. The session ended with a Q&A round.

Session II: Empowering Women in Salons

The panel on Women Empowerment had beauty heavyweights such as Nayana Karunaratne, Chairperson, Salon Nayana Chain of Salons and SN Academies in Sri Lanka & India; C K Kumaravel, CEO & Co-founder, Naturals Salon; Rekha Chaudhari, Wellness Ambassador & Managing Director – JCKRC Spa Destination Pvt Ltd; Rukmini Honawar, Creative Director/ Partner, Runah Salon; Sunita Pawar, Founder, Lookwell Salons & Academy; and Rochelle Chhabra, Professional Division Head – Streax Professional, Hygienic Research Institute Pvt Ltd. Ritoo took on the role of moderator and asked the panel questions concerning their contribution for women’s growth within the industry. While Kumaravel shared an interesting personal story, other panelists also added their experiences to the narrative. Since the rest of the panel comprised women, it was inspiring to hear each one of them speak of their struggles and achievements. The speakers then discussed the policies they have in place at their respective salons regarding empowering women employees.

Session III: Raising Capital: Getting Started and Scaling Up

The panel on finance was moderated by Kanishka Ramchandani, Managing Editor, Beauty Launchpad magazine. Speakers for this session were Chunchreek Singhvi, Lead Investments, Railways, HFCL Group; Vishal Katkoria, Director, o3 Capital and Vikram Bhatt, Founder & Director, Enrich Hair & Skin Solutions Pvt. Ltd. As the experts tackled questions from Kanishka, they ventured some practical advice on managing finances. Bhatt was strongly of the opinion that an entrepreneur should rely on savings to start off the first salon and should not look for investors for the first five salons at least. That’s the way to create a financially sustainable business. All the experts stressed on the need for proper processes and systems to handle staff, customers, inventory, back-end, etc. At the end of the session, the audience had several relevant questions, which were explicitly answered by the panel.

 Session IV: Sourcing for Success

This panel comprised Asha Hariharan, Suhash Dsouza, Head Supply Chain Management, Enrich Salons & Academy; Subham Virmani, Director (Sales & Strategy), Esskay Beauty Resources; and Mukul Pawar, Director, LooKWell Salons & Academy. It was moderated by Ritoo. From basics of managing brands and making purchases to adapting your processes while scaling up, all aspects of sourcing were considered. Virmani gave a distributor’s view of how salons can increase service offering with the right combination of products. He also stressed the importance of continuous product training.

 Session V: Building Continual Education into Your Business

This panel had Arpita Das, Managing Director, Beauness By Arpita; Avni Amlani, International Skin Expert; Major Sonali Kadam of Symbiosis Skills and Open University, Pune; Asha Hariharan, Founder & Director, Beyond The Fringe Salons; Richa Aggarwal, Founder, Cleopatra Chain of Wellness Spa & Beauty Makeovers and Spoorthy Shetty, CEO, BBLUNT. Moderated by Ritoo, the session was devoted to education and its importance in the salon business. Advanced education is a must to remain ahead of the curve, the panel surmised. It is also an add-on to retain staff. They also discussed the rise of beauty institutes and universities.

Session VI: Impact of Technology on ‘Smart Salons’

Underscoring the importance of technology in the scheme of things, this session was moderated by Sudha Madhuri, VP – Service, Zenoti. She started with a presentation on Zenoti and its findings about the salon business. Other panelists included Samir Hariharan, Beyond the Fringe; Istayak Ansari, Director-cofounder, Lloyds Luxuries Ltd; Samir Srivastav, Chief Executive Officer, Jean-Claude Biguine Salon & Spa, India; and Sachin Kamat, Director, Employee & Customer Engagement, Enrich Salons & Academy. The tech honchos discussed the use of technology in increasing your business. They debated on the repercussions of investing in smart technology. While all the salon brands on the panel were using Zenoti, the panel concluded that technology is the way forward for salons.

With a vote of thanks, the first day of SMC powered by Zenoti came to a close.

Managing celebrity clients is an art. Salon owners need to understand the pros and cons of working with celebs before making it their prerogative.

Day 2 report

The second day of SMC presented an array of stellar sessions with speakers talking about the solutions to shape the future of the beauty and salon industry.

Session I: Disaster  Management: Lessons from Kerala

Day 2 commenced  with a keynote by Ritoo on disaster management for the salon business, in the wake of Kerala floods. The session began with a powerful video message from Dr Maya Bhasi, Senior Consultant (Wellness & Alternative Medicine), Sparsh Wellness & Alternative Medicine Clinic, Chengannur Kerala. She spoke about how salon insurance can shield the business from financial losses, especially on account of disaster management. The panel further introduced insurance advisor Rajesh Kamdar to discuss the types of insurances needed by a salon business, role of insurance in disaster risk reduction and so on.

Session II: Marketing Strategy for Salons: Building a Sustainable Brand

Moderated by Pushkaraj Shenai, Chief Executive Officer, Lakmé Lever, the insightful session dished out ‘the 7Ps of marketing for salons’. The panel featured Sachin Kamat, Director, Employee & Customer Engagement, Enrich Salons & Academy along with Vandana Bhardwaj, Spokesperson & Director at Marie Claire Paris Salon & Wellness. The key takeaways from the session were the powerful practices to advance your salon image, including the new-age marketing tools such as social media, engaging influencers, bloggers, and so on.

Session III: Staff Retention: Is there a Tried and Tested  Formula to Manage Attrition?

Rohit Dedhia, Director, Enrich Salons; Richa Aggarwal, Founder, Cleopatra Chain of Wellness Spa & Beauty Makeovers; and Rizwan Ahmad, GM Sales – Streax Professional Division, Hygienic Research Institute Pvt Ltd, engaged in an insightful dialogue, which shed light on the challenges that salon owners face to manage and motivate staff. Other significant issues raised by the experts revolved around successful HR policies and work culture that a salon needs to adapt for higher employee turnover. The interaction was facilitated by Kanishka.

 Session IV: Your Salon’s Brand Ambassadors: Grooming your Staff to be your Champions

The panel discussion between Disha Meher, Head of Training – Salon & Spa at UrbanClap; Miriam Mathew, Director, Stream Spas; and Asha Hariharan, highlighted the significance of grooming for your salon staff. From uniforms to hygiene standards, the experts discussed the important aspects for your brand development. Moderated by Kanishka, the session featured expert tips on the power of positive attitude, soft skills and impeccable grooming. The session concluded with Miriam’s presentation on soft skills training.

 Session V: Skincare Verticals in Salons

Being one of the standout sessions at SMC, the panel had Bikram Sapra, Managing Director, JB Skincare Pvt Ltd; Marisa Goel, Owner, Serena’s Beauty Salon and The Skin Inn; Avni Amlani; Hina Khan, Education Head, Dermalogica; and Rukshmani Thakkar, Head – Skin, Enrich Salons. The session was moderated by Ritoo with an emphasis on worldwide accreditations like CIDESCO / VTCT. Other pointers discussed were — skills required in choosing the right products, how picking the right product can deliver beautiful results to your clients, and understanding how to adopt new technologies, machines and lasers in your salon.

 Session VI: Trend Collections and Editorial Shoots

The finale session of SMC was on curation of trend collections. Led by Vipul Chudasama, Director, Vipul Chudasama Hair Education & Studio, the session featured celebrity photographer Saurabh Muley and Natasha Nischol, Co-Founder and Director, FAT MU, with Kanishka as moderator. The experts answered questions around the relevance of trend collections/ lookbooks for salons, right time to create one’s own collections, working backstage at fashion events and in films/TV. The day concluded with a thank-you speech by Ritoo amidst huge applause by the audience.

The Mumbai leg of the Salon Management Congress powered by Zenoti was a resounding success. Delegates indulged in intense discussions and participated in insightful Q & A sessions. Many renowned speakers were open for networking and interaction in-between sessions, spreading their expertise and knowledge. Each one of the participants left with a treasure trove of knowledge about efficient running of salons, which is sure to enhance the overall salon management experience in the country.

Quality continued education is the only point-of-interest that will help you retain talented staff in the long run.

Smart technology is the need of the hour. Think ahead and invest in smart solutions to create Smart Salons of the future.