I came across Praveena for the first time when I called her up one fine morning in the month of June, 2015. The first impression that I was stuck with was her firm but soft voice. She was professional and talked point to point.
Praveena was born and has been brought up in Bangalore. Her father’s native place is a small village in the Kolar district of Karnataka and she enjoyed visiting the place as a kid. “It is a small heaven surrounded by dense forests. We used to spend our summer vacations over there with innovative adventurous activities” recalls Praveena with almost a childlike glee. According to her, the inspiration for trying out new ideas started from there.
Praveena is the youngest of 3 siblings. “My parents are from Carnatic classical music back ground. They are very traditional and believe in spirituality”, says Praveena.
“As per my opinion growing up in a good joint family gives you great knowledge and also teaches and prepares you well to face society.”
Praveena has completed her secondary school in Bharathiya Samskruti Vidya Peet, a renowned girl’s school in Vijayanagar, Bangalore and PUC in SJR College, Bangalore.
After her marriage, she has attended a whole lot of prestigious beauty academies. These include the beauty course at VLCC and hair Diploma in L'Oreal professionals and Make up advance course by Makeup studio Germany.
"I have attended international master classes in Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Cape Town etc. to continuously upgrade my skills.".
By her qualifications, one should know that this lady does know her stuff pretty well.
One being asked why he took interest in this industry, Praveena replies “It was something I got introduced to after my marriage as my husbands’ family used to own a gents salon.”
“We started the unisex salon in 2008. Since then as a passionate couple we planned and procured many ideas and activities and are running 7 outlets successfully.”
It was in the year 2012 when the idea of opening a salon chain really came up as a major thought.
“We had observed the phenomenal growth of the beauty and wellness industry in India."
By then, Praveena and her husband already had 3 established outlets. According to her, that gave them the confidence to go ahead and actually materialize the idea of a salon chain.
The problems faced- Lack of man power
“The biggest problem was the lack of skilled man power. The lack of education and technical knowledge in the service providers was a big problem at that time.”
Other problems included inventory management as they had not tied up with any single brand.
“Increased cost of expenses due to small repairs and maintenance was also a problem at that time” recalls Praveena.
On asked that how did they managed to solve all these problems, Praveena replies, “With the technological advance, many things have become much simpler now. There are applications available now days, with which management activities like accounting, billing, and centralized inventory management are happening smoothly and accurately.
“The biggest advancement that we have made is that the manpower is now trained in our academy according to B-enzo standards."
According to Praveena, the plan ahead for them is to go into franchise mode with B-enzo.
“Of course, the final ambition is to set a benchmark in the Indian Salon Industry.
“The major piece of advice I would like to give is that just believe in yourself and always stick to the best standards.”
“The spa and salon industry has come up a long way, but it still has lots of scope which are still now covered. So, there is plenty of opportunity for newcomers, provided that they apply themselves well” reflects Praveena.
The positivity exuded by Praveena was evident from the gleam in her eyes as she spoke about the various opportunities about salon & fitness industry. It reinforced our belief that beauty & wellness industry is a fantastic industry growing at a phenomenal rate. The service industry is transforming as individual spend power increases in the metros in India. KPMG estimates the overall industry to grow to about 13 Billion USD by 2017-18.
So this was the end to an insightful talk. Hope you guys liked it.