Naturals to open outlets in Sri Lanka, Dubai

L N Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 13, 2018

C K Kumaravel, Chief Executive and founder of Groom India Salon & Spa Pvt Ltd (file pic)

C K Kumaravel, Chief Executive and founder of Groom India Salon & Spa Pvt Ltd, is aiming to reach the No 1 position in the world in the salon business by 2025.

In an informal chat with BusinessLine, Kumaravel said “despite taking the country to great heights, India cannot still boast of being on top in any one field; I have, therefore, vowed to emerge on top in the hair and beauty salon business by 2025.”

Asked if he is looking at the inorganic route to grow in size, he said “we did contemplate, but have not found a perfect fit yet. Salon per se is a highly fragmented industry.”

Welcoming the competition due to the emergence of other unisex salons, he said “it has kept us on our toes. We were a little complacent for some time, but the period of growth from 300 to 500 salons was indeed a Midas touch (for me). Now, we are well on our way to putting everything in place.”

The efforts include establishment of a training academy in Chennai, high focus on digital marketing and CRM and service quality.

“Earlier, we were looking at one salon in a city/ town. Now it is a cluster approach. Further, we have the first mover advantage and enough information on what will work and what will not in every area.”

Pan-India presence apart, Kumaravel says the company is simultaneously working on establishing a presence in Dubai and Sri Lanka. “Enquiries are aplenty from the Indian diaspora across the world. The launch in Sri Lanka is slated for April and around Id (June–July) in Dubai.”

The company plans to co-invest in these two markets to give the (foreign) franchise confidence, while retaining control.

The total investment on the salon business has been around Rs 30 cr and mostly from internal accruals, he added.

To a query on the challenges, he said “human capital. It is rather acute in this business. As a brand and a leader in this space, we need to lend credibility to the industry, the job. We need to create heroes.”

“For instance, if you are a hairdresser and more so a girl, you can't get a groom. The churn is rather high,” he added.

To address this issue, the company has established a training academy. “We plan to expand this facility with NSDC support.”

“We impart training and place them on contract. There are 4,700 people working with us. We would have trained more than 15,000 individuals till date.”

Apart from Naturals, Groom India has floated Page 3, which is the luxury segment of the salon.

There are seven such Page 3 salons at present. Kumaravel foresees huge scope for expanding the Page 3 chain network. “We want to open at least one Page 3 salon every quarter, but this has to be planned carefully. The investment is around Rs 2 cr per Page 3 salon,” he added.

Published on February 23, 2017

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