What were your key mandates when you joined the business? How has been your experience so far?
I joined the business more than ten years back; we use to have a retail shop of cosmetics and beauty products which was well established by my father. As for the mandate, I focused on converting our retail shop business into a success story in retail. I planned to establish a scalable business from my conventional business of a retail shop.
In 2006, we established the New Beauty Centre in Khar, Mumbai and since then, we grew to five outlets within Mumbai in five years. This was purely organic growth. All these stores in Mumbai are our direct stores. Earlier we were not keen on adopting the franchise model for expansion, but now we have changed our mind-set and have decided to be open to the idea of franchisees. We are looking to enter newer cities such as New Delhi through the franchise route.
How did you diversify into newer product categories?
We now have a long list of product categories. Since we established a credible connect with our clients, we understood their requirements, tastes and expectations; and we graduated to areas such as skin care, crockery, gifts and we introduced several international brands at our stores.
What are the key differentiating factors in the retail business specially in the beauty and cosmetics segment?
It is very important to have a scalable business plan and roadmap for growth. Specific to the beauty and cosmetics retail industry, it is very important to understand customers purchasing behaviour. Establishing a direct connect with the customer is also a very crucial thing in the success of a retail business. And another important trend that has come up in last few years is branding and the overall presentation of the store. All these factors are vital in convincing the customer to shop at our store.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
We are coming up with a shopping mall in Mumbai, which will be focused only on the beauty, crockery, cosmetics and related product categories, all appealing to women. It will be an eight floor commercial complex dedicated to all kind of shopping requirements for women. We will also open a cosmetics and make-up academy.
What potential do you see in the business of beauty concept stores?
The market is very lucrative. The buying preferences of urban population have completely changed over the last few years. When we opened our first store, we hardly had any competition, but now we can see many new stores doing good business. People are extremely conscious about how they look and they need to be given best possible products.
What importance do you give to online platforms for your business?
Yes, online is an extremely important area for us. We have invested in this and will continue to be active on this front. I am witnessing a strong trend towards online buying for our business also. According to me, over the next three years, approximately 40 percent of our business will come from the online medium.