Last month we reported on VanityCube and Vyomo, two startups in the beauty and wellness segment. BulBul, working in the same sector, is an on-demand beauty and personal care services platform running out of Chandigarh. BulBul offers a luxurious and customized beauty experience, complete with high quality products; at one’s doorstep by hand-picked experienced beauty professionals, at that.
Bulbul has been founded by Sahil Bansal, who earlier co-founded and worked as the CEO of Prodigy Foods. Nitish Gupta and Ramneek Kaur, who have worked as consultants before, are the other core members, together leading a 15 member team.
The idea of Bulbul came from a past project of Sahil’s, on HNI preferences in luxurious experiences and services. It was sparked by Sahil’s wife being unable to find even a single salon to avail of a beauty service in the early morning hours.
Talking about their model, Sahil explains “We provide beauty and wellness services in the home, a secure and convenient environment, using premium products. We tie up with beauty professionals who have substantial experience in this sector. Most of them have previously worked in reputed salons, and had left because of inflexible timings and less/ no growth opportunities. We aim to empower them by offering them a major share of service costs. All our beauty professionals go through screening, training, and a background check, thus ensuring quality.”
“Minimal Turn Around Time (TAD) and availability at odd hours makes it a valuable option for working women and last-minute plans. Within three months of the launch in Chandigarh, we have seen exciting growth and high user engagement” Sahil adds.
The customer can avail of a service from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and can book 2 hours prior to the service time. All the user needs to do is download the BulBul app on a smartphone and book a service by following three easy steps. The app is available on both android and iOS app stores.
About expansion plans, the BulBul team explains, “Presently, BulBul has more than 4K registered users and has served around 1K bookings with 50% repeat customers. We are about to launch our services in Gurgaon, and aim to serve 200 customers per day in Chandigarh and Gurgaon very soon”
According to a KPMG report, the beauty and wellness industry in India will be worth US $13 billion by 2017. Sahil believes that since a large segment of this arena (70-80%) is unorganized, there is a huge potential for growth.
The salon and beauty segment has gained the interest of investors over the past one year. Beauty and grooming e-commerce platform Purplle raised over $5 million in its Series A round from IvyCap Ventures in January this year, while Nykka raised $3.4 million through private investors, including HNIs and NRIs. This was to boost the brand’s expansion plans in the omni-channel retail space. Yet to be launched mobile-centric beauty and wellness platform Vyomo also secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding from cricketing icon Yuvraj Singh’s floated startup fund YouWeCan Ventures.
We can already see growing activity in the beauty and wellness segment, and it will surely be something to watch out for this year.