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B’Glam with this startup from the comfort of home

Vishal Krishna
3rd Aug 2017
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According to IBEF, the beauty services market will be $20 billion industry by 2025 which is being disrupted by new-age services like Urban Clap. B'Glam is a late entrant in the beauty service market, but the founders' hope their experience in operations & technology can help them take on the biggies.

Rachna Karnad, an engineer from Bengaluru, wants the very best beauty services. Unfortunately she stays outside the business district in the city and does not want to go to the local beauty parlour. She discovers B’Glam, and orders a package that includes services like waxing, bleach and massage. The B’Glam beautician reaches Rachna’s home at a time of her choosing and offers the service.

This business of bringing home the beautician is what the company offers and the business was started by Vishal Dewani and Chaithra Shree, who met at a corporate venture. They discussed how technology could help solve local services and after ideating from January 2015 to November 2015, they homed in on the idea of providing beauty services for the modern woman.

Vishal and Chaithra, the founders of B'Glam, a beauty services company

Vishal Dewani, Co-Founder of B’Glam, says: “We see this as an opportunity because women want premium services and have no way of accessing it at their homes.”

They launched B’Glam in November 2015. After 20 months of operations, the company spent Rs 50 lakhs, added 14 team members and it is servicing 20 clients per day.

“We had several common ideas and since both of us are technologists we figured we could crack the beauty services business as there are so many qualified people,” Vishal says.

Chaithra hails from Chickballapur, a town outside Bengaluru, while Vishal Dewani belongs to Delhi. Chaithra is an engineer while Vishal has worked in the automotive industry for eight years as a senior engineer.

They are advised by Rahul Tadimalla from RSVP Capital Advisors. "While there are many players offering similar services the market size is large enough to go after," says Rahul.

The business

B'Glam does not believe in the marketplace model and it operates with its own people to deliver the service. This model's pioneers were Urban Clap and HouseJoy who are trying to the largely fragmented beauty services India. Ever since B'Glam began their business they started finding people through a jobs portal and began talking to stylists. Vishal would stand outside saloons and whisk them away to the side and tell them about B'Glam and why it will offer them a high salary as compared to brick and mortar saloons. He promised them a work-life balance with productive working hours of 9 hours instead of the 12 hours that an average stylist puts in at a saloon. That is how the business began to start rolling and it began to gain traction in Bengaluru. The business of beauty is indeed very big in India as data suggests. B'Glam is currently a web based service and will soon build an app to reach out to several consumers.

According to IBEF, the market size of India's beauty, cosmetic and grooming market will reach $20 billion by 2025 from the current $6.5 billion on the back of rise in disposable income of middle class and growing aspirations of people to live a good life and look good.

To suit consumption across difference levels of purchasing power, FMCG companies are coming out with variety of products in different price ranges.

D S Rawat, secretary general, Assocham, says the rural population is “also joining the mainstream with improvement in linkages with cities by roads, telecommunication and firms reaching out to people in villages and small towns. That is how it should be”.

The consumption pattern of cosmetics among teenagers went up substantially between 2005 and 2015 because of increasing awareness and the desire to look good. In fact, this product category is among the fastest-growing segments for manufacturers of a range of products, including body sprays. Over 68 percent of young adults feel that using grooming products boosts their confidence.

About 62 percent of young consumers in big cities prefer to buy beauty and grooming products online whereas 45 percent tend to buy cosmetic and apparel from any shop of their convenience rather than stick to a single shop. Consumers basically want quality along with value for money.

Brands such as L’oreal, Lakme, Maybelline, Nivea and Color Bar are being pushed as mass market products and focus on younger women and women with lower buying power, noted the Assocham paper.

Price barriers are also being broken by both consumers and manufacturers. Today all brands want to work with internet driven business and that is where B'Glam has the biggest opportunity since it directly connects with customers and their homes

“We have to control the processes and have staff on our roles to offer great services. The tech enables easy of ordering a service,” says Chaithra.

The next 12 months the company wants to service 100 customers per day and wants to scale up the team to 35 stylists. Once funds are raised the company hopes to reach 8 cities and do 1000 services per day. The company is training stylists on their own and spend 15 days in training them on customer handling skills. The company buys all its beauty products from distributors.

"We are empowering all our staff, who come from smaller towns, to learn about technology and how to use it to connect with customers and learn new skills," says Vishal.

The business model for this company is to charge the customer up front and the cost for this company are the salaries and the transport charges incurred to reach the customer.

“As long as a startup understands that it can make money by keeping costs low, in its pilot, and then figures out scale it has a good business model,” says V Ganapathy, CEO of Axilor Ventures.

The competition for B’Glam is UrbanClap, AtHomeDiva, Myglamm and Getlook. However the operations costs are high in the industry and money can be made by adding services in the wellness space. The costs should be kept low and the cash burn must reduce. However Vishal and Chaithra believe they can make this business scale across India. First they are getting their Bengaluru strategy become the blue print for expansion.

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