This luxury hair salon in Delhi is giving tough fight to Looks, Geetanjali; clocks Rs 60 Cr turnover annually
Danish Batra, Founder, Hair Masters
As the saying goes, an unplanned journey often leads to an unexpected and beautiful destination, and Danish Batra is an epitome of this.
A graduate from London School of Economics, Danish had clear plans to join his father’s construction business. However, after moving back to India, his mind tricked him and he ended up in the grooming industry.
“While I was in London, I used to get my hair done from Headmasters, one of the premium and biggest salon chains in London. When I returned to India, I couldn’t find any salon offering such services, which disappointed me,” Danish tells SMBStory.
With competitors like Looks, Geetanjali, and Affinity, which are the most-acclaimed salons in New Delhi, Danish decided to bring to the fore a new salon chain offering luxury services. He launched Hair Masters in Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi, in 2014.
Setting up in the cutting competition
Danish started Hair Masters in his vacant property in Punjabi Bagh. Inspired by Headmasters, he wanted to give Indian customers a luxury feel and quality services. He even sent one of his employees to Vidal Sassoon Academy in London for training.
“When I started, I had big competitors ahead of me. There were salons like Looks in my lane, but I was confident of my services,” he says.
Talking about the products being used in his salon, Danish says, he uses premium brands like Michelle Frank for hair colour, Christian Dior for makeup, Huda Beauty for eyelashes, among others. Hair Masters also offers 360-degree services - from haircut and hair therapy to make up and other personal care services.
Hair Masters salon
In 2015, Hair Masters opened another store in Chandigarh, and in the same year it set up shop in Bandra, Mumbai. Today, it has 21 stores across the country bagging spaces in some of the premium malls like Palladium in Mumbai and DLF Emporio in New Delhi. It has 500 employees and clocked turnover of Rs 60 crore in FY 2018-19.
According to Danish, Hair Masters specialises in hair care. So, every year, Danish sends his employees, one from each branch, to Vidal Sassoon Academy for training. The selected employees are in contract for a period of three years.
Till now, Hair Masters has raised funds with the help of a friend (who has also been their client previously). Currently, Danish is also in final level of talks with a Delhi-based investor to raise $3 million, i.e. approximately Rs 23 crore.
Meeting the celeb expectations
In India, most celebs from the entertainment industry are spotted in Bandra, Mumbai. Hence, opening a premium salon in Bandra did a lot better to Danish than expected.
Many Bollywood celebrities like Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Ayushmann Khurrana, Tamanna Sharma, Kangana Ranaut, and others have enjoyed visiting Hair Masters salon, he says.
“They just walked-in and our staff used to call me and say: “Sir aaj ye sir/madam aye hain”,” Danish says.
Ayushmann Khurrana in Hair Masters salon
To Danish’s surprise, early this year, he got a call from a casting director to book his salon for a two-day shoot of Hotstar web series, Aarya. He says,
“The casting director was our regular client, and he liked our place. He was fascinated by the ambience and the look and feel, and so he recommended Hair Masters for a shot where Sushmita Sen and her friends are seen getting ready in the salon.”
The salon industry has always been a recession-free business, until COVID-19 hit the nation. In times when people have more disposable income, men and women in urban areas do not mind spending up to 20 percent of their income on their grooming needs.
“Ever since we began the business journey, we did not face many challenges in getting clients/customers or serving them. Initial challenges were there in terms of hiring staff, finding quality technicians suited to our salon’s standards, but we overcame this challenge eventually,” Danish tells SMBStory.
A glimpse of webseries Aarya being shot at Hair Masters
Even after demonetisation, our salons were full and seamless transactions were happening digitally. However, in the post COVID scenario, the business and the industry at large are indeed suffering a lot, Danish adds.
The way ahead
Danish says their vision is to become the biggest and most-valued salon chain in the country. In the near future, Danish wants to open outlets in high-potential locations in Tier I and Tier II cities.
The company is also planning to open new branches in Jaipur, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and also in Dubai. It aims to open 50 more branches of by 2025 - both in the national and international markets.
Danish also plans to enter into a full-fledged doorstep service platform in the coming days.