In a happy story of accidental entrepreneurship, the founders Vikram and Rohit, brought to the table a mix of knowledge and experience from diverse fields. As it happened, it was this very set of diverse viewpoints that laid the foundation for enduring success.
The thought and rigour which goes into making a Customers’ visit exceptional even today were instituted right from the time of inception.
There are many elements that ensure that a customer keeps coming back to Enrich. Use of systems and processes, the unisex set of services offered, focus on continuous learning and development, installing a Salon Management Team for smoother operations, adoption of technology, the loyalty program, and an open and responsive customer service orientation, are some of these things.
Enrich founders Rohit Dedhia & Vikram Bhatt from Mumbai run a company called Enrich Hair & Skin Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Today, they have crossed a team strength of 2000 and operate a Company Owned & Operated chain of salons in six cities. As on date, they have 85 salons and they plan to expand to 100 in a years’ time.
The Professional Times (TPT) had an exclusive interview with Rohit and Vikram (RV). Here is the full interview.
TPT: How do you see the competitive world in present circumstances?
RV: The meaning and scope of what you can consider competition is a changing one on the basis of changes in formats and technology advances. It can also change with your thinking.
For example – for one of our salons, the next-door salon in the catchment could be competition, but even products available online and hope services could be competition.
Alternately, if the customer experience that we offer and the products we use are unique and exclusive, there is virtually no competition.
TPT: What challenges are you facing and what is stopping you to move ahead?
RV: For a category that is transforming from commodity to brand, from un-organized to organized & professionally managed – the challenges are several. But if one is determined and has a clear vision, moving ahead is hardly an issue.
For example – For delivering a superior service experience consistently – you need a flow of trained staff. If you know that you are going to be in the business for the long term, you will invest in an academy and trainers. This will help you as well as the industry in developing a large number of trained technicians.
TPT: What is the biggest lesson life has taught you?
RV: That every challenge can be overcome with better thinking and execution.
TPT: How do you develop yourself outside of the work environment?
RV: We believe travel broadens the mind and also that there are multiple ways to address the same situation. We, therefore, ensure that we travel and meet with a wide variety of people and try and appreciate different points of view. Mostly points of views that challenge ours.
TPT: What is the most courageous thing you have done in your life?
RV: You can either stay and fight a battle that you are losing fast – or you can give up. Soon after we launched our second salon, we had a crisis with getting footfall.
The situation was so serious that we were forced to consider shutting down the salon. Instead, we decided to do sampling – offering services free to customers, so that they could try us.
Everyone thought we were out of our minds, and that we would have to shut down even faster. But the initiative worked. People sampled our services and thought they were good enough. Also, they thought that we were confident of our quality and so we had the courage to offer services complimentary to try.
TPT: How well do you listen and connect with others?
RV: We believe that look and learn is the best mode of education and also the most powerful. If you don’t believe it – consider this.
As infants, we learn languages in this same model. We look/observe, and we recreate/learn. We learn our first languages without any formal school or teacher – that’s how powerful this model is.
We are big believers in this and have tried to make it our second nature. We also believe this is needed to become more adaptable.
TPT: What are the weakest points in your area and how do you plan to deal with them?
RV: The correct answer to a question – what will the top ten technology products & services in the next five years – is – that seven out of the ten have yet to be invented.
With technology, change and obsolescence have become very fast. So you can become obsolete even if you are at the top of your game – if there is a new rule that is established in the same game that needs new expertise.
Take for example hockey. India was the world leader when the game was played on grass. That changed dramatically when the surface was changed to AstroTurf.
Srilanka emerged as a major cricketing power after pinch-hitting was introduced in the first ten overs – before this, the paradigm was to scoreless but play out the new ball in the first ten.
We believe not being able to accept that things are forever changing and that you have to continuously adapt can be the weakest link and you can change that by being openminded and quick to change.
TPT: What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
RV: We love to travel, to meet new people, listen to opposing points of view, to observe and to adapt. Each of these provides us with several reasons to look forward to the day.
We look at life as a child in a candy store and therefore look forward to each day.
The business is far more structured today than it was a decade ago. Terms like values, processes, experiences, people, learnings, etc. have brought in a new lease of life.
It has helped the business to scale up. The costs have gone up to such an extent that it is no more an individual game. You can’t create a big brand. Over a period of time, it will be restricted to a few names with large presence.
Enrich Salon Journey Wall
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