The Indian beauty story

Lakme beauty Salon, the first professionally driven salon business in India, has been continuously innovating to evolve an effective franchising system and become a leading player in the business of beauty.

Lakme Beauty salons were established in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai, 30 years ago. Since their inception, they have provided customers with quality beauty services and customized advice. Lakme continuously innovates to offer a wide range of high quality skin care products, color cosmetics and beauty services. In addition to leveraging Unilever’s worldwide expertise, Lakme also partners with the trend setters for global bands, the Milan based Intercos Italia as well as Paris based Fiabila. Combining international cosmetics technology with an in depth understanding of the Indian woman’s needs Lakme offers its consumers, holistic beauty experience through its products and services at the Lakme beauty Salons.

Lakme Beauty Salons have been into franchising ever since and today, the total number of franchised outlets all across the country stands to 92. Having earned years of experience as a successful franchisor, the company has laid down some rules fro franchising. Being a franchisee for Lakme beauty salon is beneficial for a host of reasons. Like any other service business, it has very low product and inventory holding cost. The arrangement enables the franchisee to earn through the sales of the products and services. The franchisee has to pay Rs 6 lakh for starting a salon in metro and Rs 5 lakh for a non metro city. A royalty of 15 percent is extended on the gross value towards LBS, for service turnover during the life of the salon. The company does not charge any royalty on the retail of its products. The franchise agreement is valid for five years which can be renewed without any cost. The company provides brand saliency that customers associate with and promises a high rate of return on investment to all franchisees. The area requirement is fairly simple, whereby the franchisee has to ensure that the property has to be located in a prime residential area, with adequate frontage. The minimum area of the outlet has to be 800 sq ft.

The salon business is presently growing at an extremely fast pace. Lakme plans to increase the total number of salons to over 100 by the end of this financial year. All Lakme Beauty salons offer a full range of the latest beauty and grooming services in the areas of hair acre, skin care, and beauty with consistent quality, competitive prices and the best trained beauty experts. Lakme beauty salon, the first professionally driven salon business in India, has already established benchmarks in quality. It constantly guides and supports its franchisees with standard operating procedures, training services, IT development, equipment sourcing supply of professional salon products marketing and promotional activities.

The company follows a two way approach when it comes to extending marketing support to the franchisee. It does pan India marketing which benefits all its franchisees, and salon specific marketing which benefits individual franchisees. It also undertakes extensive public relations campaigns to create awareness for its products and services. The Lakme Bridal Road show, the Lakme Cool Colors, Hot Styles hair Services Road Show and the Lakme Lohri Experiential are examples of such initiatives.

Lakme Beauty alone pays a lot of attention to training. It has opened the Lakme Training Academy in Mumbai, offering several courses to train beauty professionals. It also provides all the necessary IT support to the franchisees. Even the billing software is provided by the company.

But what qualifies one to be a franchisee for Lakme Beauty Salon? Before anything else, quality is the key word for the company. Hence, before selecting a franchisee, the company makes sure that shares Lakme’s philosophy of excellent service delivery and considers the consumer as king. Apart from that, it gauges if the franchisee has a robust financial support to maintain and sustain the salon on a long term basis. Just before the opening of a new outlet, the company ensures that the salon is situated in a prime location and is easily accessible for consumers.

The company provides intense skill development training to the franchisees. Lakme Beauty salon believes in developing a in-win relationship. A shinning example is an innovative program that it began to recognize operators as stakeholders of the company. It introduced this program a year ago and it has added new growth dimensions to the business, becoming a morale booster for operator across all 87 salons.

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