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BW Businessworld

Upping The Glam Quotient

With a vision to offer affordable salon services, Glam Studios is already influencing the way the beauty industry operates in India

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The journey of entrepreneurship is never easy, but at the same time, it is not meant for everyone. Like many successful start-up ventures, Sadiya Naseem’s Glam Studios is a tale of grit, determination and finally, victory in the face of all odds.

Launched in January 2016, Glam Studios is India’s first brand of affordable salons that offers premium beauty services at reasonable rates. Though it has been just over two years since it entered the crowded marketplace of salon services, the venture is already influencing the way the beauty industry operates in India. The company has so far raised  angel investment from Aqeel Ahmed, former chief operating officer of Rategain, Anand Ladsariya  (angel investor) and Nitin Agarwal (angel investor) .

The founding team of Glam Studios comprises founder and CEO Sadiya Naseem from IIM-C, cheif technical officer Feeroz Akhter from IIT Delhi and chief operating officer Darakhshan Husain from NIFT Delhi. The team has taken it upon itself to disrupt the way the beauty market operates in India. All of them share a common vision of making high-quality and standardised beauty services affordable and available to the woman/man next door.

Naseem has a bachelor’s degree in Communications, and post graduate degree in Journalism and mass communications from Aligarh Muslim University. Later, she went on to pursue a senior management programme in Strategy and Leadership from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. Her strong understanding of business has made her among the most prominent names in the beauty and wellness start-up ecosystem.

Naseem’s business model is simply about supply and demand with cost being the disruptive factor. With Indian wellness and beauty industry witnessing phenomenal growth with rising incomes and access to better lifestyle, the spends on the beauty segment have touched an all time high. A true entrepreneur at heart, Naseem realised the need of quality services at affordable rates in the beauty salon industry. When she found out that there were no brands operating in the budget segment, she conceptualised Glam Studios, which is a tech-driven brand of affordable salons.

“Glam Studios is a tech-driven brand of affordable salons. We aggregate and upgrade existing budget salons through technology, training, processes, rates standardisation, and bring them under one brand. We offer predictable experience at unmatched price points to our customers,” says Naseem.

Speaking about what inspired her to start her own venture when she could have easily landed a cushy corporate job, Naseem says, “I always wanted to start my own venture and was keen to do something in the beauty and wellness industry. Because as a customer I always felt the need of quality services at affordable rates, but unfortunately there was no brand operating in the budget segment even though the industry is growing at a rapid pace. As a result, 75 per cent of the salons are still unorganised. I am sure with Glam Studios, we will be able to organise this segment and make standardised services available at an affordable cost to the woman next door. I am working along with a team to make Glam Studios the largest chain of salons operating in the budget segment across the globe. We aim to bring 2,000 salons under our brand by 2019.”

Growth potential: The share of the Indian beauty market was estimated at Rs 30 billion in 2017.