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We Aim To Leverage Technological Interventions Like AI, ML, And IoT Into Beauty Sector: Mayank Arya
In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, Mayank Arya, Co-founder, Yes Madam, spoke about the company.
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What are the various beauty and wellness services being offered by Yes Madam?
Yes Madam is India’s most authentic, affordable, transparent, and comprehensive tech-driven platform offering a plethora of beauty and wellness services in the comfort of one’s home. Currently, we render services inclusive of but not limited to beauty care routines, hair care, makeup, pre-bridal packages, female and male massage, and even advanced beauty procedures like LED facial treatments and slimming treatments, among others.
Which are the main beauty brands with whom you collaborate?
Yes Madam has collaborated with renowned beauty brands like O3+, VLCC, Lotus, and Sara etc. to offer 100 per cent authentic mono-doses that are either one-time use products or are handed over to the customer, if some of these remain. Even though most of the market players have access to these brands, it has been oft-observed that many of them end up refilling the older boxes with duplicate products which the customers are unaware of. Whereas through these brand associations, Yes Madam only leverages mono-dose sachets instead of the usual quantities these products are available in. Our aim is to make availing of beauty and wellness services as transparent and authentic as possible, and these collaborations enable us to extend genuine branded products to all our customers.
How do you manage to maintain the “pocket-friendly prices” together with providing tech-driven, authentic services?
At Yes Madam, we have a unique pricing model wherein the total cost is determined in two aspects: the products used and the services rendered. For the product aspect, we only use mono-doses that have a fixed value, thus relieving customers of the ambiguity of how much product was used and whether they are being fairly charged for that. Furthermore, customers can even choose to use their own products, in which case, they are only charged for the services they avail. And as for the service aspect, we have a ‘per minute’ pricing model which ranges from Rs 6-15/min, depending on the level of experience and proficiency of the beautician providing the service. Such clear demarcation enables Yes Madam to render authentic services that range as much as 40 per cent less in comparison with the usual rates in the beauty and wellness market, both in its online and offline segments.
How difficult was it for you to enter into a field considered to be dominated by females?
For starters, making one’s gender a significant factor for consideration when entering any domain is quite unfair. When embarking on an entrepreneurial journey, one needs to have a clear vision of what they need to do, and a sound background of the issues that need to be addressed in their respective segment—and one’s gender has little to do with any of this. Moreover, women have historically been underrepresented in next to every industry and vertical, and entering a domain like beauty and wellness that is considered to be dominated by them is not a hindrance but a wonderful opportunity for us. Our personal experiences made us realize the need-gaps in this field, which women mostly have to bear the brunt of. And therefore, Yes Madam was incepted to address those shortcomings by challenging the status quo of the industry, and not its representation. Our brand strongly believes and is proactively involved in women empowerment, and we believe that being in a category dominated by women is a source of inspiration for us to keep pursuing our cause, and not a threat holding us back from achieving our full potential.
What makes you stand out in the beauty and wellness world with already established players in the salon category like Lakme, Jawed Habib, Shahnaz Husain and more?
Yes Madam was incepted to bring authenticity, transparency, feasibility, and convenience in India’s beauty and wellness market, and that vision itself marks it apart from its contemporaries. However renowned and established a brand is in this market, no other player offers a clear demarcation in and complete transparency of the charges levied on their customers. This unique value is essentially what helps Yes Madam stand out in the beauty and wellness ecosystem. And of course, added to that is the assured factor of pocket-friendliness, authentic products, experienced service provider, and the convenience of one’s own home—Yes Madam is a perfect combination of all these perks. The very fact that we have witnessed a six-fold growth and are serving above 1000 customers on a daily basis within such a short span and without much capital, infusion stands as a testament to how Yes Madam is successfully carving a niche for itself in spite of having such established players in the domain.
Who do you consider your biggest competitor?
From a market perspective, segment players like neighbourhood parlours, branded salons, and other hyper-local on-demand platforms can be considered as our brand’s major competitors. However, at the same time, we believe that our distinctive offerings and services portfolio makes Yes Madam a standalone in the market. It is commonly known that the $17 billion worth beauty and wellness market in India is largely unorganized and fragmented, and is still riddling with roadblocks like exorbitant pricing, spurious products, and undertrained service providers. Amidst such a landscape, Yes Madam’s aim to bring transparency, authenticity, and feasibility in this industry helps not only in setting itself apart but also in serving as a de facto standard for others to follow.
Current presence in market and plans for Pan India expansion?
At present, Yes Madam is headquartered in Noida and operates through a franchise model that not only is asset-light but also has lucrative returns on investment and comes with additional assistance. Because of such a profitable business model, we have succeeded in establishing our footprint in 13 cities across the country including Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Faridabad, Lucknow, Jammu, Bareilly, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Jaipur, and Jalandhar within just 18 months since the brand’s inception. Armed with such unparalleled success, we are now looking for expansion opportunities or already have operations underway in prime locations such as Ahmedabad, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, and Amritsar, among others. And from a long-term perspective, we envision to make Yes Madam India’s #1 beauty-tech company with an established presence across 300 and above cities within the next three years.
What are your business expansion plans?
We already shared our expansion plans from a geographical purview. But considering how Yes Madam is essentially a tech-driven brand, we aim to leverage technological interventions like AI, ML, and IoT etc. to innovate on new products and introduce new verticals for truly realizing our business expansion plans at each growth stage. For instance, within the next six months, we aim to launch an AI/ML-enabled dynamic pricing mechanism for even more accurate and comprehensive pricing which would take into account factors like the demand-supply ratio of those respective locations. We also plan on introducing a range of female and personal beauty products in the same time frame. Then over the next one year, we plan on launching more AI-driven beauty treatments along with nutrition, dermatology, and gynaecology consultations, booking chatbot, and recommendation engine all on our online platform. As for our long term plans and ideas, we envision delving deeper into the tech aspect to introduce AI/ML-enabled doctor prescriptions.