Monday, November 19, 2012

The Glow of Success

The Radiance chain of salons and spas for women is on a roll. StyleSpeak checks out one of their ever-growing number of branches

Urmi Chanda-Vaz

With 16 salons in 10 years and a rollout plan for several more in the coming months, Neelam Prasad’s business skills will impress even the most seasoned players. Since it started out in 2001 as a small one-room parlour, the Radiance salon and spa chain for women has grown in Mumbai by leaps and bounds. Today, it has become a familiar name, and is spread across the metro in easy-to-access locales.  I went to one of their outlets and came away… radiant.

The décor: Whether a Radiance salon is as small as 300 sq. ft. or as big as 1000 sq. ft. the décor follows a standard look. Like their other branches, the Goregaon branch is done up art fully in a white and purple combination. The colours reflect sophisticated luxury, while the round mirrors, and circular lamp centerpiece lend a feminine touch. It works well for the salon, because it is a ladies-only salon. The fixtures are mostly plastic, as wood is consciously avoided as an eco-friendly measure. They also believe in water conservation, and use disposable napkins and towels wherever possible to minimize water use.
Apart from four hair stations that line the mirrors, there is one mani-pedi station on the opposite wall, one reception desk, and one consultation station, which is in the middle of the 600 sq. ft. salon. Additionally, two small treatment rooms, where spa and skin treatments are conducted are at the back end of the salon. There are no wet areas in the salon, and customers of spa treatments are given hot towel cleanses. However, it is the salon services that are the major draw of the Radiance clientele.

The treatments: The Radiance menu card isn’t really a card. It is more like a fat book, offering a staggering 700 services! There are the usual skin and hair services, some advanced therapies, and spa treatments for the body. Their signature services include the caviar and Jen Sun facials. The treatments are priced on the slightly higher spectrum, taking into account their mid-level to elite clientele. I chose a hair spa treatment (one of their most popular treatments), and a pedicure, and found the services to be competent. What attracted my attention in the menu card were the three columns of prices. On enquiring, I was told the discounted price listing is for members. Such listings not only make it convenient for members, but also serve as an advertisement for their membership schemes and loyalty programs.

A smart salon: The popular membership scheme is not the only interesting aspect of the Radiance chain of salons. One cannot help but admire the ambition and business sense in proprietor, Neelam Prasad. She has done several things to ensure that the Radiance chain grows from strength to strength. Since she personally owns and manages the chain, she is able to track consumer feedback, and personally tends to all consumer complaints. Her central communications team is constantly in touch with their regular client base, informing them of new schemes/offers, and they even send goody bags to premium membership customers on their birthdays/anniversaries.

Prasad is as smart with her staff as she is with her clients. As compared to the 40% industry attrition rate, hers is only 20%, because she follows a profit sharing principle with her staff. But while she keeps them happy, she also maintains their standards by conduction regular assessment programs. Philanthropically speaking, she has hired a deaf & dumb therapist, looks after the accommodation needs of her outstation staff, and has helped several women set up their own salons. Her staff is mostly trained from respectable brand academies like L’Oréal, Wella, etc. Speaking of training, Prasad herself runs an academy, which offers guidance and consultancy to people wanting to open salons.   

Going forward: Prasad’s ambitions do not stop at opening one Radiance salon after another. She proposes to include wellness services at her salons, beginning with her Goregaon branch. She has tied up with the brand Body Wellness, and qualified dermatologist, Dr. Monica Jacob will be coming to this branch a few times per week to offer new services like fillers, lipolysis, Botox, etc. Eventually, these services will be made available in all her branches. It will be the next step in Prasad’s dream of making all women beautiful, and glow with radiance!

This article appeared in the April 2012 issue of StyleSpeak - The Salon & Spa Journal.

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