GETLOOK: A TECHNOLOGICAL INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE PRESENTABILITY
With the advent of Neo-liberalism, digital technology revolution, post-modernism, and open market policies in the modus vivendi of society and culture, the focus of the service industry shifted towards satiating the individual and personalized requirements. Hence, a steep rise is seen in the firms that provide such services. The factors mentioned above also contributed to the increased engagement of women in the burgeoning workforce, as low wages weren’t enough to sustain. Economic realities and market reforms in 90s obligated women to become part of expanding consumer class and the saga of the ideological juggernaut of the market. These reforms also lead to the rise of an entrepreneurial class that is imbibing the fruits of the technological revolution. Business initiatives usually are forte of individuals, partners, and other professionals, but when partners for life join hands to become professional partners as well, it adds a gem to the crown. Deep understanding on a personal level helps running an organization more efficiently. Personal goals and values are very much similar to professional ones. GetLook is such a story of technology platform established in 2015 by a husband-wife duo. It endeavors to provide premium quality beauty services while infusing technology and considering the personal and individual needs of their clients. The circumstances that led to the inception of GetLook was when the Co-founder Vatsala faced a lot of issues due to the unavailability of quality salon services which could provide personalized service when her daughter was only a year old.
Area of Expertise
GetLook currently is a women-centric company targeting working women, busy homemakers, mothers and pregnant women with age group of 25-35, as 80% of this category spends every month on their beauty services which can result in a long-term relationship. They provide quality service at the individual’s convenience, be it in the homely comfort by carefully curated beauticians. Their wide range of services includes Facial, Pedicure, Manicure, Waxing, Massage, and Threading. The firm provides a solid technology platform to book the services with an option of sticking to own personal stylist. All the services rendered are kept under strict scrutiny for quality and hygiene, and the firm’s research team goes for foreign visits to research about products and exclusive services which might not be available at any other platform. The firm has maintained its experience to their clients ever since the launch and has been rated 4.5 stars on Google Play Store and Google.
Since 2017, after crossing the breakeven point, the firm has extended its presence to cities like Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Lucknow after Bangalore. The firm’s monthly revenue has reached 75 lacs with 70% repeat users with 150+ on roll stylists. One of the major achievements is serving 100k+ appointments in the last two years. The firm’s average ticket size is Rs. 2000-2100 which is consistent and is growing at 40% annually.
The challenges faced
With increasing competition and demand, it is gradually becoming very difficile to hire and retain quality stylists. Not only the challenge mentioned above but it is also becoming difficult to forge tie-ups with major beauty training institutes in Bangalore and other cities in India.
The market opportunities and outreach
The focus of society and the world on appearance and presentability has changed the mindset. According to market pundits, the Indian beauty services are estimated as an annual USD 4.5 billion industry and growing at a CAGR of 18.6%. They also illustrate that 38% of women visit salons twice a month and 61% of men visit it once a month. GetLook plans to cover at least a quarter of Salon market in Bangalore in next 5 years.
The feedback processes
The beauty of the industry is that the customers aren’t price-sensitive. The firm equipped itself with an automated feedback process and a dedicated feedback department, it notifies each client through an email and notification and puts up a query about their experience. In the beauty services industry, the customer service experience is critical. Hence, the management goes extra miles while personally discussing the feedbacks and tracking the end user experiences very strictly.
Bursting the myth of Sisyphus
The firm attributes its success to a great corporate culture meticulously crafted since the inception. They build a work-place where each and every employee knows the inside-out of their work and understands profitability. Incentives and bonuses every quarter for all the employees are the perks to retain the talent.
The firm hitherto remains operational in six cities are looking to expand deeper vertically in Bangalore. The management expects revenues in the range of 12-14 Cr in 2019. GetLook’s future plans include establishing their own training institute where they would provide exclusive training for Home Beauty Services. They also plan to market imported beauty products with the brand name of GetLook.
Our editorial team spoke to Gaurav and Vatsala, the founders of the organization to know more about them and GetLook’s activities. Here are the edited excerpts.
The learning curve, failures, hard lessons and dreams
We both are at a high learning curve since the start of our three years’ journey, and yet we continue to learn from our daily experiences. Understanding the nature of the business and targeting apt audience rather than spreading it randomly and losing all resources is the most pertinent thing of all. An appropriate example would be our TG, women aged between 25-35 in the locations we serve. Our majority portion of the marketing spend is targeted on this set rather than extravagant marketing activities. Our business initiated with a tie-up with Uber for beauty and put on efforts to connect freelance beauticians where we faced major quality issues and realized the incompatibility of the model for Uber and after learning a lesson started hiring professionals with 100% control over quality and hygiene. We work in all domains like technical, marketing, finance, accounts, customer relationship, daily operations. We both worked pretty hard to get ourselves acquainted with the domains of which we were not aware.
Since the nature of our business primarily depends on the festivals in India, we strive to optimize our market spending as per the season. We are trying to create more demand with less CAC with a major emphasis on technology to reduce our operation loads which will definitely result in scaling the business. Our biggest dream is to become a one-stop-solution for beauty from Salon services to cosmetics products to beauty training for stylists, the couple promptly replied.
A piece of advice for the market leaders of the same domain
This is a tough business to run in profit but if you crack it, this can be the best business to scale with the help of technology.
Gaurav Maheshwari, a postgraduate in Statistics and Informatics from IIT Kharagpur is the Co-founder and CEO of GetLook. Vatsala Kothari is an ECE engineer from Rajasthan Technical University is the Co-founder and COO of the firm. The husband-wife duo gained significant experience of the Tech Industry in their prior jobs before the launch of GetLook.