Innovation and understanding your customer — Vaijyanti Bhalchandra, Co-Founder, YLG Salons & YLG Institute.

Innovation and understanding your customer — Vaijyanti Bhalchandra, Co-Founder, YLG Salons & YLG Institute.

Ramdas Shenoyy in conversation with Vaijyanti from YLG… Salon business in India.

It’s a great compliment — ‘You Look Great’! What inspired you to start the YLG brand of Salon and Institutes?

The mirror- really, we just wanted to be an embodiment of the praise that we believe every woman is entitled to hear. ‘You Look Great!’ This is to encourage everyone to present the best version of themselves that they can! 

My husband and I had always wanted to run a company. Having worked in different cities and sectors, we were looking for the right opportunity to start something. As mentioned, the beauty and skincare industry fascinated us, and my husband, Rahul had experience in that sector. So, when we got the first chance, we didn’t let it go.

What are the challenges of being an entrepreneur in India, more so being a woman entrepreneur?

Well, the best thing about being an entrepreneur, are the challenges, or as we call them’ opportunities’.  They are what make the journey exciting, being an entrepreneur is about learning so much in so little time. 

As far as ‘being a woman entrepreneur/professional’ goes, I believe I have got an opportunity to prove to the world that when you step into the field, your gender does not and should not matter. You just do your job and do it well, you have got to prove your mantle to no one but yourself.

They are too many salon brands mushrooming in the country, what is your strategy to remain relevant?

  • Innovate- always be at the learning curve, if you feel the world is moving too fast, you’re already in the wind
  • Grow with your team- it is they who toil as much as you, you can only branch out when your foundation is strong, and most importantly
  • Value feedback- you are NEVER too big a brand to not value your customer, it is they who make or break you

What is Vaijayanti a team player or a taskmaster?

Well, both, a team player and a taskmaster, on a need basis. At YLG we are all team players. We are a team with well-defined roles and responsibilities. 

Being a taskmaster is a valuable quality in a team and individual. It allows one to bring in the highest level of quality of service for the customer.

It’s been rightly stated by someone, “if you want to walk fast, walk alone but if you want to walk far, walk with people ” It’s extremely essential to have the right team to be successful. A team that has the brand’s vision instilled in their minds and believes in it as much as you. From then on, it’s working as one unit towards achieving that goal as a team.

What is your advice to aspirants who want to be part of the grooming and beauty scene?

There is room for you and fear not, the industry welcomes you with open arms. You just have to believe in yourself, be true to your talent, jazz up your offerings to be ahead of the curve and value your customer and team more than anything.

How is it to win accolades for the work you put in?

Getting recognized for the hard work you put in is very encouraging. It drives you to push yourself and perform even better. It’s just not the awards though, the smile on your customers’ face at the end of their sessions, their love for your brand, they’re all ways of being recognized. To me, winning accolades is just a part of the process. I work and, in the process if I am rewarded, nothing like it.

Your success mantra?

It’s simple, you measure success by the numbers of lives you touch and impact. My success mantra is, “Discover your passion, go after it like a fanatic and use it to create value in society”.

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