These personal grooming startups are leveraging technology differently compared to Urbanclap

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Personal grooming is a growing industry in India and is raising hairs of many start-ups in India since the past two years. Many companies have sprung up in this space notably Urbanclap, Housejoy, StayGlad,Yes Madam, MyGlamm, VanityCube, and many more, just to provide customers a better service at a great price.

According to reports, the grooming market in India is valued at nearly Rs 50,000 crore and 85% of the business here comes from women, notably professionals with increasing disposable incomes in cities.

While the industry quickly grew in investment in 2015, the next year saw many of them shutting down due to high losses. While VanityCube was acquired by VLCC, Vyomo got acquired by Naturals and Quikr acquired StayGlad players like Urbanclap, MyGlamm and Housejoy have reported increased revenue in the past year steering the roadblocks.

The problem with the current model
The beauty services industry is a complicated one and isn't particularly eased by technology after the booking is made. The service offered needs to be of great quality every time so that the customer makes repeated purchases on a regular basis.

Till a brand is created, growth will not come as start-ups focus on signups. As a platform, the management cannot make sure that every service is quality-checked.

While most start-ups including Urbanclap, focus on providing the service to the customer at their homes, many consumers find that the beauty care ritual is a better experience in salons because of the hygienic and professional environment.

As I have used Urbanclap and Housejoy in the past, I noticed that they are not particularly more affordable compared to neighbourhood salons.

The solution to these two problems have been devised by two startups which is making waves in Delhi NCR for being different in the approach.

Be U Salons
Be U operates in the B2B2C space and aims to fix the gap between the demand and supply in the salon industry through on-ground operations and advanced technology.

Unlike the conventional models, the company signs up small salon owners and don't levy any franchise fee or capital expenditure on the part of the salons. The company brands the salons completely and has created categories under which everything including the products used, services offered and the prices are replicated to ensure quality is delivered.

Instead they charge a 15% commission on the overall salon revenue which varies on the salon category Red, Blue or Green which falls under different revenue slabs.

Vikas Johari, CEO & Founder, Be U Salons told Business Insider, "When I entered the salon industry with Monsoon salons, I noticed that the industry is suffering due to inefficiencies and running costs such as real estate rentals, promoter services etc. While Monsoon became a great salon brand in Delhi, I realized that a tech-enabled solution could help scale up the franchise model in place."

Enter asset-light tech-enabled Be U model which has low or no capital commitment, benefits of economies of scale, focus on core activities, automation and standardization due to strong tech support which helps existing small salons to achieve better productivity and profitability.


How it works
Be U Salons has an mobile app on android and iOS platforms that enables customers to make easy online appointments, mobile payments and check transaction history record. The app also has scope for feedback, reviews and ratings, loyalty programmes, no waiting time and real time services which ensures that all partner salons provide quality service.

Not just that, the app offers its customers attractive ''freebies" like a free haircut or 100% cashback on digital payments which ensures that once someone uses the app, they come back for the great value for money.

Currently, the company has 70 plus outlets operating across Delhi-NCR, and services about 900-1000 customers per day.

Yes Madam
Yes Madam is a nascent startup that has come up in some areas of Delhi NCR like Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad. While this startup also provides its personal grooming services at home, it has a unique billing system which makes it affordable to most working women.

The company charges its customers on per minute basis for Rupees 6 on any beauty service they want with extra service charge for better brands. During peak hours or weekends, the company charges Rs. 8 per minute which makes it still more affordable compared to the competitors.


With Yes Madam app, the customers have the freedom to use their own product and the beautician. Another way to book can be through the call centre and Whatsapp which makes this startup more inclusive to people that might not have a smartphone or omnipresent internet connection.

These new startups are engaging more people while using the resources differently but it will be interesting to see who leaves a last impression behind.
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