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Last updated: 11 Mar, 2019  

Mayank.9.thmb.jpg Profitability helps SMEs face lack of funds: Yes Madam co-founders

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SME Times News Bureau | 11 Mar, 2019

Profitability can nullify the effects of non-availability of funds to a great extent in case of small and medium enterprises, viewed Mr. Mayank Arya and Mr. Aditya Arya, Co-Founders, YES MADAM - an affordable Home Salon Start-up.

Excerpts of the interview …

Please tell us about Yes Madam and its entrepreneurial journey.
The Start-up YES MADAM, the most affordable and transparent Salon at Home App is the highest rated beauty Application (Android & iPhone) with 4.6* ratings and 1,00,000+ Downloads on Google Play store. The accessibility of Yes Madam App/website allows customers to seamlessly book appointments for services like beauty, massage, slimming etc. without making an effort to call during working hours.

Yes madam aspires to disrupt the beauty services by splitting the prices into two-> (Service Charge + Product Cost.) So, if the customer intends to use their own products, they only charge for the services at Rs 6 per minute and if the customer uses Yes Madam’s products, material cost is added.

For Instance,   A Sara Gold facial with Yes Madam, Sara Gold Facial takes about 60 minutes. So, 60 mins x 6 = Rs 360(Service charge) + Rs 275 (material cost) = Rs 635. 

Similarly, Oxy Bleach/ Raaga De-Tan Costs Rs 150 (Service charge for 25 Min) + Rs 40(Product Cost) = Rs 190.

The start-up provides affordable beauty services at home through its unique Rs. 6-8 per minute price model (Rs. 6 Rs. /minute for normal beautician and Rs.8/minute for a premium beautician). So, if the customer intends to use their own products, they only charge for the services at Rs 6 per minute and if the customer uses Yes Madam’s products, material cost is added. Unlike salons, In order to avoid refilling or tampering and maintain transparency, the company only uses sealed mono sachets (One- time use). And in case the product is left over, it is handed over to the customer.

The company has 250 + trained beauticians with checked background and police verifications for safety purpose. Topnotch beauty brands like O3+, Sara, VLCC, Lotus, Vedic Line, Rica, L’Oréal, Inatur, Ozone etc. are used in the beauty treatments.

Within a short span of time, the company has managed to break even and is eyeing profitability in the coming years on the back of massive pan India expansion. The company has been acquiring customers mainly through word of mouth and positive reviews which help it generate revenue of Rs 2 crore annually with a GMV of 10 crore at the moment.  

What is the idea behind Yes Madam; what opportunities you see in this sector?
Aditya Arya, 31-Year-old, India’s youngest DPO (Merchant Navy Seaman), went to a salon for a facial and the inexperienced beautician burnt his skin. It was evident that treatment through duplicate products was the culprit. Despite the damage, Aditya was slapped with a hefty bill of Rs 2,000. Not only did his face was burnt; his pocket was also burning after the treatment he had at the salon.

Aditya was scuffling to understand the pricing mechanism of the beauty industry. He researched online on various websites and learned that the actual price of the product is lesser and the salons are overpricing customers for the services. Mono doses of the products were available for just Rs. 400 and he was asked to pay Rs.2500 for the same facial material at the salon. He felt that there was a dire need of transparency in the system. These thoughts seeded the idea of creating a space where people could avail hassle free services at an affordable & transparent price. Realizing the vacuum in this space, Aditya Arya and his brother Mayank Arya, co-founded YES Madam, Salon at Home app for India’s beauty conscious women. The mobile app allows people to register and have the leverage of getting beauty services in the comfort of their home.

The duplicity of products in beauty salons and then paying higher to get the services is the pain area, which YES Madam sought to address. In December 2016, after rigorous market research startup ‘Yes Madam’, was launched.  

Of late, several online service aggregators in different fields have entered the market. Your views?

With the advent of mobile application-based services like Cab booking, Grocery ordering, Home Salon services, Indian cities have witnessed a silent revolution in the monopolistic markets. With population swelling up in major cities, the demand for hassle-free mobile services has increased multifold. Aggregators with their innovative solutions have managed to capture a huge customer base by making the process of availing services a simple one. As the services of aggregators are highly accepted by consumers, there is high growth potential for the businesses. However, having a brilliant idea is different from making that idea a business success. Doing a startup is tough and every country sees more failures than success. More often than not an entrepreneur needs to be prepared to face failures and unprecedented hardship. 

As a start-up what challenges you have faced? Did you find any government schemes, facilities, etc beneficial in this regard?
Hiring trained beauticians are the biggest challenge of this industry. But, we at Yes Madam provide world-class training to our beauticians and they are experts at handling at-home services. Our team of experts and trainers has created detailed standard operating procedures that ensure that customers receive salon like service at home. We have a menu that offers mono sachet service kits to avoid duplicity and spillage from large bottles. Transparency in pricing and quality service is the key to success.   

Finance is difficult for India SMEs and startups. What is your view?
Since beginning, we aimed at making the business profitable, that’s why our customers are genuine and not those who try the app because of discounts.  If we are profitable then we can can still grow when the funding gets dry. Investors follow the sentiments of markets but as startups we follow our dream and vision. If we talk about reasoning and sentiments, we would still be riding horse carts instead of electric car. 

Please share your future plans with our readers.
Currently, the company is operating in Delhi and NCR including Noida, Greater Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, and Faridabad. Considering the fueling demand in the industry, the company is on the path of explosive growth and is now looking at 5x the number of hubs in the next six to twelve months. Further, by the end of 2020, the company are looking for expansion in Tier 1 and Tier 2 towns by ensuring the presence in 20 to 30 cities. Along with services, the company is also trying to tie up with other high brand products for mono doses.

The start-up is looking forward to on-board around 1 million users & 10,000 beauticians in the next 24 months. Launched in December 2016 in beta version, the app was exposed to only a few people initially. Since then, it has organically grown to 1 lakh users, without offering any discount to customers. Evident that App garners 10,000+ orders per month paired with Annual revenue of Rs. 2.5 crores,” says the co-founder, adding that about 98% of YES Madam users are women. 

The bootstrapped start up is already doing far better than its pears like house joy (Amazon funded), At Home Diva (Quikr funded) & VLCC Vanity Cube (VLCC Funded) coz of 70 percent monthly repeat users without giving any cash backs. On the supply side, every beautician is earning Rs 35,000-Rs 70,000 monthly, attracting a large number of beauticians.

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