2021, The Year That Was: Ruchika Singhal, Founder, The Grove Salons
Ruchika Singhal is no stranger to making it big in the beauty industry, and the development and growth of her own brand, The Grove Salons, serves as further proof of her natural instinct for this domain, as well as her strong business acumen.
Having seen success by bringing BBLUNT, one of India’s leading hair salon brands, to its first international location in the UAE in 2013 as The Hair Crafters Company, Ruchika Singhal is no stranger to making it big in the beauty industry, and the development and growth of her own brand, The Grove Salons, which she launched in 2017, serves as further proof of her natural instinct for this domain, as well as her strong business acumen.
While Singhal, who used to have a career in the tech industry, entered the beauty domain as a relative outsider, she has proven herself to be a leader in the field today, and it’s this combination of innate talent and work experience that has allowed her to navigate her enterprise away from the negative repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis. “‘Look good, feel good’ is the mantra of salons; we touch and feel to make it possible,” Singhal explains. “Post COVID-19, our biggest challenge was to regain the trust of our customers to visit our salons, and confidently experience their ‘me time.’ Our customers have become much more informed with health and environment taking centerstage in everyone’s life; hence, the services we provided had to be efficient, sustainable, and bespoke for our customers. We started with an inside-out approach to meet the changing demands, and we realized a paradigm shift in our business model over the year.”
According to Singhal, one of the key steps she took in this regard was to ensure that her employees felt connected and experienced a sense of belonging with the company- there are tangible benefits to having an inclusive workplace, she says. Keeping the standards of its offerings as high as possible, while also providing services that especially catered to customers in their current circumstances also helped with keeping the business afloat. “Quality, as a brand ethos, helped us establish renewed trust with our patrons,” Singhal says. “That also led us to witness repeat business and reliability from our locally based clients.”
Looking toward the future, Singhal expects her industry to be looking at sustainability more closely in 2022, and that will see her business actively looking for organic and vegan haircare and skincare products to offer its clientele. “My personal excitement comes from the fact that technology is playing a big and bigger role in the beauty industry,” Singhal adds. “I am looking at significant improvements in customer touchpoints for my business, be it with the enablement of online appointment scheduling, accepting new and online payment methods, as well as an e-commerce store that is now live.” Singhal is also following the buzz around artificial intelligence (AI) in the world today, which she believes can have a major impact on her line of work as well. “In 2022, AI shall be a game changer for the beauty industry,” she predicts.
Reflections 2021: Ruchika Singhal, Founder, The Grove Salons
Go with the flow- be agile. “Nothing is permanent. Things can change anytime, be aware of the dynamics, and adapt faster to the changing situations to be able meet your business goals.”
Focus on the positive, and stay true to your values. “Having encountered several occasions to compromise on core values of the business for a possible gain, it can put anyone in a dilemma. Knowing the core values of the business, and sticking to one’s conviction, have been my key drivers for a sustainable and surviving business.”
Develop skills today that will serve you in the future. “While these times have forced businesses to adapt in order to survive, it’s also given us the opportunity to be more creative and innovative in our approach to customer experience- skills that will no doubt serve us well into the future.”
Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.
Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.