Before Creating One of Asia's Largest Spa Chains, this Entrepreneur Briefly Ran a Biryani Joint in U.S.
While the Indian ecosystem is relentlessly awaiting funding announcements from the Flipkarts and Snapdeals of the world, Entrepreneur decided to trace the journey of an entrepreneur who started his business using Rs. 30 lakh of his personal savings back in 2008.
Ritesh Mastipuram ventured into the wellness industry, a road less travelled by others to establish an enterprise which has now grown to become one of Asia's largest and India's first organized day spa chain – O2 Spa.
"Knowing our culture has been entwined with the theory of wellness from centuries ago, I took a risk to dive into the industry 9 years back. I was careful at every step, with 13 years of experience in 5 non-related sectors; I knew where I was heading. I delved into the Spa and Salon market with an ambition of making the industry relevant across geographies," he said.
An engineer by qualification, 39-year old Ritesh started out using his personal savings of Rs.30 lakh, instead of opting for external funding initially.
O2 Spa is today creating newer markets and finding appropriate space to foot-jam thus enabling them to spread out to wider locations and go where the customer is. O2 Spa is represented in India in over 18 cities and in 4 locations in UAE with over 4 Lakh customers per year.
The company currently services over 30000 + customers per month and have been able to make a huge impact towards the society in reducing the stress levels of the millennial.
However, Ritesh said that despite having challenges coming across from all corners, external funding helped his business immensely.
Road before getting into an IPO
All the outlets of O2 Spa are company owned and operated. The company has invested $15 million in expanding its operations in the country and aboard. The company aims to grow from its current base of 90 plus outlets in 20 cities to 200 outlets across 30 cities which includes tier 1 and tier 2 cities.
"Post getting in to the industry and understanding the impact we have been able to create in people's lives, we have taken this new endeavor a mission to transform people's lives. Once we are able to achieve what we have to, we will surely think of getting O2 Spa listed," he said.
According to Ritesh, the key ingredients required making a spa business work for entrepreneurs who are looking to explore this field -
- Travel across cities or countries and see what innovative things are being evolved around you and try incorporating the same in your organization
- Persistence and self-belief
- Continuous pursuit of excellence
Tips for budding entrepreneurs
Ritesh's first job as an employee was in the capacity of setting up of Mobile App operations in India while being based in the US. He was in-charge of Indian operations and was able to successfully create a system that continues to adopt even today.
A ripple effect was born in 2001, long before entrepreneurship was deemed a common man's possibility when Ritesh started a biryani joint while still a Masters Student of Engineering in the US.
"I always recommend budding entrepreneurs to be very passionate about what they do and keep motivating themselves. With disrupted technology being the new normal, numerous innovative concepts, ideas can be thought through and implemented. I also suggest being extremely critical and focus on the larger aspect. Be very observant of every detail which can take you closer to your big goal," Ritesh said..