We Cannot Risk Our Business with Underperforming Staff, Says Mahema Bharadwaj
Recently, when I visited The Mani Pedi Spa in Gurugram for their second store inauguration, I could not help but notice that all the staff right from reception and service staff to cleaning staff are women.
Founder & MD, The Mani Pedi Spa, who takes great pride in running the business successfully and leading the team of all women in both her outlets.
She says, “When I moved from South Africa a couple of years back and when I visited the spa to get my manicure and pedicure, I found a lot of men were providing the services. The problem I faced was that the men have hard hands and women have soft skin, also during foot massage or hand massage, it was uncomfortable for me. The pressure required for massaging soft skin needs soft hands, that is where I thought of coming up with my own venture and The Mani Pedi Spa started with all women staff.
Salons in India have been investing in the length and breadth of all possible wellness services for eons. However, the demand for luxury in this space has created the market for spas and salons that cater to niche exclusive services. The specialized salons aim at providing excellence in the services they offer and hence focus on being a master of one and not a jack of all trades.”
She plans to open at 10 outlets in the next 5 years but she is just not ready to compromise with the quality of service, and the comfort of the customer.
Staff selection for any service company like spa or salon, where the staffs work at the front end, can never be compromised at any cost. They are the connecting channels between the brand and the customer.
Mahema adds, “My discomfort with male staff in other spas encouraged me to come up with my own venture where only women work. Some of them are hired on a reference basis and the rest were selected for their skills. Because they are the ones who are going to represent the brand based on the service they provide to the customer. So the selection of staff is taken very seriously and carefully.”
Importance of Training Staff
For any business which depends upon the staff for all the work, it is important to invest in their training and keep them updated to maintain the quality of the service.
“We cannot take the risk of underperformance from the staff’s side because manicure and pedicure is a serious job and one needs proper training or it can upset the customer, whom we cannot afford to lose. We train our staff in every three months and we have hired an instructor from Dubai, who teaches them online. Also, it makes the staff feel responsible and loyal when the employer invests in keeping them updated. It also enhances the relationship between the employer and the employees.
See, I have two outlets; I cannot be present at both the outlets at the same time, so I have to trust them and their work, that trust will come when I show them that I am putting in efforts to keep them updated and take care of their professional growth,” adds Mahema.