YLG: To Look Great

Vaijayanti Bhalchandra, Co-Founder“Nature Gives You The Face You Have At Twenty; It Is Up To You To Merit The Face You Have At Fifty.”
-Coco Chanel

The overall Beauty Business in India is booming and has caught pace now with the cosmetics market growing at 15-20 percent annually. The Salon market in India, currently estimated at approx. USD 2.3 Billion is pegged at USD 2.68 billion by next year. The beauty care market in India is likely to become the main contributor to the growth of Indian wellness industry and it consists of salons, cosmetic products, cosmetics treatment centres and cosmetic products.

"YLG has taken the most intriguing aspect of indian customers’ beauty related demands, and mixed IT with the right proportion to introduce a marvel"

What’s more exciting is that women contribute to over 85 percent of the Salon industry revenue. Vaijayanti Bhalchandra, a serial entrepreneur in the Beauty & Salon industry has contributed a fair share to the Salon ecosystem through her ventures. Currently, Vaijayanti is the co-founder of the Bangalore based Beauty brand, YLG, which operates over 60 salons and is known for being a pioneer in the beauty industry. She has a significant presence on the Internet given her extraordinary achievements in the beauty industry.

In the initial years their entrepreneurship, Vaijayanti and her other half(also the co-founder of YLG) wanted to start a business centred on beauty space. After a thorough market research, the team identified Salons as the preferred space. “We got the opportunity to pick the salon segment. When we looked at the market, we realized that there was an opportunity to do a lot, given the state of the industry in 2008. We were sure that we could bring so much to the table, to be able to provide better services and to be able to really make a difference”, recalls Vaijayanti.

As pioneers of waxing in India, YLG has to its credit a revolutionary system of waxing along with which YLG developed its own product formulations specifically for the Indian consumers, which the Indian consumers had never experienced before. In 2009, YLG pioneered the trend of Salon home services with salon like experience, with phone call based services. The company reinvented this as a technology enabled service in 2016, with the mobile app being at the heart, and today YLG is the only true omnichannel Salon brand in India. YLG has also extended its core competence in understanding then Indi’s skin care needs with its own specially designed product line for skin care available in more than 2000 outlets across south India. The YLG’s brand of skincare products are also made available in YLG’s 62 outlets. “We have created the products to meet the emerging needs of the millennial consumers, which we experience firsthand with our service business and listening to our customers”, says the Co-founder.

All About Being The First
YLG has taken the most intriguing aspect of Indian customers’ beauty related demands, and mixed it with the right proportion to introduce a marvel. ‘Come take our skin type quiz and know how to build the best routine for a healthy skin’. One would find the Google result swarming with such results when searched for skin treatment. Now, we need to understand-haircuts and skin treatments are something a beauty service provider cannot offer without actually looking at your skin or hair. Right?
Well, YLG had to do things differently and therefore introduce state of the art technology for skin consultation and diagnosis. YLG understands that people look for more sustainable solutions like natural based products, and products which allow them to take care of their skin holistically over a period of time. Customers not just wanted to get beauty services done, but they also wanted to know how to take care of themselves. In the skin range of products, YLG offers aroma therapy based products, herbal products, and several different skin friendly natural products. The company has its own YLG signature facials which the firm has curated from natural products sourced from Spain. Packaged for a single use format, the kit is open for only one customer making it hygienic for the service to the customer. The idea is to keep the YLG team updated as well as have an access to the customer for what is the best trend happening in the world. When the world had just been introduced to a new hair colouring technique called Balayage, YLG brought the technique to India. Balayage technique is the method of colouring hair in which the hair is coloured in a beautiful harmony looking like a single unit. Earlier, colouring was done in such a manner that the streak could be seen separately, but with the new Balayage technique, the end result is the coming together of the colours to give a harmonious look. In line with its commitment to drive new trends and technologies for the Indian Salon industry, YLG introduced its concept of “Indian Browns Collection” last year. Trending with a hashtag '#proud to be brown', this concept led YLG to bring in colours which were specifically meant for the kind of skin tones that Indians have. Those were the kind of skin tones that YLG has been experimenting with the help of international stylists. The firm has made the ‘Indian Brown’ look a sensation and asked for look for the trendy in South India. It encapsulates a big range colours from the family of brown starting from mocha to caramel to the lightest shades of chromes.

In order to keep up with customer demands for quicker services and more personalized YLG is also working with an AI driven promotional engine

Building A Legacy Via YlG Institute
Even before YLG’s parade of success in the Indian beauty industry, long before the Salon was a business model, YLG’s founders laid the corner stone for education in this field. It was called the YLG Insitute. The duo had committed to the fact that they needed to upgrade whoever comes to them and educate across the board right then. Vaijayanti takes pride in having trained over 6,000 beauticians and hairdressers (most of them women) till date. She firmly believes that educating women across social strata and underprivileged candidates is the best way to give back to society. Besides, this immensely contributed to the industry standards going up and the best practices being brought in, which again, YLG has played a major role in. More so, the practices have been accepted across the country by different brands. The institute now has certifications from CIBTAC, UK (India’s first signature accredited CIBTAC School), and CIDESCO, Swededn. YLG has built reputation over the last 10 years for its own academic courses. So, the certificates that YLG Institute confers has great value enabling every student to find employment. For over a decade, the YLG Institute has earned its followers over word of mouth, which has created the reputation for the academy and the level of education offered. Besides, YLG has a healthy alumni network across south India.

Among the several firsts that YLG introduced or is a part of, the Mahatma Gandhi Samman award presented to the Co-founder Vaijayanti Bhalchandra at the House of Commons (Parliament), London, stirred a notion of great pride in the entire beauty industry of India. Vaijayanti Bhalchandra, the co-founder of YLG Salons & YLG Institut, has been bestowed with the prestigious ‘Mahatma Gandhi Samman’ at the Global Achievers Conclave at Westminster Palace, UK Parliament, London on Oct 25, 2018. The ‘Mahatma Gandhi Samman’ award is given to 'Eminent achievers from India' who have proven grounds in their professionand have made India proud on international platforms. The event was marked with dignitaries from the UK Parliament and chief guest was 'Shri Deve Gowda, Ex PM of India'. Forbes too, rated YLG amongst the five hottest startups in India.

You Look Great!
In order to keep up with customer demands for quicker services and more personalized, YLG is also working with an AI driven promotional engine which creates customized engagement for every customer based on her personal interest. YLG has set benchmarks along its journey from being industry’s first beauty training & certification provider to a premiere name in salon & beauty treatments, and from Balayage colouring technique to Brazilian waxing. YLG’s harbinger, Vaijayanti Bhalchandra has set new benchmarks for the Indian beauty & salon industry. Care for customers, transparency, respect for the individual, ownership and passion for excellence, are core values for the YLG team. But most importantly, this dynamic salon chain wants its customers to be able to look at themselves in the mirror and say “You look great”.