In the last ten years, the beauty and wellness industry has changed drastically in India. It has come a long way: from dropping in at the local beauty salon for a haircut from the parlour aunty, to booking appointments a week in advance and picking hairstylists based on their expertise. Salons and spas have also become more tech savvy and easily discoverable. The transformation in the way these businesses function can be accredited to tech companies that are helping them become more efficient.
The Hyderabad and Seattle-based startup was co-founded in 2010 by Dheeraj Koneru, Sudheer Koneru, Anand Arvind, and Saritha Katikaneni. Prior to this venture, tech graduates, Dheeraj and Sudheer worked for Microsoft and then went on to own and run a chain of fitness centers, spas, and salons in Hyderabad. During their stint in the wellness industry, they were not satisfied with the software available to manage their business. After evaluating the existing options, they decided to go back to their niche; technology. Thus, the startup was born with the goal of changing the face of the wellness industry.
ManageMySpa began with the idea of making businesses in this space, more reliable and scalable. The cloud app assists salons and spas in predicting revenues, engaging their customers, maintaining customer reservations, and viewing customer visit history. The startup also has built-in customer relationship (CRM) and inventory management features.
The CRM feature helps the spa update customer records and enhance customer loyalty through marketing. “Customer relationship management is critical to the service industry and we help businesses maintain a strong relationship which adds value to the service they are providing,” Katikaneni, the startup’s VP of marketing, tells Tech in Asia.
The inventory management system allows the business to keep track of purchases, consumption, and place timely orders. “A spa or salon uses up to 700 hundred products a month to carry out their services and our system makes it possible to keep track of the process,” adds Katikaneni.
ManageMySpa’s services is tiered to businesses at different stages. Start, Grow, and Enterprise are the three plans they offer, which cater to companies of varying number of customers and outlets. The employee management feature is common across the three plans and allows the business to keep track of employee profiles, employee shifts, attendance, and payroll. There are add-on services available for every plan, including a webstore integrated with the website, analytics, mobile apps, and texts and email services for marketing.
Customers meanwhile can download the app, book time slots, and select the stylist of their choice through the app. Employees can check the schedule, timings, and customer profile. Manager can keep track of the business by accessing key performance indicators, number of appointments, and inventory status through an app.
The plans offered by the startup ranges from US$100 to US$500 a month, the higher end being for the multi-locational enterprises.
ManageMySpa has over 5,000 outlets on its platform. In five years, it has expanded into 32 countries with offices in seven countries. ManageMySpa reported a growth of 300 percent in between 2014 and 2015, supported by 100 million appointment bookings annually. BBlunt, Sohum Spa, Kaya, and Enrich Salons are few customers of the startup.
Initially, ManageMySpa had difficulties getting customers in India. The lack of a strong internet infrastructure was a hinderance. “Most salons and spas did not have an internet connection on their premises and the ones that had didn’t trust the consistency of it. This was our biggest challenge,” says Katikaneni. However, over time, the startup overcame this challenge because their technology could be used even on a 3G mobile data connection.
Even though Katikaneni claims ManageMySpa is the dominant player in India, Envision and Mindbobdyonline are close global rivals. Ennoview Incorporated is a US-based corporation and Envision is its flagship product. Envision is a Windows-based software for spa and salon management. Mindbodyonline is another US-based competitor that provides a cloud-based management software. It has expanded into 124 countries with 42,000 customers and 24 million active users.
The five-year-old ManageMySpa raised US$6 million in series A funding earlier this week from Accel Partners. Moving ahead, they also plan to launch apps to completely transform the way the wellness industry works. “The world is moving further into becoming a mobile community and we want to our customers to be able to operate and run the whole business from an iPad or a smartphone,” says Katikaneni.
The startup plans to become the global dominant player in the wellness industry. Part of that involves adding fitness centers such as yoga studios and pilates studios in its customer base.
Source: Tech in Asia