Ruksher Malik moved to London from her native India when she was 18 where she spent two years training in prestigious hair academies, namely Vidal Sassoon, Toni & Guy, L’Oreal Technical Academy, Nicky Clarke and Morris Masterclass International. By 1996, she was running a small but successful salon in Pune. When her husband’s job relocated to the UAE, she set up the Pastels Salon brand in 2004 with business partner, Steven Chan and hasn’t looked back.
Name: Ruksher Malik
Title: Co-founder of Pastels Salon
Number of years working in the beauty Industry: 30+ years
Number of years on the Middle East: 15 years
Number of years at the salon: 14 years
Number of branches: 3
Number of staff employed: More than 100
Career highlight: There have been so many but two that sound out are the opening of our flagship Jumeirah branch in 2012 and being named as the co-winner of the EIDEAL-Santi Business Leader of the Year at BeautyWorld Middle East in May 2018.
New developments planned for the next six months: Over the next six months, we are focusing on two key areas:
1. The Customer Experience: We have invested in a mystery shopper programme, partnering with GWR Consulting, a globally renowned leader in quality control. The programme comprises three visits to each salon branch annually, as well as visits to a selected number of rival salons. To kick start the initiative a comprehensive client journey map and checklist was created by both parties, which was to be used as a scoring sheet for all visits. Following each visit, detailed reports are generated, from which management can develop action points to use in Pastels’ formal appraisal system, which identifies what a staff member’s strengths are, what areas require improvement and how support can be implemented so individuals can grow within the Pastels’ team. In May 2018, Susie Santiago, mentor of the EIDEAL-Santi Leadership Programme, was recruited to give a whole staff training session which focused on the practices needed across all areas of the salon to excel at customer service. Attendance was mandatory. Specific points outlined in this session were incorporated into the checklist used in the mystery shopper visits.
2. Partnerships: To attract new clients and enhance brand awareness, the salon has partnered with BGX, an app that offers a mobile blow dry service. Through this app, less busy stylists will have the opportunity to meet potential clients and by offering an excellent service, convert them into in-salon clients. The salon has also partnered with some relocation companies to offer their clients discounts for first-time visits to the salon. Finally, the salon is about to announce the launch of a collaboration with Motorworks, which will allow salon clients to have their cars serviced, repaired and even sold hassle-free, while they are in the salon.