THANE DESERVES IT

Nikhil Ballal

You are a doctor by profession how did you
enter in this business?
Yes I am a radiologist by profession. I
have been practising for more than two
decades now. While practising I could see
worries on the face of my patients. This
prompted me to do something to bring back
a smile on them. Although I treated the
patients for their ailments I wanted their
journey of recovery to be happy as well. This
was when the idea of starting the spa came to
my mind. ‘I deserve it is’ a place where I
could give them some moments of relief and
happiness.

Don’t you think it was a risk starting up
such a project in a place like Thane?
Yes it was indeed. There was no ‘spa
culture’ in Thane then. But I knew it would
click. Thane is changing rapidly. Over the
years we have witnessed a tremendous
growth as far as infrastructure is concerned.
One of the biggest shopping mall is now in
Thane. International standard hotels and
hospital,high rise buildings with beautiful
landscaping and good connectivity have
made Thane a Global Destination. In last 10
years we have seen a huge influx of
corporates; IT professionals and businessmen
in this lake city.
Since I have been a part of this growth
and development I knew some day people
would also require a space where they can
distress themselves. Of course such place
should also meet international standards as
many Thanekars are now Globe Trotters. Our
facility has taken care of it.

How were the initial days of your
business?
First four months were good. They were
beyond our expectations. My personal
relations helped me get clients. But later we
saw a drop down in the business! This
happened mainly because of two thingspricing
and location (TalaoPali).
During these days people weren’t much
aware of these therapies and international
treatments. So, they found our treatments
expensive. My medical practise was going
extremely good. As I told you earlier I had
not started this venture to make quick buck but
to give precious moments of peace and
happiness to people. However our clientele
didn’t understand my mission which prompted
me to redesign the project.
Now these treatments became affordable
to clients but unwieldy to me. I had invested
all my earnings of my life in this venture and
continued pouring money that I got from the
practise. Thanks to my husband who stood
rock solid behind me and supported me in
my endeavours.
Secondly, I realised our location was
inappropriate for such project. Majority of
Male and Females are shy to take a massage
or spa. Whenever any prominent person
would visit my centre whole city would come
to know by their cars parked or security
standing outside. Also commoners refrained
from visiting our place because of lack of
privacy. I realised this and shifted my base to
Vihang Palm Club (Vartaknagar).

What difference it made shifting the
venue?
It made a huge difference. There were
many ups and downs but they are part and
parcel of any business. Since we dealt in
luxury products we would stand last in
theirpriority list. People weren’t ready to
spend money and time for themselves. Women
were so used to their local parlours that they
were not ready to try something new. And
problem with men are they don’t believe in
idea of pampering themselves! But over a
period of time people’s mind set started
changing! They have realised ‘I deserve it’ is
more than Salon. It is a combination of
Ayurveda, Weight Loss program, Face lift,
Body contouring and Body shaping.
The hectic pace of life coupled with
irregular eating and sleeping habits, tough
working conditions and competitive atmosphere
at work leads to stress. We are
exposed to a number of toxic substances
through food, water and air. It is necessary to
get rid of these toxins which are done in our
wellness centre by Detox treatment. So,
people have realised that apart from getting a
good hair cut they get to rejuvenate their mind,
refresh their heart, revitalise their body,
restore their soul and reignite their spirit! It
gives me immense pleasure to inform you that
we now have more than 1000 regular
members and clientele of around seven
thousand.

What were the challenges that you
faced?
Our profession is extremely demanding.
People expect fast results. Some times their
demands are too unrealistic which becomes
difficult for us to fulfil. I recollect there was
one person who wanted a haircut like
President of AmericaMr. Barack
Obama!(laughs).
But since I have also specialised in image
management I could explain him what will suit
him and what will not. Fortunately, he clients accept my suggestions.(smiles)
Image management is continuous on-going
process of evaluating and controlling the
impact of your appearance and resulting
response on you and others.
Is it tough to be a women entrepreneur?
Gone are the days when women were
considered no match for all powerful men in
this world.
The male dominated world was always
reluctant to even acknowledge the fact that
women were as good as men on parameters of
hard work, intelligence quotient (IQ) and
leadership traits.
The new generation women across the
world have overcome all adverse notions and
have proved themselves beyond doubt in all
spheres of life including the most intricate and
cumbersome world of entrepreneurship. There
are many success stories which have removed
the misconceptions about women’s capabilities.

What would you appeal the budding
entrepreneurs?
He or she must be good at multi- tasking. I
manage my practise, social responsibilities
and also my businesses. At the same time give
time to my family too. Presently I am working
for 16 to 18 hours a day!
I believe that there is neither shortcut to
success nor limited ways to achieve them. I
would appeal all the budding entrepreneurs-
Try to do something new after every six
months. Always keep your mind open and
accept the transition. This will help you to
innovate and explore new things which will not
only fetch you money but also give you work
satisfaction.
As far as ‘I deserve it’ is concerned I
believe in the quote of Bill Gates-Your most
unhappy customers are the greatest source of
learning. I constantly take feedbacks of my
customers and make amendments in my
business. Don’t think of profits for first 1000
days! Give business its own time to settle and
believe me it shows you the path of success.

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