AgTalk | A brand created out of sheer passion: Jawed Habib

A known and a successful brand today and renowned hair stylist, Jawed Habib has over 25 years of association with the fashion and film world. He is the third generation of the family of hair dressers and hair stylists who going beyond what his grandfather and father did, has turned 120 years of legacy into much a sought after brand.

It would be more appropriate to say that Jawed's optimistic and amazing zest for life has made him the face of Indian Hair Styling. After studying French literature in Delhi, Jawed went to London's Morris School of Hair Design specializing in Hair Coloring & Setting and Dressing Out.

Back in India, Jawed introduced Hair Color to the young fashionable India. Jawed Habib shot to fame with his drive to make hair color fashionable and acceptable across all sections of society in India. Jawed has been the Brand Ambassador for Sunsilk Hair Care products Unilever, Panasonic Electronics, holds the Limca Book of Records with a feat of 410 hair cuts in a day and has been the official Hair Stylist for Femina Miss India Beauty pageants. These aggressive media mileage along with a series of Workshops, Seminar conducted by Jawed Habib has carved a niche for himself in the field of professional and creative hairstyling in India.

Perhaps Jawed Habib had become the only Hair Stylist who was recognized by his name, face and his associated brands. His humble and simple nature had triggered the hearts and minds of millions in India and around the world. Using this opportunity, Jawed Habib ventured into setting up his own Hair & Beauty salons integrating hairstyling & beauty services. His concept of hairstyling is a perfect amalgam of Indian & western hairstyling based on science and geometrical system. His skills, aesthetic sensitivity and solid expertise, helped him understand the needs of growing Indian market.

The breathtaking achievements prove his excellence on all kinds of hair so it is modest to say that getting your hair done at Jawed Habib's spells the message loud and clear that you're in tune with the times". The Jawed Habib brand commands the highest brand recall in his business cutting across masses and classes. Jawed Habib has been instrumental in building the brand over the past two decades. JH Ltd derives considerable leverage from the Jawed Habib brand and is able to attract customers on the strength of this brand.

As a part of his recent initiative his company, Jawed Habib Hair and Beauty (JHHB) has launched a new logo ‘JH’ which would be part of Jawed Habib’s brand identity. Adgully spoke with Jawed Habib, Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, (JHHB) recently to know his journey so far and the plans ahead.

Following is the excerpt of the conversation.

Adgully: Your company’s brand is the leader brand in hair and beauty segment in India. Please share with us the journey till date and how it all began?

Jawed Habib: I am the third generation of the family of hairdressers and began my journey by joining the family business. My grandfather and my father were hairdressers too and I followed their footsteps. I went to London’s Morris Master Class because my dad wanted me to go there. Then I worked in Salon because that was my Dad’s Salon, but the change that came into me was when I started teaching. I think today the idea of teaching, students whom I taught, and things that they taught me created this renowned name ‘ Jawed Habib’. I have done 800 seminars till date, not restricting myself to any particular region or country. When I planned to start my business I did not have the capital and so decided to start it as joint venture, I built my business on others money but I worked hard for its success. I have travelled to almost every city in India. My passion made me achieve my dreams.

AG: You are a celebrated name and the first one to bring this profession to glory. What factors do you attribute to your success?

JH: I feel my hard work, my never compromising attitude and punctuality as the factors responsible for where I have reached today.

AG: The company recently unveiled a new brand logo. What is the rationale for doing and how will it help you?

HB: We have made our presence felt in India and are planning to expand. Simultaneously I also want to go international. That’s the reason for getting the new logo ‘JH’ as we want to reach out to every classes and masses, we want to reach out to everyone and I feel our brand’s logo and identity should match with our customers perception, expectation & fulfillment. My aim at  present is very simple that in the next five years I want to go international; I want the number of international and national outlets to be same.

AG: Please brief us how the hair and beauty industry is performing today? The industry being very fragmented, what do you think needs to be done for its proper growth?

JH: Abroad it’s growing professionally, if I were to compare the Indian industry,  there has been changes over a period of time, phases of hairdressing which was 20 years back has  changed today. Today it’s all about good haircut, with good chemical and good product. It has become like a package but who’s going to understand the best chemical and product, the trained people. A person should be thoroughly professional to become a hairdresser, respect it as profession and learn the foundation, go to some institution which is still missing. 90 percent of hairdressers who we have today have taken up this profession because their ancestors were hairdressers. Today it’s an unorganized industry, but once people start taking this as a serious profession and start educating themselves this industry will grow big and will become vast.

AG: How do compare the domestic Hair & Beauty industry with that in the developed countries?

JH: I think beauty enhances the personality wherein hair defines crown. I feel hair styling is not just giving bollywood celebs a haircut but more than that it’s an education, profession and a business. Abroad stylists are much more professional but why we need them in India? Even we can give them fair competition. Where international stylists are professional we Indians are passionate. Passion leads to success and with my never compromising attitude I have always tried and given best things on the road to success. This profession is not an art but it’s a science for which there is a need of good education which is lacking in India.

AG: What is your competitive strategy?

JH: I seriously don’t see any competitor nor competition because Jawed Habib is the only brand available in India. I just want to say that if you want to create your identity go ahead and don’t be scared of JH, create your own brand, it will take time but you should sacrifice, you should give time to it. For me it took 25 years, and there are no shortcuts to success.

AG: How strong is your brand presence in India and abroad?

JH: In India we are present in 92 cities with 367 outlets, 197+ JH Hair & Beauty Salons, 125 JH Hair Xpreso Salons, 1 JH Bevels Salon and 44 JH Academies. Abroad we are in Singapore, UAE, London and other parts of Europe.

AG: JH has different business dimensions such as Bevels, JH Studio, Hair Xpreso and others. What kind of growth have you witnessed in each segment?

JH: All our every segments have achieved good growth. The reason behind these dimensions is that I want to cut everyone’s hair and that’s why we have different dimensions. The growth is really big as Hair Xpreso itself has become 100 plus in three years. We are planning to launch 50 Bevels in 18 months’ time and Bevels is not a small property. We are talking about 100 sq. feet area with 30 crores investment which is huge. My strategy with these dimensions is that lets divide this salon industry and make it big. Haircut is a need and the market is big.

AG: Hair Xpreso has shown tremendous growth. While  hair care is becoming expensive for the common man,  JH has made this dimension quite affordable. So are you going to make your other dimensions affordable as well or plan to limit it to elite class?

JH: JH as a brand cuts across masses and classes, there’s no other salon brand which provides this. We have Hair Xpreso at Rs 99 and then we have Hair and Beauty Salons which costs more, around Rs 1000, then Bevels. We have segregated it as we want to catch our customers young and that’s why we initially target youths who don’t earn and then when they earn they can experience our higher range salons too.

AG: What is the uniqueness of JH as a brand?

JH: Its professionalism and passion.

AG: What kind of scope you see for your brand in Tier II and III cities of India?

JH: Business is there, especially Tier III’s have good scope as there people are brand hungry and there is no competition there. Our 2014 project is going to focus on smaller cities like Hubli etc. We are strong in metro cities-Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata, so now we planning to dedicate our next 18 months in Tier II and III markets.

AG: What would be your new initiative and plans?

JH: As I said we will be focusing much on Tier II and III markets, spread education by organizing seminars. The company has just launched Bevels and want to create presence globally as education brings respect which lead to more passion and fame. We are planning to step into the face wash and cosmetics range but at the same time not planning to deviate ourselves from our roots that is Hairs. At the moment we not talking about products, as other brands talk about products, then service and later education. Mine is other way round that’s service, education and then may be products. Yes, I am also launching my book ‘Hair Yoga’.

AG: What are the essentials to be a part of JH brand?

JH: One can become part of my salon as trainer, as business partner and customer but for that you have to trust me. Trust should be there in the brand as then it’s not just my brand even they own it. It’s like this; every team needs a commander, so here Jawed Habib is the one. 


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