1 Hair Stop: Conventional wisdom with new twist

Richa and Raina Grover, the next generation of a hair industry family business, are reinventing themselves as a new-age hair extension company—1 Hair Stop.

   
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Though it’s difficult for a family enterprise to adapt to new narratives with its younger generations and allow them to create a different entity out of it, a sister duo is nailing the concept. Richa Grover Badruka and Raina Grover founded their own hair extension enterprise in 2019 after coming from a deeply rooted family business in the hair industry.

Their company 1 Hair Stop is a Hyderabad-based brand that provides easy-to-use and clip-on hair extensions for women. It highlights their innovative approach to hair loss, empowering women to make informed decisions about their hair health.

Why and how the Grover sisters did it, Raina Grover reveals to SME Futures in this article.

A motivating legacy

Can the next generation build on their family’s tradition while reinventing themselves? The answer lies in conventional wisdom and that’s what the Grover sisters had since the beginning.

“Coming from a family deeply rooted in the hair business, we were acutely aware of the dynamics of the industry long before embarking on our own hair extension venture,” says Raina.

After researching, it became apparent to them that despite India’s significant presence in global hair exports, there was a surprising absence of a domestic market for hair extensions. “This realisation struck us as a remarkable trend, considering the evident demand for hair extensions across various age groups within the Indian population,” she adds.

“The decision to establish our own hair extension brand was motivated by the understanding that there was an untapped potential in the Indian market. We aimed to leverage our family’s expertise and production capabilities to bridge the gap and cater to the needs of individuals seeking high-quality hair extensions within our own country,” Raina tells us.

Not just a dream, but a demand

With the support of their family, the sisters decided to quit what they were doing to embark upon their new entrepreneurial journey.

“My sister Richa, who has years of experience in direct-to-consumer export sales for our father’s company, Hritik Exim, and myself, who had worked alongside her in the same sales role for a short period, saw an opportunity to combine our knowledge and leverage our existing production capabilities. After this, I decided to leave my digital marketing job. We saw this as an opportunity to penetrate what we considered as a largely unexplored industry, leveraging our knowledge and skills,” Raina reminisces.

According to the duo, by launching their own business, they hoped to raise awareness about and accessibility to hair extensions in a market where their demand had been overlooked. “Our vision was to give women a variety of options for enhancing their hairstyles, boosting their confidence, and encouraging them to embrace their individual beauty,” she says.

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Learning valuable insights

During the early stages of 1 Hair Stop’s development, the siblings gained a profound understanding that surpassed the surface-level aspect of just selling hair products.

Raina believes that by creating their own brand, their mission at 1 Hair Stop went far beyond just enhancing physical attractiveness. “We observed that our products were having a substantial influence on how women perceived themselves. They seemed to be addressing personal reasons and emotions that went beyond outward beauty,” she asserts.

This realisation prompted a transformative shift in their approach, motivating them to place the utmost importance on their products and their customers. “We became deeply attuned to the delicate nature of our industry and the profound impact our offerings could have on individuals. This newfound understanding became the fundamental pillar of our brand and remains our unwavering core value to this day,” she says.

Hair is a valuable asset for most women. Acknowledging this fact, 1 Hair Stop has created a brand that transcends conventional beauty standards.

The prices of their products start from Rs 1,200 and go up to Rs 90,000. Using 100 per cent human hair, the product can be customised as per the problem that needs to be addressed, i.e, hair type, length, etc. 

Their main focus is on empowering women, instilling confidence in them so that they can embrace their unique individuality. “This lesson has not only shaped our business philosophy but also fuels our commitment to delivering the highest quality products and extraordinary customer experiences. In essence, the most invaluable lesson we learned during the inception of our brand was that we are not simply selling hair products; rather, we are dedicated to uplifting women and making a positive impact on their lives,” she asserts.

“To stay ahead in this rapidly growing niche industry, we focus on continuous innovation. We have revamped our website to provide a seamless user experience, create valuable content to educate and engage our audience, and provide exceptional customer service. By differentiating ourselves through these efforts, we aim to establish a strong position in the market and build long-lasting relationships with our customers,” she adds.

By closely monitoring market trends and actively adapting to changes, 1 Hair Stop remains committed to offering top-notch products, exceptional customer experiences, and staying at the forefront of the hair extension industry.

Guidance from their role model

Talking about her role model, Raina says that her father’s advice has influenced her growth as a business leader. “His guidance has profoundly influenced my growth as a business leader, shaping my outlook and approach,” she says.

Raina shares two important pieces of advice from her father that have stayed with her, saying, “He instilled in me an unwavering commitment to quality. As a consummate perfectionist, he emphasised the importance of prioritising excellence in all aspects of work. This focus on delivering the highest standards of quality has become a guiding principle at 1 Hair Stop, enabling us to consistently provide exceptional products and services.”

“Secondly, my father’s genuine concern for people and his ability to prioritise their needs have left an indelible mark on our company’s values. We have adopted a customer-centric approach, striving to understand and exceed our customers’ expectations. This focus on building strong relationships, trust, and customer satisfaction has been instrumental in our growth and success,” she says.

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Bond between sisters

As Co-Founders, the Grover sisters have fostered a remarkable working relationship. In fact, they have transformed the dynamics of a typical family business at 1 Hair Stop. One significant development has been the establishment of a more systematic and structured team, predominantly comprising of women. This has brought about positive changes to the organisational structure, and enhanced the firms’ ability to operate efficiently and effectively.

“We both share a strong bond. Our partnership is built on a foundation of trust and shared vision, allowing us to work seamlessly without conflicts. We complement each other’s skills and expertise, pooling our strengths to drive the success of our brand,” says Raina.

Richa has played a pivotal role in the brand’s initial growth phase, serving as its primary model and contributing significantly to the brand’s development. “Recently, she temporarily relocated to London, where she has been actively engaged in hosting trials and acquiring new hair coloring and hairdressing techniques,” she says.

“We have collaborated closely to shape various aspects of our business, including product ranges, pricing strategies, and growth plans. I am primarily involved in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the business. I have taken charge of crucial areas such as website development, marketing strategies, ad campaigns, and organising and directing professional photoshoots to showcase our product range in the best possible way,” she tells us.

Roadmap ahead

The hair extension market is evolving, with several new players coming in. 1 Hair Stop is also witnessing competition and the availability of similar products at various price points. So, consumers now have more options to choose from.

However, to set themselves apart, Raina’s company has chosen to keep the production in-house rather than outsourcing it like many other brands do. Raina says that this allows them to maintain stringent quality control, prioritising the delivery of superior products over quantity. “We take pride in offering the largest range of hair products in the Indian market and constantly strive to introduce new and innovative products to meet the evolving needs of our customers,” she says.

Talking about the future of their brand, Raina shares their ambitious plans to expand. “One of our immediate goals is to establish a physical studio in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, marking our entry into the offline space by August 2023. While our focus has primarily been on online direct-to-consumer (D2C) sales at 1HS, we recognise the value of providing customers with the opportunity to see and experience our hair extensions in person,” she says.

Furthermore, to cater to a broader range of customer preferences and requirements, the company plans to explore the realm of semi-permanent hair extensions, including tape-ins and keratin bonds.

“Our forays into the offline space and semi-permanent hair extensions are both exciting endeavours. Based on consumer inputs and industry developments, we will learn, expand, and perfect our strategy. We are confident in our capacity to determine the future of our brand and secure our position as a leading force in the hair extension business by remaining nimble and responsive,” asserts Raina as she signs off.

One thought on “1 Hair Stop: Conventional wisdom with new twist

  1. This article is a breath of fresh air! 🌬️ I love how you challenge conventional wisdom and bring a new twist to the world of haircare. The tips and insights shared are truly game-changing. It’s inspiring to see a fresh perspective on hair care that goes beyond the usual. Can’t wait to try out these unconventional approaches and break free from the ordinary. Kudos to thinking outside the hairbox! 💆‍♀️💡✨

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