The beauty of franchising

In 2005, Manroop Ahitan founded the CoLaz brand. Nine years later she tells her story to The Franchise Magazine, why it represents a great opportunity for all and reveals her hopes and goals for the future.

Basically, I always had the desire to venture into the beauty industry,” states Manroop Ahitan, founder of the CoLaz brand, a revolutionary beauty franchise that has become recognised specialists in a range of beauty treatments including laser hair removal. What Manroop knew as well was that she could achieve more by being her own boss, as opposed to working for somebody else. “I realised very early on that by working for myself I would be bound by far fewer restrictions and having the power to make my own decisions on how to move things forward was always a massive selling point for me when deciding to embark on this journey.”

Of course, there were challenges in those early days of setting up and establishing a new brand, however these were fairly rapidly overcome. “I think the most challenging things for me since establishing the brand in 2005 have been getting the right staffing mix in place across all of CoLaz’s salons and of course managing to keep the brand going strong in the nine years since,” Manroop explains. “Today I believe I can proudly step back and see that I have found a formula and business strategy that works well and one that is supported by a truly great team.”

Such has been the success of Manroop’s formula and strategy that she can confidently say CoLaz almost runs itself, providing its Founder with the free time she lacked previously. “Of course, I am still here every day putting in the hours where they are needed, but what this role has done is allow me to spend more time with my children. The free time I have now is fantastic, but believe me it has taken a great deal of time and effort to get to this point.”

While the beauty industry can be perceived by some to be a purely female orientated world, Manroop is keen to stress that, in fact, the opportunities presented by CoLaz are ideal for people of both sexes. “It is a fact that our customer base is about 80 per cent female, the majority of which do traditionally have a preference to be treated by other women. However, because the role of franchise owner is in every way a management position, it is one that lends itself well to both men and women.”

Manroop also takes a great deal of joy in seeing just how much enthusiasm there is from others to follow the example she has set. “A great many of my students at Beaulaz, our associated beauty therapy college, have expressed a desire to eventually run their own business and that is great to see.”

As for the future of CoLaz itself, it is the hope of Manroop and others that the franchising side of the business will continue its strong growth, with more branches opening across the country in due course. “In addition to developments in the UK, we are also in talks with individuals who have expressed an interest in introducing the CoLaz brand to the Indian market,” she concludes. “So global expansion is something we will very much be looking towards as well.”