Veena Kumaravel (Naturals)
- Veena Kumaravel – the woman who revolutionised the beauty industry in Tamil Nadu! In 2000, she started Naturals, with the support of her husband, C K Kumaravel. Today Naturals is the most prominent chain of salons in India!
- With no background in the beauty business, it is no joke to rise up the ranks and gain the first position. She studied Commerce in Ethiraj College, but her mind was always set on opening a salon and then a chain of salons throughout India. Her husband Kumaravel encouraged her and provided all the support he could to help Veena realise her dream. Initially, he leant more toward the ideas of starting a play school or a boutique. Beauty salon was only the third on his list. But Veena’s confidence and passion gave him the confidence that she would definitely win, so he went along with her plan.
- 10 years of hard work and smart work is what made her business parallel with the veteran salons that dominated the industry before Naturals. In 2011, NDTV honoured Naturals with India’s Best Beauty Salon Award, and an organisation named Salon International announced Naturals as the ‘Best National Salon Chain of the Year’.
- Veena believes that one should not hesitate to get down on the field, if he/she wants to taste success. In 2000, when she started Naturals, she handled the majority of the workload. She had hired a Technical Supervisor, who hardly worked. The technical supervisor also quit in 3 months. This did not discourage Veena. She was determined to push her brand forward, with or without the help of others. She learnt everything required to run a business and marched forward by the power of sheer hard work.
- It was Anita Roddick, the founder of ‘The Body Shop’ who inspired Veena to start a salon. Veena closely followed the business model of The Body Shop and learnt to build her empire. She did not stop at following Anita Roddick’s business model. She learnt the value of giving back to the society from Anita Roddick and started involving herself in social welfare activities.
- A question that is asked to every successful businessperson – “What’s the secret of your success?” Veena wasn’t spared from this question. Her answer was, “If you fail, get up again”.
- It may be construed that her goal was to become a forerunner of the Indian beauty business. But her dream is much broader than that. She wanted to establish a brand from Tamil Nadu as a world-renowned beauty brand. She is steadily expanding her territories by establishing outlets in Sri Lanka, Dubai and America.
- Veena has always emphasised on the importance of financial independence for women. In her company, there are currently 189 branches that serve women exclusively. Through these 189 branches she created employment opportunities for 5500 women.
- We are living in a time where North Indians who migrate to South India for employment are given only physical labour jobs. Veena opened up the job market for such north Indians in search of a job. She gave them the job title of beauty expert and established 4 centres to teach them the art of grooming and beautifying. This is especially a boon for women who come from financially backward areas of north-east India.