Arumugawalli lives in Sikkal Taluk of Ramanathapuram district, with her husband Anand who is employed at an NGO and has 2 school going children. She has been running the tailoring shop for the last 14 years which also employs two other individuals locally as well. Two years ago, she also started a beauty parlour adjacent to her tailoring shop; for which she received training from ‘Rural Self Employment Training Institute (RSETI)’. Both her shop spaces are rented. Before the pandemic, she used to make INR 15,000 per month from the tailoring unit and the beauty parlour respectively. The lockdown brought her business to a halt and since the lockdown has been lifted her business has begun to pick up. But the demand has significantly reduced from before.
She wants to upgrade the parlour to cover the loss of income suffered through the months. Currently, she is only able to offer basic services at her parlour, due to infrastructure limitations- the ladies visiting dont have a proper waiting space. Her parlour is the only one in the locality and she recognises immense market potential. Further, she recognises that her customers are still anxious about coming to the parlour but are open to home services- for which she needs even set up a digital presence- branding, pricing list, digital payment etc. She is also keen to establish safety protocols for home visitsin order to assure her customers, as well as for her own safety
The modification and upgrading of the parlour have been designed to create designated areas for various services. Storage space has been designed to showcase beauty products for sale Solar powered trimmer, lights, fan and grooming tools have also been added for ease of work and well-being of the staff and customers. The staff at the parlour was also trained on safety protocols (sanitisation, PPE Kits, face masks and shields etc) - this also helps assure the customers of safety, and improves mental health of the staff. In addition, a digital marketing strategy was also developed.
“My parlour was not functional for 6 months due to COVID-19. Even though there were queries coming my way for makeup for marriages and the other in house services, I was hesitant to go as I feared falling sick. Since the lockdown has been lifted I have opened my parlour, but poor infrastructure and facilities is often the reason why people do not come in. I want to set up the right protocols and transform my business with a digital presence.”