Co-Founder – Manish Raj
Co-Founder – Netresh Nirmal
Co-Founder – Satish Singh
Co-Founder – Prateek Dwivedi
Co-Founder – Shivam Kumar
Website – Lookplex
What made you strike this business idea? What inspired you to start this company?
Lookplex – Using technology to make tasks easier for customers is what drove the e-commerce boom in India. And home services is one area where customers appeared to require a lot of help. Among home services, on-demand beauty services is a category with high frequency of usage and strong repeat rates, and we thought it presents a profitable market opportunity. However, execution is the name of the game in this space with enough scope for things to go wrong and that is where a lot of the players have faltered. We wanted to create a platform which is operationally less intensive yet more efficient than how home services were handled earlier.
When did you start your business?
Lookplex – We formed our company Masnep Online Services Pvt. Ltd. in May 2015 with a vision to structure on demand home services for customers. We finally started operations under the brand name of Lookplex in September 2016.
What does success mean to your company?
Lookplex – Success is a moving target. I don’t think we ever achieve it, at least in our own minds. For us and our brand, success means credibility and demand. We aim for every customer, every appointment and every interaction to be seen as legitimate and honest, and to carry a certain level of expertise. A credible image organically transforms into demand as customers begin to understand that your company is the one which understands the market, which has the mastery to help them with their at home beauty requirements and can subsequently lead to a loyal customer base with higher satisfaction quotient.
How are you performing currently?
Lookplex – Until now, we are operational in 3 cities viz. Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad & Dehradun with NCR seeing the maximum traction. With a fleet of around 60 well trained and expert beauty professionals across these cities, we are currently serving more than 2400 appointments per month with repeat rate of 60% and an average ticket size of Rs.1700. We closed the last fiscal year with revenues of 2.8 cr, clocking around 800% growth YoY. In the current fiscal year, we are targeting 25% growth MoM.
What is the biggest risk to your company?
Lookplex – Well, any significant risk isn’t immediately apparent. There’s nothing visible now that suggests danger is coming. The leads and sales are coming in, as is revenue. Of course, competition is a challenge but we have captured some good market share now with quality service and affordable pricing.
What are your plans on funding?
Lookplex – We raised some funding last year to scale up operations in Hyderabad and Dehradun and to speed up marketing. Currently, we are in talks with a couple of angel investors to raise some good funds by next quarter.
What is the biggest challenge you faced during your start-up setup?
Lookplex – Certain skills are crucial not only for your business to survive, but also to grow. Finding the right people and retaining them has been a challenge so far. Winning the trust of the customers was another challenge that we had to face initially as there were similar businesses providing beauty services at home already. But with a customer-centric working philosophy, we have been able to achieve a sustainable growth so far. Besides, word-of-mouth power and customer reviews and feedback on social media has given us an edge against our competitors.
What does growth mean to you and your business?
Lookplex – Business growth to us means generating significant positive cash-flow which increases remarkably in the coming years. Serving more and more customers with an increasing loyal customer base is also going to define growth for us.
How does your product stand different from others in the market?
Lookplex – We use only authentic and genuine products, mostly in mono-dose packaging which regular salons don’t provide. We have our own fleet of highly trained, skilled and background verified beauty professionals who charm our customers with their expertise. We have established a healthy working culture and created a transparent system for the professionals which allows ample flexibility to them against the norms practiced in most of the brick and mortar salons. We provide our professionals with a handsome salary and multiple incentives which generate very productive nine working hours and translate into creating a good work-life balance for them. We have partnered with the best on demand cab providers who facilitate hassle-free commuting of our professionals thus adding timeliness to our services. We work on distributed model which covers the leakages that mount our competitors in the commission-based model.
Technology is an apparent part of our functioning but we never forget that ultimately what has been our USP is our authenticity, punctuality, customer-centric approach, good reviews and feedbacks getting translated into the trustworthiness of customers towards our brand.
Where are your startup services spread?
Lookplex – We are operational in 3 cities – Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad and Dehradun currently. We are going to be operations in 3 more cities by next quarter.
What does it feel to be the founder of your start-up? How does it feel getting up every morning and getting on to work?
Lookplex – It’s massively rewarding. The personal growth journey has been fantastic for each one of us. I guess that we are the kind of people who are never satisfied with good enough, and that’s one thing that drives us to keep going, and lately is what is helping us succeed. I think the biggest feeling we have is that we’ve learnt and grown so much as a person in a short span of time. What’s difficult is that the beacon we had set for ourselves a while back has been reached, and now we see many more beacons yet to climb. We have a dogged determination which won’t let us quit. We’ve got a unique, proven, profitable and scalable business model, so we are going to see it through. Key learning has always been to construct a lifestyle which keeps us in energy. We are always in that state of mind where we are constantly thinking about how we can get the most out of our people & processes so that our business keeps flourishing.
We always saw ourselves as doers, but this journey has made us realise that we are a leader too. Leading with a few like minded, interested people is one thing; leading more people who all have different views on life is much, much more challenging. Every morning we get up, we believe that we are the one ultimately accountable for anything and everything. One can delegate responsibility, but one can’t delegate ultimate accountability for the business. That’s up to us, and so this gives us the strength to ask the hard questions to each other, and let go of the people that are not going to help us climb to the next beacon.
Where do you see your business standing in the next 5 years?
Lookplex – Standing tall as a market leader of at home services and cruising along across all major cities of India.