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Truefitt and Hill World’s oldest salon from London will soon start operations in India.

Franchise News India: An Indian firm Lloyds Luxuries, owned by 21-year-old Krishna Gupta, has won the master franchise to start its salons in India and sell grooming products in neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Nepal.

The 200-year-old salon, often visited by the likes of Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens and Alfred Hitchcock, will start two men’s salons in Mumbai’s suburbs Bandra and Andheri.

“We will have a price of Rs 1,200 for a 30-minute hair cut and shave, and up to Rs 6,000 in our VIP lounge under a royal package,” Gupta said. “We will add three more salons by 2015.” The company has entered into a 10-year agreement with the London chain with the option to extend it for another 10 years. Lloyds has roped in Istayak Ansari, former chief executive of Gold’s Gym chain, as its managing director and partner to roll out the luxury salon. “Our plan is to build salons by 2024, half of them owned and the rest sub-franchised,” Gupta said.

Truefitt and Hill, which has been grooming the Duke of Edinburgh for more than 100 years, was keen to open its innings in India. A barber from Truefitt and Hill visits the Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace to groom the Duke of Edinburgh, while the young princess visits its shop in St James Street.

There are many challenges, say experts. “Ignorance among men about the creams and tools used in shaving, lack of awareness for face, body and hair care among men, and lack of knowledge of services are the three biggest challenges for these companies to grow in the Indian market,” says Rekha Chaudhari, managing director at JCKRC Spa Destination. “Almost 80% of the men are ignorant of the ingredients of creams and the rest 20% go abroad to avail of the services.”

“The company was keen to be part of India’s booming luxury goods market and is currently looking at partners here to expand its business,” Katie Broughton, owner of Truefitt and Hill, had told the media last year. China already has a Truefitt and Hill barber shop in Beijing.

“We are looking for a partner to start a chain of barber shops in India, and distributors for our perfumes and grooming products,” she added.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes

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