SHIVAÊS SUC­CESS STORY

Dr Shivarama K. Bhandary, owner of Shiva’s sa­lon has suc­cess­fully be­come the most pop­u­lar celebrity stylist for politi­cians and Bol­ly­wood celebri­ties alike. Divya Ramnani in a can­did con­ver­sa­tion with the man him­self, gets him to talk about his strug­gle,

Stardust (English) - - INTERVIEW -

How did your in­cred­i­ble jour­ney be­gin?

I came to Bom­bay in 1979, where I started my jour­ney by work­ing at Ajanta hair-cut­ting sa­lon at Bhandup for fifty rough days and then at many more sa­lons at var­i­ous parts of the city. In 1984, I got an op­por­tu­nity to visit Doha, Qatar and there, I learned the hair trends of var­i­ous coun­tries and cul­tures like Brazil, Africa, Korea etc. And while I was back from Qatar, it was the time when the Sad­dam Hus­sein in­va­sion hap­pened in Kuwait, and my mother was re­luc­tant to let me go back so I told her, fine, but I won’t stay in the vil­lage any more. So I moved to Mum­bai and set up my first sa­lon in Thane in Oc­to­ber 1988. The place was mine but back then, I couldn’t af­ford the chairs and mir­rors so I bought some sec­ond-hand fur­ni­ture and a few well-wish­ers helped me set up my sa­lon. I used to work long shifts from early morn­ing to late night. Then I started my sec­ond

sa­lon in Mu­lund in 1993. It was a small shop but the num­ber of chains in­creased with time. In 2000, I came to And­heri, Lokhand­wala and I got a lot of ex­po­sure there. My most mem­o­rable mo­ment was when I got an op­por­tu­nity to do a hair­cut for Balasa­heb Thack­eray Ji.

How did the idea of evolv­ing your own busi­ness come into be­ing?

“My most mem­o­rable mo­ment was when I got an op­por­tu­nity to do a hair­cut for Balasa­heb Thack­er­ayJi. ”

Mahesh anna (of MT Ed­u­care) bought me from Mu­lund to Lokhand­wala. He was like, “You have lim­ited scope and progress in Mu­lund, and when you go to Lokhand­wala, your work will be rec­og­nized”. He force­fully took me along with him in his car and showed me the place in Lokhand­wala and that was the be­gin­ning of my new jour­ney. I got so many good clients like Mad­hur Bhan­darkar ji, Ab­bas-Mas­tan ji, Vishal Bhard­waj ji, even David Dhawan ji used to come to my sa­lon.

Tell us about your Academy ini­tia­tive…

I started my Academy in 2010, it started on a good note. We taught styling to around four thou­sand kids of the mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties un­der the MANAS (Maulana Azad Na­tional Academy for Skills) pro­gramme con­ducted by the Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment for which I re­ceived an award from the Chief Min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis ji. Presently, peo­ple from all the com­mu­ni­ties come here and learn styling tech­niques. We teach ev­ery thing from beauty, pedi­cure, man­i­cure to hair cut­ting… it’s a four month course. It’s free of cost and it feels very good when we get bless­ings from those kids.

What sets apart Shiva’s sa­lons from other celebrity sa­lons, that we see on the rise to­day?

“I treat my staff like my fam­ily, I am in­com­plete with­out them. They all are very loyal to me.”

I can proudly say that I started from zero, and in this in­dus­try, it’s very dif­fi­cult to reach such a height and I have strug­gled to reach

where I am to­day that too with­out any part­ner or fi­nancer. I am a self-made man and I feel so good about that. I don’t want to give my fran­chise to any­one. My tar­get is to make it up to hun­dred sa­lons in the com­ing years.

You started from one out­let and now you own around six­teen out­lets, how do you feel about that?

“I can proudly say that I started from zero, and in this in­dus­try, it’s very dif­fi­cult to reach such a height and I have strug­gled to reach where I am to­day.”

It’s not only be­cause of me, I have got the bless­ings of so many peo­ple. And when my cus­tomers re­quest me to touch their heads, it gives val­i­da­tion to my work. Peo­ple feel that when I style their hair my­self, it is lucky. And what­ever I do, I do it from my heart, and it comes back to me.

Whom do you credit for your suc­cess?

A lot of peo­ple have contributed to my suc­cess but the one per­son who stood like a rock by me was my mother, the credit

goes to her for all the sup­port and love. And wher­ever I go to­day, I make sure to take my mother along with me, she is my lucky charm.

De­spite be­ing so suc­cess­ful, you say you are still learn­ing. Tell us about that.

“One per­son who stood like a rock by me was my mother.”

Learn­ing comes with no age and sta­tus re­stric­tions. I still learn. I visit var­i­ous coun­tries ev­ery year to learn and adapt new styles and trends and when I come back, I im­ple­ment them. I make sure I ed­u­cate all my staff about what I have learned so that they also learn to be in­no­va­tive. I have also sent my staff to var­i­ous coun­tries like Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore, Paris, Thai­land, USA so that they too learn new styles. I had been to Vi­dal Sas­soon (United King­dom) in 1998 for an ad­vanced course, they taught me a lot. In fact they are the best,

and one can learn so much from them. I will make sure I visit all the coun­tries and learn much more in the future.

How is your equa­tion with your em­ploy­ees?

“My clients trust me blindly with their hair.”

I have em­ploy­ees who have been with me for 28 years and there are so many of them, we are at­tached to each other in terms, of good bond­ing. I treat my staff like my fam­ily, I am in­com­plete with­out them. They all are very loyal to me.

How would you de­scribe your own style? What is Shiva’s style mantra?

My mantra is to give better than what peo­ple ex­pect from me.

“Ev­ery achieve­ment only teaches me to work harder and I strive and get mo­ti­vated to do even better in the future.”

Nowa­days, the younger gen­er­a­tion as­pires for different kinds of styles and looks, so my job is to en­sure that they get all the cur­rent flavours and new trendy styles.

What is the feed­back you have re­ceived so far?

My clients trust me blindly with their hair. I even ask them why they close their eyes and go to sleep when I am cut­ting their hair, what if I go wrong some­where? To which they say, “When you comb my hair, it is so sooth­ing, I re­ally don’t feel it”. This is the feed­back that keep me go­ing.

You have very good re­la­tions with the Thack­eray fam­ily, any com­ments?

“Mum­bai be­ing the hub of style, glam­our and fash­ion, there’s a lot of po­ten­tial here.”

Yes, it has been a very good jour­ney with them. The whole fam­ily is very nice and sweet, they are like our fam­ily now. I had once, done a hair­cut for Balasa­heb Thack­eray ji, which he liked very much and even com­pli­mented me.

Who are the celebs you have worked with?

I have worked un­der Mad­hur Bhan­darkar Sir’s ban­ner. He has worked with me in films like Fash­ion, Hero­ine, Cal­en­dar Girls and Indu Sarkar.

Your sa­lons are uni­sex, who do you think are more open to­wards ex­per­i­ment­ing - men or women?

Women have a va­ri­ety of styles to choose from - from long hair to short,

there are nu­mer­ous op­tions for them. And men, nowa­days even they are will­ing to ex­per­i­ment with their hair which is a great thing.

Mr Amitabh Bachchan has com­pli­mented you as well, tell us about that…

I had once done a car­toon cut for some­one dur­ing the Kaun Banega Crorepati show, for­tu­nately Mr Bachchan saw it and he loved it. I was over­whelmed with the com­pli­ments that he gave me.

How do you bal­ance your per­sonal and pro­fes­sional life?

If I am at work, I am to­tally into work and when I am with my fam­ily, it’s only them (laughs).

What di­rec­tion do you see the legacy of Shiva sa­lon head­ing in the future?

I dream of hav­ing a three-storey build­ing ded­i­cated to only Shiva’s. And I hope there will be branches of Shiva’s sa­lons scat­tered through­out Mum­bai, branches will in­crease but the essence will re­main the same for­ever. My jour­ney started from Thane, but I wish to have my sa­lons ev­ery­where. And Mum­bai be­ing the hub of style, glam­our and fash­ion, there’s a lot of po­ten­tial here.

Com­pe­ti­tion in your field is in­creas­ing day by day, isn’t that a sign of con­cern?

I don’t want to know or see what oth­ers are do­ing. What mat­ters to me is the qual­ity of my work. There’s no com­pe­ti­tion. If I am do­ing good, I will get good re­sults. And I have full trust in my clients, if they love my work, they will make sure that they visit me again.

You have been awarded a doc­tor­ate de­gree from in­sti­tutes in Europe and USA, how do you feel to have your work hon­ored and rec­og­nized glob­ally?

It feels great. And ev­ery achieve­ment only teaches me to work harder and I strive and get mo­ti­vated to do even better in the future.

You make sure that you visit all your sa­lons reg­u­larly. Why?

It’s be­cause I love my work and it feels good. I won’t mind go­ing if some­one calls me early morn­ing or even late night. I en­joy ev­ery as­pect of my work, it’s more like a pas­sion than work.

Lastly, any fash­ion tips for our STAR­DUST read­ers?

Al­ways keep your scalp clean so that there’s enough blood cir­cu­la­tion, and pro­tect it from dan­druff. Comb your hair well to pre­vent hair fall.

“I dream of hav­ing a three-storey build­ing ded­i­cated to only Shiva’s.”

An achiever- The sky is the limit

Play­ing with his kids Ro­hit and Aarad­hya

...Shiva’s Sig­na­ture sa­lon at Walkesh­war

Shiva’s lucky charm

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