I have no real competition at the moment- Teruni

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By 2018-01-07

By Menaka Indrakumar

Today's busy and hectic lifestyle makes people look for easier methods to get about with everyday work. Be it the much needed personal grooming for oneself, it has become a tough task to fulfil. Knowing this and the growing demands in the industry, Founder and Managing Director of Club Soirte, Teruni De Silva created an online booking engine a year ago. Today, the engine acts as a successful and leading intermediary.

It displays some of the best deals and discounts in the town and handles each and every detail of client and brand.
When and why did you start Club Soirté?

It was just over a year ago that we officially launched and it's purely because I wanted to fast-track my appointment making, yes, via a method more efficient than a call. And this means everything from, the client being able to reach the establishment, communicating the client's needs effectively and quickly, actually getting the stylist you booked with, re-confirmation of the appointment and so on.

How do you manage to stay on top of the game?

It's part of my personality to be modest, but if I were to answer accurately I'd say that I have no real competition at the moment. The models that have tried to mimic Club Soirté as market disruptor, lack proper strategic vision, focus and local adaptation in a way that is sustainable and ethical, in my view. Therefore, I am left with the task of advancing the features of the existing Club Soirté model that clients would universally find useful in global reservation systems.

What is the beauty industry lacking currently?

Where do I begin! In the recent past, the Sri Lankan beauty industry with regard to the servicing aspect has caught up immensely in implementing globally trending treatments via importing the necessary machinery and technical knowledge. However, we have the massive staffing issue, the lack of necessary training, the communication barriers etc., to overcome. I'd say there's a lot of critical value additions lacking on a micro level in the broader issues mentioned above.

Tell us how your online booking engine is different to the rest?

It's the only validated booking engine available in the market having exclusive partnerships with all partner operators we bring on board. Further, I personally look into the business development side which means that if the establishments don't meet my standards they are deemed as unfit to join our platform. Our USP is that we guarantee your appointment, with the people you wish to book with, at the date and time that you desire. We give instant confirmation, whilst with other models you can only request an appointment.

One beauty product you cannot travel without, and why?

There's two actually. One is the Bobbi Brown corrector and the other is my Mac studio fix powder. Yes, they both attend to the aesthetics of my face!

Do you want keep Club Soirté only for the beauty industry, will you be expanding?

I have plans to expand but only once I have a proper foothold in beauty. I need to further establish myself here and ensure I capture my entire TG, which is rather broad.

What was the most difficult part of starting the online booking engine?

The right human resources to implement my vision. There were quite a few incompetent technical persons that worked on Club Soirté at its inception, so it took a while for me to find the right people that knew how to put together exactly what I wanted.

Where do you see the Club Soirté in five years?

Beyond our borders and massively diversified to say the least. As I mentioned in another interview I would like to refrain from saying more so I don't feed unnecessary information to my indirect competition.

Will there be new brands joining in the future?

Of course. We will continue to grow by partnering reputed establishments both large and small. I am keen to expand rapidly and become the most trusted real-time booking platform to hit the local market.

One business woman you admire, and why?

I have to say that its one of my best friends Adhisha Dahanayake - I could be slightly biased since we associate with each other day in and day out! She eats, breathes and lives her brand, Double XL, and that's exactly how a business mind should work. I was once told to dream about your product offering to bring it to life, and she stands out in my mind as one to do so, which is testament to their success.

What does success mean to you?

Success means the ability to help our broader community. I'm a strong believer in engaging in charitable deeds, and doing so for people who are unable to return the favour. In other words, having no expectations for what you do. That is true charity. For me, success encompasses personal achievements such as merits, profits, accolades and so on, but I believe we should expand beyond to the Utilitarian notion of the 'greater good for all' in our
successes.

PIC BY ANURUDDHA MEDAWATTEGEDRA

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