Business has revived but this salon owner faces challenges – staff shortage, pricey products

Salon owner Suresh and his family are a happier lot now. Just a bit happy; not overjoyed.

For their business has revived after the state government allowed salons to operate. But the hair-dresser faces other challenges now.

Says Suresh, who runs a men’s salon at Arundale Street in Mylapore, “We are happy that our business has revived. Almost 70% of the customers are coming to us. But new challenges have come up.”

Firstly, staff shortage. Says Suresh, “Prior to lockdown, as there were four staff, a hair cut would be completed within 5 minutes. Now, as all four have gone to their native places, I’m the only one at salon. And hence it takes almost 20 minutes to serve one customer.”

It takes additional time to sanitise the place after the customer leaves. By which time, the customers waiting outside get frustrated and leave, Suresh says.

Also, the cost of salon products like hair creams/lotions, he says has increased. “They are sold at double the market price. And, since the government has asked us to use a different towel for every person, we are having to put in extra money to buy new towels.”

Though we charge customers for the towel, its a burden on us, as we have not had any business for the past two months, he says.

Another challenge, Suresh says is that not all customers bring their Aadhar card, as mandated by the government,an order  to help in contact tracing in case a person visiting the salon tests positive.

“If they bring Aadhar card, we note down the Aadhar number. But many customers don’t bring it. So as an alternative, we ask them to write their name and phone number in a notebook. But only some agree. And that is a cause of concern.”

Suresh’s salon shop at Arundale Street is open from 7 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. Ph: 9884775424.

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