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Jan 18, 2024
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The determination to help the salon industry digitize and enter into the age of technology was the motivation for us to start LUZO.

  • Nikhil Kalwani, Co-Founder and CFO, LUZO.

 

Nikhil Kalwani, Co-Founder and CFO of LUZO,

shares his startup journey from idea to execution to overcome challenges, in an interview with 100X.VC team.

 

  1. How did the idea of LUZO come up?

Our partner Maan’s mother owns a  successful salon franchise of one of India’s most reputed salon brands, after 10 years in 2019 December she decided to open her own spa chain. Then in 2020 covid hit and they had to close their doors. The family faced a tough time and the three of us being close friends since junior college decided to do something and hence the idea of LUZO came up. It was an idea to help the industry which was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic digitise.


  1. What made you start working on LUZO and executing this idea?

The determination to help the salon industry digitise and enter into the age of technology along with the motivation to do something of our own were the two reasons for us to start up.


  1. When did you realize the need to raise Venture Capital - Seed funding?

We were very aware from the very beginning that to scale with our revenue model we needed venture capital, we knew that in the start it’s an inventory heavy model and. Hence venture capital was the route we needed to take.

In metaphorical terms building a successful start-up is like crossing a stream of water, you can either take the long route and go around (Boot Strapping) or you can build yourself a bridge that bridge is venture capital.

 

  1. How has 100X helped you at the beginning of your journey?

The masterclasses were of great help for young founders such as us, we were taught what not to do and how not to make mistakes. I would go as far as to say that we were taught on how to think in the right direction. Quotes from partners like Ninad Karpe “Scale or Fail” still ring in my ears every time I start working. 

 

  1. Has your start-up pivoted? If so, What has the pivot been?

Post funding we have not pivoted, but between starting and receiving our pre seed we did pivot to incorporate a whole new revenue plan.

 

  1. What challenges did you face & how did you overcome them?

Some challenges we faced are:

  • Burning cash in giving discounts and having a low retention rate, this was both solved by incorporating a cash back system in our revenue plan.
  • The fact that we were young founders and did not have a killer instinct in the beginning, over time we started to develop more confidence and get a killer instinct. 

 

  1. What stage is Luzo at present?

  • Over 1,00,000 downloads
  • 3500+ appointments per month 

  • 400+ salons on board 
  • Presence in 3 cities, Mumbai Bengaluru and Pune.

 

  1. As founders, what are your goals for the next 1-2 years?

  • Expand to over 10 cities in India.
  • Build a solution for salons that will replace/add on to their current SAAS solutions.

 

  1. What keeps you motivated & keeps you going?

Passion for our vision - We are often deeply passionate about the problem that we are solving and the vision we are pursuing. This intrinsic motivation keeps us dedicated through challenges.

 

  1. Your message for Start-up founders building in the same sector?

The beauty and wellness industry especially the salon industry is very unorganised and people are very hesitant towards new technology, you need to build trust and then once you start working with them show them results. It took us over a year to build trust and then another year to make a name in the industry.

 

About Nikhil Kalwani:

Nikhil Kalwani has worked with corporates such as Edelweiss and Deloitte for 2 years before starting LUZO. At the company, he manages the finances and creates business plans to scale LUZO in the coming years.

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