What do you do if your father goes bankrupt when you’re 10 years old, you flunk your HSC exams, sell SIM cards and shoes to eke out a living and yet end up broke at 20?
You do pretty damn well for yourself if you ask Asif Rajan, 28-year-old hairstylist and owner of two Mumbai salons with over 4,000 clients and a six-figure monthly income. <b1>
Rajan’s tryst with hairdressing began when an acquaintance got him a job at a parlour’s cash counter. “After closely observing the hairstylists, I was inspired by how they could change people’s looks in a matter of an hour and gain their clients’ respect,” says Rajan, who then started cutting his family’s and friends’ hair at home.
With the help of a friend and several loans, he opened a less-than-modest salon called Hair Mischief in Bandra in 2000. It closed down in eight months.
Next, he joined as a trainee at the Juice Salon, but that didn’t work out either. After a nine-month stint at the reputed Nalini and Yasmin salon, Rajan’s client list grew, and so did his confidence.
He was then hired by Makeover salon and was made partner at the age of 23. Then, while basking on a beach in Thailand, that Rajan decided to start his own salon. The rest is history.
From Rs 350 for his first haircut to his current rate of Rs 1,250 for one, Rajan has certainly snipped his way to success.
What next? “I want to get to Hollywood,” he says.