Tracing her roots to Kollam, Ambika Pillai, recalls the blissful days of her youth spent in Kerala. “I never went to college. After I came to Delhi, I did a training course in hair styling from Shahnaz Husain’s Woman’s World International Institute of Beauty,” she reminisces.
In the two decades that she has been in the industry Pillai has made a mark for herself — she is at the top of her profession. “I now specialise in hair styling and make-up,” she says. But making a career in the beauty business was not her childhood dream.
“After I came to Delhi I took up this line, not knowing how lucrative the business would be. I just had to earn a living and support my daughter and I chose to do this.”
When asked to point out one positive and one negative aspect of the career, Pillai immediately points out that working with people is the positive factor for her.
“I handle the crème-de-la-crème of Delhi society and love to interact with everybody who comes to me. I don’t feel that I am working, I feel like I’m having a blast.”
But according to her the challenge lies in handling customers. She says, “Mine is a time bound profession and it is very annoying when people can’t respect my time. If one customer comes in late, then the schedule for the day gets delayed.”
Pillai is happy with what she does and where she is. But she believes that there is no end to growth. With three branches of her salon in Delhi (Punjabi Bagh, Ansal Plaza and Qutab Hotel) she now dreams to have 200 set-ups across the country in the coming years.