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Co-founder of Organic Hair Regrowth Solutions Amy Ngo opens up on entrepreneurship, the haircare industry in SG and more

The Vent Machine readers can enjoy 50% discount on all services Or Download OLY App from Appstore or Google Play and receive $60 service voucher. No min spending required.

Organic Hair Regrowth Solutions launched its latest 9th outlet in Suntec City last year and we were lucky enough to trial their signature treatments at the outlet. With an ultimate goal of an island-wide penetration plan of 65 outlets across Singapore, there has been no sign of slowing down despite the Covid-19 situation.

Amy Ngo, the Co-Founder of Organic Hair Regrowth Solutions, has been the driving force of the business, constantly looking for ways to improve from the efficacy of the products, treatments to in-house experience. She launched the first organic hair saloon back then in Singapore and is now on track to propel Organic Hair Regrowth Solutions to the next great heights with its own factory in Singapore manufacturing the organic range of products of the highest efficacy, to incorporating e-commerce into the business processes.

We spoke to Amy to learn more about her journey so far, trends in the the haircare industry, impacts of the pandemic and more.

TVM: You have recently launched the 9th outlet in Singapore at Suntec City and that’s quite a feat, especially given the COVID situation! I understand that you have an ambitious goal of an island wide penetration with 65 outlets across Singapore. What motivates you as an entrepreneur; what is your driving force?

Amy: I have always been passionate in the hair trade. When I was young, I enjoyed every single trip that my mum visited the hair salon. I will tag along and watched immensely at the works of the stylists and I even asked the boss of the hair salon for some odd jobs while my mum was getting her hair done. I knew from a very young age I will be pursuing a career in the hair industry. So when my colleague then, asked me if I would like to set up a hair salon with him, I jumped at the opportunity. The idea of mixing work and play would have been a dream come true for many. To me, been able to truly enjoy and pursue what I really want to achieve in life is simply too good to resist. It became the driving force for me to want to always achieve better not only just for the business, but for our customers and staff as well.

TVM: How much planning and strategising goes behind setting these goals? Can you please walk us through the process?

Amy: This is a fast-moving industry with changing trends within months. However, catching up with trends is never an issue, but managing people is crucial in our industry. At the scale of 9 outlets with close to 100 staffs, this is no longer merely about management anymore, but about delegation, Accountability, Performance Review, Promotion Qualification, Recruitment, Training and Retraining and Rewards.

As the leader of so many stakeholders, putting up our goals and plans and expect our employees to achieve our target no longer works. Instead, as leaders, we try to understand our employees dreams and goals, and we consolidate all these wants and needs and form them into a Big Common Goal here.Everyone has an ownership and become a part of the plan, just that it’s even bigger now because its a consolidation of 100 people. This is proven and this is how our 65 outlets is being planned as our 3-5 years goal.

TVM: What are some of the main challenges you have faced in your journey so far and how have you managed to overcome them?

Amy: There is only one challenge, it is the shortage of manpower supply. We need skilled people but skilled people are in great shortage due to the covid 19 foreign manpower restriction. However, we have solved 80% of the problem with our OLY system. It is a proprietary Professional Hair Care Ecosystem developed during 2020 Covid 19 Circuit Breaker period with the Digital Grant from the government.

To the consumer, it is an online eCommerce system with bookings, eWallet, sale and purchase, and rewards functions. But in the backend, it is a resource allocation system where it automatically allocates manpower efficiently.

TVM: In simple words, it allocate stylist and therapist to the right outlet, at the right time, maximising profits.

Amy: Traditionally , a saloon may require 8-10 stylist and therapist, with this system, it is reduced to 4-6 instead. In short, the organisation is making more money with less manpower.

TVM: What is the main inspiration behind the idea of organic?

Amy: 20 years ago, hair stylist can be a hazardous profession. Because of long hours in a concealed environment , breathing in and handling hair chemicals products, are potential health hazards exposures to health risks. So when we start our saloon, we wanted an all organic environment not only for the customers but also for the employees. This is how we became the first organic saloon in SIngapore 14 years ago.

Today, you can visit our outlets and touch any of our stylist and therapist hands, you will be surprised that their skin is exceptionally smooth as our Organic Hair Professional products, manufactured by our own manufacturing facility in Singapore, they are not only all organic but also nourishing to the skin.

TVM: I have been to the Suntec outlet and I not only loved the treatment but I also loved how customised each step was. Plus, the interiors were amazing and your staff is probably among the sweetest crew I have come across lately. How have you managed to get each and every thing on point?

Amy: Do everything with our “Hearts” 用心做事。 As most of our stylist and therapists are Chinese and Malaysians, we communicate and connect with each other very often, once a week, emphasising our 初心 Mission, very simple but effective. Do everything with our “Hearts” 用心做事。

 TVM: How involved are you with the curation of the treatments?

Amy: We have a specialised department that focuses on product and process innovations. I am a decision maker but I am always supportive of the teams decision because they are the specialists and I trust this specialised team. It’s a teamwork.

Amy with the team

TVM: You have been in the haircare industry since 1997. How has the industry changed? What have been your three key takeaways or lessons in your journey so far?

Amy: Customers expectations have changed. Traditionally, customers want what’s trending, but now , they want what’s unique and ultimately good for their hair and scalp. Customers are now also more aware of harmful chemicals that may do more harm than good for their hair and scalp.

Stylist has also changed from a trend follower to a trend setter. Every stylist is a creator and training a creator is no longer about skillset but mindset. Skillset becomes the min entry requirement, mindset differentiates the champions from the participants.

Here are my key three takeaways:

  • I am not the best even though I am their boss, and I am constantly learning.
  • Always find out the reason why things dont work. And focus on the solution rather than problem.
  • Delegation of power is important. Delegate authority to make decisions downwards. It works better to have a team than as a solo.

TVM: How do you feel about the current hairdressing scene in Singapore? What are the main gaps that Organic Hair Regrowth Solutions is helping to fill?

Amy: Many hairdressing establishments whether big or small are too “Mixed” i.e. offering too many services in a shop. This is a strategy to survive in the past but no longer relevant. Customers nowadays want specialised services. Organic Hair Regrowth Solutions is specialised in scalp care and hair loss treatment. Organic Express Hair Color Lab is specilised in Express Organic Coloring. There are many Express Hair Cut across the island but Zero “Express Organic Coloring” yet. So once again, we are the first who offer Express Organic Coloring in Singapore.

TVM: The Vent Machine’s reader base has a lot of young girls and women who aspire to be entrepreneurs. What message would you like to give to them?

Amy: Never say “never give up”!. It’s ok to give up. No point hanging onto a sinking ship. But do make a come back immediately when you have recovered .

Amy with her daughter

TVM: Any promotions, launch announcements or updates that you’d like to share?

Amy: 50% Discount for all services for The Vent Machine readers Or Download OLY App from Appstore or Google Play and receive $60 service voucher. No min spending required.

Find out more about Organic Hair Regrowth Solutions at http://organichairregrowthsolutions.com

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