HYDERABAD: With corporate companies and big businessmen setting up hairdressing salons in the city, traditional barbers are complaining about losing their livelihood.
There are about 2,000 hairdressing shops, being run by traditional barbers (Nayee Brahmins) in Greater Hyderabad and with influx of corporate hair-cutting and beauty salons in the city, these barbers are worried over losing their business on which they have been depending for generations. “We have been doing hair cutting for generations. That is our way of life and we are carrying out it as a service activity and not as a business. We used to run our families by contributing to the society with our skill. But, with entry of corporate hairdressing salons and non Nayee-Brahimns into this field the rules of profession have completely changed,” explained Babu Rao, who runs a hair cutting salon at Gachibowli here.
Traditionally ‘Nayi Brahmin’ caste people have been associated with hair cutting profession in our society and they were being paid meagre amounts. But, with changing times as importance of grooming increased, not just their lifestyle has improved but also problems.
“Earlier, people were not much concerned about looking beautiful and were spending a bare minimum amount on hair-cut. But people from all walks of live are focusing on looking good. Hence, they are spending more on hair and beauty care. Sensing this opportunity even corporates are entering this segment, ultimately affecting our livelihood,” said A Jagdish Kumar, president of GHMC Nayi Brahmin Sangham.
For a traditional barber to set up a hair- cutting salon it takes at least about `3 to `6 lakh depending on the location. Most of these neighbourhood salons are family- run with providing work to one to four barbers. They used to make profits sufficient to run their families. But traditional barbers are complaining that their business is being severely affected with the entry of corporate salons. Traditional barbers who are Nayee Brahmins set up stall by taking loans. If a salon has customers it will be comfortable to run their family but they cannot run store if customers dwindle, due to lack of enough financial resources. Whereas corporate stores are launched with investment ranging from as less as `30 lakh to `2 crore and can even survive for months even if there are no customers.
“With attractive interiors and expensive cosmetics corporate salons will surely draw customers who can pay well. Besides, only if advanced services like facials, styling are done it costs heavily at these salons but basic services like hair-cutting is offered at almost the same price on a par with with neighbourhood hair-cutting salon. As a result, we are unable to compete with them,” explained Babu Rao.
As the survival is becoming difficult, traditional barbers are planning to take up campaign highlighting their problems and demands.