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Estetica's Tell the Tale: Basim Shami on His Journey Founding Beauty Elite Group

Monday, 19 December 2016 15:56

Basim Shami has an incalculable time spent in various roles within the beauty industry. This experience has primed him with the Midas touch in anything that has to do with entreprenuership success and understanding what the pros in beauty are demanding.

Now he holds the reigns of Beauty Elite Group, a giant umbrella with a bright future of its own guided by the same principles that propelled Basim Shami into an industry maven that only rises to the top. As founder and CEO of Beauty Elite Group, he speaks with us about his latest acquisition of Fuel Hair, which marks the first salon-only brand to join the professional portfolio, including Blowpro, SoSilk among others.

How did you start your journey with Beauty Elite Group?
"After a decade of working with my father at Farouk Systems and eventually leading the company as CEO, it was always my dream to form my own beauty company. I founded Beauty Elite Group in 1995 as a prestige company housing brands like Blowpro and SoSilk. ."My vision is to continue to acquire prestige, niche and unique beauty brands and to help beauty innovators realize their own dreams

Beauty Elite Group announced some weeks ago its acquisition of Fuel Hair, tell me a bit about the decision making behind this new move?
"Since leaving Farouk Systems earlier this year, I’m devoting my full attention to growing this prestige beauty company. We now have more than 25 employees, working with more than $50 million at retail and offer a full product offering including liquids and tools. Fuel has unique product story, based on education and curriculum with a significant amount of marketing, branding and education already put together. What was needed was the support of the team and finances and I can offer both."

Keeping in mind your experience in the industry, what is your opinion on the changes that are taking place?
"I have more than 30 years experience in marketing and selling to the distributor trade/independent salon owners and booth renters, which I see as the backbone of this industry: the stylists that actually take pride in their work. We, as manufacturers, need to continue to focus our curriculum and product offering to ensure their viability and long-term profitability versus the national cookie cutter hair franchise operations. It would be a shame to have the industry monopolized by that segment. We also have to work at controlling product ending up at mass retail outlets and cutting into a valuable revenue stream for our industry, I see too many brands at discounted prices at outlets."

In terms of the future of the brand, what are your long-term goals with Fuel Hair from this moment on?
"My primary sales objectives are two-fold. The plans are to personally contact each of the existing distributors by phone or in person to thank them for their support during this period of transition. Secondly, to begin as soon as January, meeting and signing up new distributors to take this brand nationally by the end of 2017."

Products, tools, education… where are you going to focus your plans for Fuel Hair?
"Fuel is all about education and curriculum. Products will be offered, but secondary. Our plan is to singularly focus on hair cutting techniques with our proprietary shear line from Japan."

What do you think has made Beauty Elite Group so adaptable in the industry?
"The professional/salon industry is becoming very crowded with products being sold at mass and through direct sales to retail outlets. With Beauty Elite Group, my plans have always been and will be to market clean/non-diverted plans into the salon channel."

Every company has a secret to innovation, how do you see these steps as a move to the future of hairdressing?
"We have big plans with Fuel to offer unique, one handed proprietary dispensing systems on all our products. We will be introducing a line of back bar washout items that utilize airless aerosols dispensing system from Belgium in the first of 2017. They will greatly change the hairdresser’s experience at the back bar and make their lives a great deal easier!"

Is education a part of the process to take the brand to the next level in the salon industry?
"Fuel is all about education, we will be maintaining that core principle as we expand nationally. We are fully committed to supporting stylists and continuing to offer unique education classes that improve their skills and help their businesses."

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