12November2016: Neeldavid Katwal, the hairstylist who can cut and style your hair blindfolded, has become the first Nepalese man to establish a successful brand whose franchise is selling like a hot cake in North East India.
Usually, it’s a one way traffic from India to Nepal when it comes to big brands but for the first time Mr Katwal is turning the tide. The brand name he worked on for the last ten years is so successful today that it recently opened its seventh outlet at Durgapur, near Kolkata.
Indian salon operators are paying nearly INR 1 million to buy franchise of the iconic brand which already has long-running outlets at prime Kathmandu addresses. Established in 2006, Neeldavid’s is the first world class hair and beauty salon in Nepal.
Speaking to southasia.com.au about his journey into the corporate world, Mr Katwal said the franchisees in India will also be required to pay “a monthly royalty” of around INR 50,000.
Most Nepalese celebrities and big shots are clients of the Kathmandu-based business.
The celebrity hairstylist, who’s been trained in a number of countries including at Toni and Guy in London, said he had to work hard to be where he is today. Everyone including his family members weren’t happy when he began his career some fifteen years ago but today, Mr Katwal is the proud owner of a burgeoning multinational brand.
His success has changed the way people look at the hair and beauty industry in Nepal. There was a time, until recently, when only the unsophisticated and uneducated would work in the hair-dressing industry in Nepal, which was also an industry dominated by Indian migrants. The work of a hairdresser (a “barber”) would be considered lowly but Mr Katwal’s status as a celebrity now probably reminds people that hairdressing can also be a professional career.
Neeldavid’s latest branch in India is owned by one Bimal Jain who, Mr Katwal said, invested over INR 7 million to open the 2600 square feet site. While this seventh Indian outlet was inaugurated on November 7, the next one will be opened in Kolkata proper next December, he added.
Neeldavid’s also has other outlets in India including in Jharkhand and Kalimpong, Darjeeling.