Starting a business after medical studies might be a daunting experience for some but for the husband and wife team of Dr Wishnu Varthan and Dr Ravinpreet Kaur, it was something natural that they had always wanted to do. In searching for a niche market, they stumbled on the idea of catering to the demands of the Indian community. In a conversation with Top 10 of Malaysia, the doctors spoke on the reasons for setting up the business, their team dynamics, management styles and future expansion plans.
Dr Wishnu Varthan and Dr Ravinpreet Kaur are two doctors who came together and successfully pioneered a new chain of medispa called, Skin Master. Both doctors started with very different ideals but became a team on wanting to be involved in making people look good. In 2017, Skin Master was launched in Kuala Lumpur as a medispa, the only medispa in Malaysia offering non-invasive beauty solutions from a medical perspective.
“I have always wanted to be a fashion designer but I complied with my parent’s desire and am the first doctor amongst my generation within the family. I graduated from medical school in the Ukraine in 2008,” says Dr Ravinpreet, “On coming back I ventured into medical management and started initiatives that filled the gap for locum doctors.” Dr Wishnu, on the other hand, went the traditional way. “My family consists of doctors en bloc, from my dad, mom and siblings,” says Dr Wishnu. “I worked for the government before I opened my own medispa.”
Both doctors got to know about aesthetic specialization while growing their locum services business from 2009 to 2013. “While sourcing for aesthetics specialists, I realized the huge potential in the aesthetics industry and medispas in particular,” recollects Dr Ravinpreet.
Initiated by Dr Ravinpreet in 2017, based on the passion to nurture something that reflects her interests in beauty, Skin Master has grown tremendously with the supportive involvement of Dr Wishnu. “There were initial challenges as medispa was a new concept and people were used to aesthetic clinics,” reminisces Dr Ravinpreet.
The business is backed by doctors and the services consist of non-invasive laser treatments. “Our non-ablative services are handled by trained medical and beauty therapists and supported by state-of-the-art machines within a spa-like ambience,” explains Dr Ravinpreet. “We provide services from head to toe including medical facials notably carbon peel, oxygen infusion treatment, red carpet facials, skin lightening, laser hair removal, fat freezing and signature hair growth programmes,” says Dr Ravinpreet.
“Skin Master’s services which are adapted for tanned skin, has surprisingly turned out to be our success story,” says Dr Ravinpreet, “Our range of comprehensive services targeted for darker skin shades covers all major problem areas and it is hugely popular.” Dr Ravinpreet handles the business side and operations whereas Dr Wishnu provides financial and medical support.
“We have expanded to offer a greater range of extensive services in body sculpting and fat freezing for all races including the Chinese and Malay communities,” explains Dr Ravinpreet, “Our unique proposition in differentiating services according to skin tones has enabled us to offer bespoke services conducted by medical personnel. For 2020 we are expanding into hair and dental treatments.”
The recouping of investments within a year, expansion to eight outlets within two years and 150 average customers per day are milestones that speak volumes about the quality of its services, market demand and competitive pricing strategies. The hopes and vision are to turn Skin Master into an international revenue-generating business model. “The 5-year and 10-year future timelines include a “Smile Master”, “Hair Master” and potentially a “Menara Skin Master”,” says Dr Wishnu.
“My management and leadership skills drive the business as I provide hands-on training and ensure all employees adhere to the company’s policies, regulations and targets,” says Dr Ravinpreet, “The involvement of medically certified doctors and medical graduates sustain a high quality of services which improves customer confidence.”
As for work-life balance, once the business had stabilised, the couple has started to indulge in their love of travelling. Both being competitive personalities, they have learnt to balance the business and personal relationship.
Their advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is not to be afraid of change but to revisit, review and take things to the next level.