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An Interview with Mrs. Nayana Karunaratne on the Success of Sean Taaffe HairStyling Seminar In India

Mrs. Nayana Karunaratne, the founder of IHB Academy, had a brilliant idea to organize a seminar for all hairstylists in India. With Calyx Professional and IHB Academy's support, this seminar was held recently with Sean Taaffe, an international hairstylist, who visited India to teach the latest techniques and cutting techniques. It was an opportunity for all aspiring hairstylists to not only learn from Sean but also network with other industry professionals. It was definitely a one-of-a-kind event that will be cherished for a long time.

After the seminar was finished, we chatted with Mrs. Nayana Karunaratne to talk & get more information about the seminar - the before, while & after.

Q. What was the main goal behind this seminar?

A. Our main goals for the learning program were to:

  1. Equip participants with the necessary skills required to be successful in the modern-day business environment.

  2. Develop innovative ideas, & create styles accordingly by using the techniques for growth in your businesses.

  3. Create bonds and connections with like-minded professionals and students.

  4. Enable participants to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and gain a global perspective.

Q. How did you measure the success of the seminar? Did you set any specific goals or targets beforehand?

A. The success of the seminar was measured by assessing how many attendees attended & stayed for its duration and how meaningful engagement was during the seminar. We also monitored the feedback received from attendees and the key points they took away from the seminar. We did set specific goals and targets beforehand, including the number of attendees we hoped to have and the topics we wanted to cover in depth.

During the seminar, we did offer & talk about the additional programs being held in Sri Lanka. 120 participants have already registered to visit Sri Lanka for the learning program in July.

Our main motive was to provide quality learning to the participants. The similar IHB exposure that we provide to our students, & the value of building a foundation. And I can safely say we achieved these two. We believe these metrics have enabled us to gain a better understanding of the seminar's impact and our visitors' satisfaction.

Q. In your opinion, what sets this seminar apart from similar events in the hairdressing industry?

A. In my opinion, what sets this seminar apart from similar events in the hairdressing industry is the focus on creating an interactive and immersive learning experience. Rather than just focusing on the delivery of content, we have encouraged activities, discussion, and networking amongst participants.

Our seminar also provides a wide range of topics, ranging from business, marketing, customer service, soft skills, and even leadership. We believe that combining these elements creates an unparalleled service experience and enables attendees to gain a holistic understanding of the hairdressing industry and their place in it.

Most importantly, we were not answerable to any other brand or company for deliverables. As we were not promoting a product or a brand, we were 100 percent free. Though we had collaborated with calyx but were not bound or pressurized by them to talk about their products or use them only. So our focus was on education rather than talking about them or promoting them.

Q. Seminars are a great way that allows hairstylists to continue to learn and grow their skills, even after completing their formal education or training. What message would you like to give to hairstylists about the importance of continuous & ongoing learning & attending these kinds of seminars?

A. At IHB, we believe that never-ending learning and self-improvement are essential for hairstylists to reach their full potential. Attending seminars and other learning events is an important part of this process. It can be challenging to find the time and resources, but the rewards and benefits will be worth the effort. Updating your knowledge base and learning about the latest trends and techniques can help you stay ahead of the competition, attract new clients, and retain existing customers. Seminars can also provide a great opportunity to network with like-minded professionals and collaborate on new ideas, and create and develop potential business opportunities. With the right mindset, attending seminars can help you stay on top of your game and reach new heights in your chosen profession.

Q. In this seminar, there was great stress on points like relationship building with the client, the latest techniques, some new and some old tricks, soft skill development, etc. How are these things important in today's time?

A. We at IHB Academy, believe that us teaching soft skills is part of education, Infact, our first few chapters are on that. We start the training by educating the students with simple things such as maintaining posture, right body language, a way to greet the customer, etc. It may be simple but ignored & missed most of the time. Customer care is very vital in today's time to make sure your client visits you again. Say the receptionist, you do not know about hair cut, till the time the client meets the hairstylist, you are the customer's point of contact, and your dealing should be the best.

This seminar was a 360-degree view. of becoming a successful hairstylist. With techniques and soft skills, greet & meet, learning, etc. It is the future of hairdressing. Now why this is important in today’s time & why we put a lot of focus into it in our seminar.

Q. The seminar would be a learning experience for the hairdressers. what did you have in mind? What did you want the students to take away with them? And did you see that happen? Are you satisfied?

A. The impact was definitely there. You just come to know by looking at the participants when they are learning, sitting there engaged, asking questions politely, actively participating, and eager to understand & learn.

IHB is all about learning, and learning techniques. We saw the participants learn.

Overall, it was a satisfying experience. Why do I say so, I have a few reasons for that:

  1. Had absolute attendance, while the session was ongoing there were no disturbances and keen listening, and attention was amazing. Questions were there, and the audience participated.

  2. Participants have shown enthusiasm, curiosity, absorption, and smiles, the best part is when they have a sudden moment of realization and "aha" moments. It's simply amazing to be a part of such a unique learning journey.

  3. The audience said, the reviews were not just " it was nice to attend" but they also said "we learned a lot", This is why I think the seminar was a success. We saw the pulse of the people.

I’m quite pleasantly surprised by how India has evolved & its bursting with energy.

The Salons at India are evolving. The salon quality & standard has improved tremendously. We see huge potential in education in India & the salon industry as a whole.

Our aim was to give the participants an insight into the best hair-dressing techniques and skills, to develop their confidence, to open the door for endless opportunities, to equip them with the tools to become a sought-after hair-stylist, and to develop the skills and knowledge required to be successful in the industry. Through our seminar, we believe that our participants left with an understanding of the industry, the confidence to pursue their dream career and with the skills, knowledge and techniques to become a successful hair-stylist.


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