Ana Ramos and Luis Vázquez designed a platform to affiliate beauty professionals, standardize the techniques they use and to request the service of makeup, hair, nails and more from an app.
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The beauty sector
The beauty and personal care industry is one of the sectors with great opportunities to innovate and market in Mexico and Latin America, with a value of 180 billion dollars, according to Atlantia Search, the Mexican market research firm. Its development lies in the discovery of various market niches and the emergence of new business lines that are manifested from new technologies and consumer preferences.
In this market, the Mexican Ana Ramos found an opportunity to undertake for the first time with Glitzi, a digital platform (website and app) that provides beauty and spa services at home, especially makeup, hairstyle, nails and massages in the place that customer required The biggest competitive advantage of Glitzi, according to the founder, is the quality of services, as independent professionals, whom they call Glitzi coaches, work with standardized protocols that the startup itself has developed in the last two years.
For this, the company made manuals with specific techniques that must be applied each time they provide a service. For example, to make a spectacular manicure, a special technique and specific care are followed. All Glitzi coaches go through a selection process and are trained with these protocols and trend courses to be able to work on the platform, it is even required that they buy the Glitzi kit to offer higher quality services.
The road of entrepreneurship
As part of this preparation, the entrepreneur says that they also created Glitzi University for service providers, a platform where they can consult all the protocols that are used, in addition to training in tax, technology, banking, cell phone use and the platform. Thanks to this preparation, the startup has a monthly customer return rate of up to 51 percent.
Ana, CEO of Glitzi, explains that the idea of standardizing techniques arose because he realized that there is a lack of professionalism in the Mexican beauty market, because unlike the United States and Europe, in our country there is no certification regional or national that accredits the capabilities of professionals and matches work methods.
The technology of this platform that was designed by its partner Luis Vázquez, CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of the company, immediately assigns appointments to the most appropriate Glitzi coaches according to their expertise, availability, and location with the help of an algorithm of artificial intelligence. In the event that an appointment is more than eight kilometers from the coach’s location, distance that another algorithm detects, the platform charges the per diem for the client. Most appointments are made in a planned way and in advance, although between 10% and 15% are made immediately, that is, services that customers request instantly.
The income is generated through a commission of between 20% and 35% that the company retains for each service performed, and the rest goes to professionals. “This model does not work if it is not to scale. That is why it is important to use technology to reach more people, ”says Ana, because as the volume of the user base increases, the higher the income.
Currently Glitzi has more than 100 professionals among stylists, makeup artists and nail experts. To date it has more than 4,500 users and has provided more than 6,000 services. Each month they perform between 300 and 400 services. Most of its audience are mothers who represent almost 70%, and the rest are men. On the side of Glitzi coaches, 95% are women.
From investor to entrepreneur
The story of this venture began when Ana traveled to England to do a master’s degree in MBA where she aroused her interest in finance and entrepreneurship. Upon graduation he decided to return to Mexico, and in the search for a new job he found an opportunity in Liv Capital where he worked for a while. The entrepreneur says that in her time in the world of investments and startups, she noticed a situation in the Mexican entrepreneurial ecosystem that somehow disappointed her and motivated her to seek a new life.
“I realized that most of the investors in Mexico are people with a lot of money but have not undertaken. At the time of investing they are based on their relationships instead of a solid and sufficiently good business model”, says Ana. Then he decided to travel to Germany to work in another private equity fund that gave him the opportunity to invest in several startups of Berlin and London for five years.
One of these was focused on the beauty sector, and that was when he began to be interested in this market. “Then I saw that this industry needs to professionalize in Latin America and that it is very little touched by technology. It is an industry little seen by investors, especially men”, says Ana.
Then, he dared to enter this market to reinvent the industry with a new business model in the style of other platforms such as Uber or Rappi. For this he did a pilot test in WordPress that they launched two years ago where they scheduled appointments to check if the business idea was profitable and had a future.
This business was developed at the same time as he worked in the background of Germany; It was like that for a year and he maintained it with his own salary. Later he got a round of capital from angel investors, he returned to Mexico and opened an office in 2018. The initial investment was about 30 thousand dollars of his own and 75 thousand dollars he got with investors. After this, Ana was completely dedicated to growing this company.
In the distance, Ana recognizes that it has been worth all the effort to get here. And now she is convinced that entrepreneurship is her passion. Among the future plans he has for Glitzi is to expand nationwide, because for now it only operates in Mexico City and in Querétaro. Do not rule out the idea of operating in another country in Latin America and making a version of Glitzi with services to serve the male audience.
Her favorite entrepreneur is Sophia Amoruso, author of the Girlboss book, from whom she admires her resilience for having started her business from scratch, without a single weight and for having made her way into her entrepreneurial path. He reveals that if he had the opportunity to partner with an entrepreneur, it would be with someone like Travis Kalanick, founder of Uber.