Welcome to EW‘s weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome.
The week we chat to the founder of Glamazle.com, Neelam Keswani, about launching one of the top beauty e-commerce sites in the Middle East. Initially launched in 2015, Glamazle now stocks an array of well-loved and well-known brands including The Ordinary, Drunk Elephant, Glow Recipe, Elf, Tata Harper and many more ships all over the Middle East including the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
EW sat down with Keswani to find out more about the brand, her career and what made her want to enter the realm of beauty e-commerce.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Maths and then Accounting. I am a numbers kind of person!
What was your first job?
I worked for The Entertainer as their admin/web designer and then moved into sales to eventually leave them as their Group Operations Director six years later.
What inspired you to become a beauty entrepreneur?
I love makeup and learned it for self-grooming since I was in sales. I was fascinated by how some liner and blush could make me look so different. Eventually, I completely certified myself and started advising friends and family about makeup looks. Finally, I decided to utilise my love for cosmetics and business acumen to start Glamazle.com.
What are the key elements of your role?
Being the founder, one has to play several roles in a day. From being a fire fighter and helping customers to product marketing, as well as ensuring cash flow to manage the restock cycle. I like to be on top of everything.
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Talk us through your daily routine.
Get my tea on and then running a company. I start off my day by writing an affirmation and aiming to achieve it. I like to read about new launches, new technology and then get started on planning my day. I first clear my inbox, check what products need promoting and look for ideas to promote it. I do like to oversee operations and speak to some customers for feedback to improve ourselves. Plan cash flow with my accountant and then off to help my social media intern plan for the day in case there are some changes needed. Currently, I do all the purchase management for the company to ensure we don’t over order and the stock are freed up quickly.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?
Take the plunge, you will not know you are going to float or drown sitting on the shores. Just don’t be dazzled by the new age ways of working, I am a very conservative business owner and hence it was not as tough for us to float through the pandemic like many others. Learn on lean management and how to reduce unnecessary operating costs.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Happy employees make happy companies. Always ensure you pay everyone before you pay yourself.
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And what is the worst?
Business is all about creating sales value over profitability. I think the pandemic made it clear that when as a company your burn rate is higher than your sales revenue it’s going to get tough to sustain for long.
What are your must-have makeup items?
- Guerlain Parure Gold Compact Foundation SPF 15 PA++
- Coloured Liner
- THE BALM LOU MANIZER SQUAD – works as blush and highlighter.
What are your three favourite beauty brands and why?
- Tatcha – they use some of the classical Japanese beauty secrets
- Khadi Natural – they are 100% natural and ayurvedic products
- Wishful – a cruelty-free skincare line that has a clean, minimalist philosophy that is results-focused to grant all your skincare wishes.
What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
To ensure every customer is happy receiving their shipment and it’s the best gift they have given to themselves. Also, making sure all products are authentic with safe packaging to ensure our beauty ranges are delivered in a good condition to customers. We have done so much research to correct this chain.
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Images: Supplied/@glamazle Instagram